Dental Insurance or Discount Plan:
Which is Better?
The best plan for one person is not the best for someone else.
The best plan for you will depend on your answers to these questions:
CAN I USE MY OWN DENTIST?
Dental HMOs and discount plans require you to use the dental providers who are under their contract. If your dentist is not in their network, you will only benefit from the plan by giving up your dentist.
Dental PPOs usually have larger networks than discount plans and will also pay for services from out of network providers. Keep in mind that your out of pocket costs are higher with dentists who are not in the network
DO YOU NEED MAJOR SERVICES RIGHT NOW?
Dental PPO plans often have a waiting period of up to 12 months for major services like crowns and root canals. Dental HMOs and discount plans usually have an annual membership so you don't have to wait for the higher cost services.
If you need major services soon and are not concerned about which dentist you use, the discount plan or dental HMO may be the better choice. (They also tend to be more affordable.)
If your main concern is being able to see whatever dentist you want, you're likely to be better off with a dental PPO style insurance plan. This is especially true if you don't think you'll need major work done soon.