Similar to health insurance, the dental care arena is packed full of a variety of different affordable dental plans. However, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, it can be nearly impossible to choose the best plan for your needs. Here are some of the most popular dental plans so you can determine which one will work the best for you.

The first type of dental plan is called dental insurance. As the name implies, this type of dental plan is designed to protect you in case of any unforeseen event. This means that if you are in an accident of some kind or break a tooth or do other damage to your mouth, your insurance policy will kick in and provide you with a pre-determined amount of coverage.

Dental insurance will also provide basic coverage for common procedures that are required to keep your mouth healthy. These are known as “preventive care”. They will cover regular teeth cleanings, fillings and other minor procedures that are usually required semi-annually in order to keep any major condition from developing.

Pre-existing dental procedures are usually not covered by dental insurance. This means that if you already are in need of dental care because of existing caries, broken teeth, gingivitis, or any other condition, you’ll likely be forced to pay for that yourself until you’ve owned the policy for a minimum of 6-12 months. If you are in need of one of these procedures and you haven’t purchased a dental plan yet, then it may be best to consider another type of plan.

The second type of affordable dental plans are known as “discount dental plans”. These are commonly considered one of the most affordable dental plans because they can help you save up to 60% off the cost of most common dental procedures.

This type of plan is not insurance. They are exactly what they say they are, a discount plan.

This is how discount plans work.

You join a plan and once you’ve done this you can usually see a participating dentist within 1-3 days. Soon after joining you’ll receive a list of participating dental providers in your area that will accept your new discount dental card. These dentists and specialists have agreed to provide dental care to you for a substantial discount. The only stipulations are that you must use a dentist within their provider network and you must pay the discounted fee in full at the time of your appointment.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you need new upper dentures and the regular cost of dentures is $1200.00. However, you visit a participating dentist within your network, show them your discount card and discover that you’ll receive a 50% discount for being a member. You get your dentures taken care of and rather than paying the regular cost of $1200.00, you only have to pay $600.00 and you’re on your way.

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