Discount Dental Plans

Written by Sarah Provost
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Discount dental plans are increasingly being used to fill the gap when employers cut health benefits. The unemployed and self-employed are also making use of them as a less expensive way to maintain oral health. In response to this demand, a wide range of plans is available.

Discount dental plans offer reduced rates to members, who pay an annual fee. The reductions, which range from 10 to 50 percent of "customary" costs for each procedure, are negotiated by the plan administrator. In return for offering reduced rates, the practitioners get referrals from the program.

Choosing a Discount Dental Plan

Because there are so many plans available, choosing among them requires some thought. Procedures and treatments offered vary from plan to plan, so take into consideration what you are most likely to need. If you have growing children, for instance, orthodontia should probably be covered in the plan you choose. If you are a senior citizen, orthodontia is unnecessary, but you should choose a plan with coverage for periodontal procedures, crowns, bridges and dentures.

There are several websites that can help you compare costs and services available. When you enter your zip code, you will see a chart that presents summarized information for plans available in your area. Remember that the lowest fees might not be the best choice if necessary services aren't covered. Your choice should be balanced between costs and your likely usage.

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