When you need dental services, you could easily find yourself with a bill for hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on what you need done. To pay for dental costs, some turn to dental insurance coverage, while others prefer to pay cash. Which one is right for you will depend on your financial situation.
When you use dental insurance, it is much like paying in advance for your dental care. With this type of coverage, you pay monthly premiums to the dental insurance company. Then when you need dental work, the insurance company pays most of the bill for you. You will likely still have to pay a deductible or co-pay when you need service. You can get several different types of dental insurance plans that provide varying degrees of coverage. If you live on a fixed budget, this might be the best option for you because it allows you to pay a little bit at a time toward your dental care.
Another option is paying with cash. Some people prefer paying with cash because it allows them to negotiate discounts with the dentist in advance. In some cases, you can get a substantial discount by paying for the dental treatment plan in advance. If you have money in savings or you have a high income, it may make more sense for you to use this method. That way, you will not pay for services that you do not need.
Dental Discount Plans
Another option that is a hybrid between the two methods is a dental discount plan. With a dental discount plan, you pay a small monthly or annual fee to a dental discount plan. Then when you need services at a dentist, you get a discount off the normal rate. To get the discount, you have to agree to pay cash for the services at the time you receive them. Dentists accept these plans because they help cash flow since they are getting guaranteed cash payments at the time of service.
If you decide to go with cash or a dental discount plan, you may not have enough money on hand to pay for everything that you need done all at once. In this case, you may want to ask the dentist to prioritize your treatments. This will help you figure out which treatment is the most important to get right away. This can allow you to get the important treatment out of the way and then save up for the next treatment.
- Animated Teeth: Paying For Your Dental Work Out-of-Pocket
- Your Dentistry Guide: Dental Insurance -- Plan Comparison and Coverage Guide
- Wisebread: Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?; Linsey Knerl; November 2008
- Humana. "Humana Dental Savings Plus Plan." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.
- Centers for Disease Control. "Regional Variation in Private Dental Coverage and Care Among Dentate Adults Aged 18–64 in the United States, 2014–2017." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.
- Medicare.gov. "Dental Services." Accessed Jan. 31, 2020.
Luke Arthur has been writing professionally since 2004 on a number of different subjects. In addition to writing informative articles, he published a book, "Modern Day Parables," in 2008. Arthur holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Missouri State University.