What Is a PPO Dental Plan?

As costs of new technology continue to increase the cost of dental care, more and more people are looking to insurance to help afford their dental visits and work. A PPO dental plan is one option for dental insurance.

Significance

With Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) insurance, the dental plan features a network of dental practitioners who have agreed to be part of the dental group.

Function

If insured by a PPO dental plan, a patient must select an in-network doctor in order to have a visit or procedure covered by the insurance. Some PPO plans will pay for a fraction of the costs of an out-of-network provider, and some will not pay for any portion.

Benefits to Dentitsts

For dentists, being an in-network provider allows for them to receive new patients. It also reduces the cost of billing those who do not have dental insurance and gives a guarantee that the physician will be paid for his services in a timely manner.

Drawbacks to Dentists

The main drawback of providing care for a PPO plan is that dentists have to agree upon a set fee for each particular service when joining the network. If costs suddenly go up due to an unforeseen circumstance, the physician may not be able to raise fees accordingly.

Benefits to Patients

PPO dental insurance allows for affordable dental care and requires little, if any, wait times to have work completed. It also typically features a lower deductible than other types of dental insurances and requires less paperwork.

Drawbacks to Patients

PPO plan participants are given some freedom in choosing a doctor, but ultimately, are faced with a limit upon who can be selected. Those who already see a dentist may need to change if their doctor does not participate in the new plan. There also may be a dollar amount limit on how much dental work the plan will pay per year for an individual or family.

References

About the Author

Faith Davies has been writing professionally since 1996, contributing to various websites. She holds an LAH insurance license in the state of Pennsylvania and has experience as a bank branch manager and lending officer. Davies graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in art history.