Over the past few years, the cost of dental care has steadily increased. This is taking a toll on oral health and preventative care, with nearly one in four Americans forgoing necessary dental visits because they lack dental coverage and can’t afford them. While dental insurance help makes dental care more affordable, it isn’t the only available option. With dental memberships, uninsured patients can see a dentist without insurance.
What is Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is a type of health insurance that pays for dental care. You pay monthly premiums for the dental insurance plan, and in return, the insurance company covers the cost of your procedures, either in full or in part. However, most dental insurance plans have a deductible you must meet before the policy covers a portion or all the costs and co-pays, policy maximums, and waiting periods.
The typical cost of an individual dental insurance policy is around $450 a year, and around $650 annually for a family. Annual deductibles can vary from $25 to $100 per covered individual, depending on the dental insurance policy.
What is a Dental Membership?
A dental membership is an affordable alternative to insurance because you can purchase a membership plan that fits your specific needs and budget. For an annual fee, usually between $100 and $200 annually, depending on your enrollment type, a dental membership plan will provide instant access to discounts on dental treatments. These discounts won’t completely cover the cost of any procedure, but you can still expect discounted fees and a healthy smile.
At Honest Care Dental, our Care Club dental membership program allows you to pick the best option. Each membership program features specific benefits and savings.
- Adult Membership (13 and older): This program includes 1-2 doctor exams, two professional cleanings, one emergency exam per year, necessary X-rays, and 25% off all other treatments. You get access to all these after paying a lifetime activation fee of $79.99, including the first month and $35 per month.
- Perio Membership: It’s ideal for a patient enrolled in active periodontal maintenance. For $58/month and a $99.99 lifetime activation fee (includes the first month), you get three perio maintenance cleanings per year, 1-2 exams, necessary X-rays, and 25% off all other oral care treatments.
- Child Membership: This program is for children 12 and younger. You pay $30/mo and $49.99 lifetime activation fee, which includes the first month, and your child gets 1-2 doctor exams, two professional cleanings, one emergency exam per year, necessary X-rays, and 25% off all other treatments.
What are the Main Differences Between a Dental Membership and a Dental Insurance Plan?
- Coverage: Nearly all dental insurance plans are prevention-focused, covering preventive services like dental checkups and cleanings, and X-rays. For other dental care services like fillings, the insurance plan only pays for a portion of the cost after you meet a deductible. Cosmetic dentistry is usually not included. Dental membership applies to preventive, restorative, and specialist dental services. Many dental membership plans also offer discounts on cosmetic dentistry. Many dental insurance plans are also through your workplace, so if you get a new job/insurance plan, you might have to switch dentists if they aren’t in your new network. By using a dental membership instead, you can stay at your preferred dental practice no matter your employment situation.
- Annual limits: One of the most significant differences between dental membership plans and dental insurance is that the dental membership plan doesn’t have an annual spending limit. Insurance allowable amounts usually cap out at around $1,500 per year, while dental memberships have no annual maximum discount. Your discounts will always apply.
- Waiting periods: Dental insurance typically requires a waiting period before covering procedures like root canals. On the other hand, your dental benefits will begin with no delay once you’re enrolled in a dental membership plan.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Regular Dental Care?
Getting regular dental care from the dentist is crucial to maintaining optimal oral health. Without it, you may suffer from several oral health issues, like periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay or cavities, and tooth stains. Regular visits also allow your dentist to detect early signs of severe medical conditions like oral cancer. Catching these issues early may help you avoid serious health complications and costly medical bills.
Need to See a Dentist Without Insurance?
If you live in Salem, NH, you don’t need dental insurance to see a dentist. Our Care Club dental membership program will help you get the quality dental care you need within your budget. Contact us today to learn more about your membership options and schedule your appointment.