Find Affordable Dentists and Dental Insurance

Are you worried about finding dental coverage? Learn about dental coverage options that you can afford.

Much of what you do in life is experienced using your mouth. A beautiful smile helps you present a good first impression to others, such as when on a date or a job interview. You also need good dental hygiene for important functions like speaking clearly and chewing food easily. Despite knowing the importance of excellent dental health, you may find it difficult to locate a dentist you can afford. If so, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), access to affordable dental care is still not equal for all Americans, despite some improvements over the last several decades.

If you want to avoid falling into the trap of untreated cavities, tooth pain, and other dental problems, it is imperative you find proper dental care quickly. Affordable dental care is often difficult to find, but it is not impossible to obtain. When you know what your dental plan options are, you have a better chance of locating one that is affordable. You also need to know how to balance your need for inexpensive dental care with the need to select a dental plan that covers the services you are likely to require. Use the following dental plan information to get yourself and your family on the path to better dental health.

Types of Dental Insurance Plans

Dental plans are divided into three major categories. You must determine which category best suits your needs and budget. The categories are as follows:

  • Referral or Discount Dental Plans You must make out-of-pocket payments for dental services when you are on a discount dental plan. However, the fees you must pay are typically far lower than they would be if you had no dental coverage.

  • Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) Plans The dentist you see is paid a certain amount per month to work as a dentist within the plan. That fee is received, even if the dentist does not treat you during a particular month. When you visit the dentist, you may have to pay a co-pay for some services you receive. The plan may provide other services to you free of charge.

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans – If you are on a PPO plan, it means your dentist is part of a group of dentists who have all agreed to perform certain procedures for specific dollar amounts. Your plan may allow you to receive several of those services for free. However, not all services are always covered.

Dental Insurance Providers

Dental insurance providers vary by state. Some are local. Others have offices throughout their respective states. There are also many national dental insurance providers that offer coverage in multiple states. Examples of some top national dental insurance providers include:

  • Aflac offers dental plans in every U.S. state. The Aflac deductible starts at $50. It decreases to $25 after the first year and $0 from year three onward. Aflac offers coverage for many services, including basic dental care, orthodontia, and dental implants. Aflac also offers no network restrictions.

  • Spirit Dental is available in 49 states. Its plans cover up to three annual cleanings and have $5,000 per year out-of-pocket caps. Optional vision coverage is also available for a low rate.

  • 1Dental offers dental plans with low monthly premiums starting at less than $10 and is available in 48 U.S. states. Many of its plans offer coverage for cosmetic dentistry procedures and preexisting dental conditions, as well as standard dental maintenance procedures.

Which Dental Insurance Has The Biggest Dental Network

The Dental insurance companies listed above all have large networks. However, the company with the largest network in the United States is Delta Dental. It's network includes more than 152,000 dentists throughout all 50 states. Delta Dental plans do not require out-of-pocket payment for preventative procedures, such as regular cleanings. There are also many different types of Delta plans available. Each offers specific perks that may suit your family more than others. For instance, orthodontia plans are available. Some provide services specifically for children. Others include adult orthodontia procedures. 

Although Delta Dental is available in all U.S. states, the types of coverage provided in each state do vary. However, Delta provides useful online tools you can use to look up coverage in your area. You can easily compare plans and select a dentist online by filling out provided forms. Delta also provided a handy dental care cost estimation tool you can use to determine your cost for a specific procedure before you go to the dentist.

Dental Plan Costs

If you are wondering what dental plans cost, the answer depends on your location, your needs, and the type of plan you select. On average, Americans pay approximately $20 to $60 for basic dental plan coverage each month. That is $240 to $720 annually. However, basic dental plans typically cover fewer procedures than more expensive dental plans. They also typically have lower annual coverage limits.

When considering purchasing a basic dental coverage plan, you must first think of your needs and the needs of your family members. You may find you wish to have a bit more coverage than a basic plan offers. However, basic dental coverage limits are rarely exceeded unless major dental procedures are required. For example, you may exceed your annual coverage limit on a basic plan if you require root canals, but it is far less likely if you only require basic cleanings or occasional fillings.

Dental Plans That Accept Medicaid

If you are on a low income, you may already have Medicaid coverage. If so, being a Medicaid recipient may allow you to qualify for certain specific dental plans. However, Medicaid dental benefits vary widely between states. In fact, three states do not provide it at all. Coverage levels range from limited or emergency benefits to extensive coverage. It is also important to know some states only provide Medicaid dental coverage for children. Others provide limited, emergency, of extensive coverage for adults. The best option is to check your state's Medicaid dental coverage services before choosing a dental plan or specific dentist.