Do I Need Dental Insurance?
Dental insurance is often overlooked when getting healthcare coverage, but it can be a helpful way to manage your dental costs.
While you don’t need dental insurance to visit us at Dentist of Cerritos, we recommend dental insurance as a great option for patients who want to save money on their dental services.
What Is Dental Insurance and How Does It Work?
Dental insurance is a special type of health insurance that specifically handles dental care costs. Your dental plan works in many ways like regular health insurance. How it works is that you (or your employer) pay a premium (usually monthly) and in return you will receive certain benefits and discounts on your dental care fees.
Do I Need Dental Insurance to Get Dental Care?
The short answer is that you do not need dental insurance in order to obtain quality dental care. Many people simply pay for dental care out of pocket. However, there are certain benefits to having dental insurance that often exceed the cost of the dental plan.
What Types of Dental Insurance Are There?
If you are looking for dental insurance, you’ll want to understand the different types of dental plans available. The most popular is the PPO plan, which is what you are most likely to get and what we accept here at Dentist of Cerritos.
What Is PPO Dental Insurance?
A PPO is a type of health insurance that does not tie you to one dental or healthcare organization. PPO stands for “preferred provider organization.” More than 80% of dental plans fall into the PPO category. They give you the flexibility of choosing your own dentist, and each PPO generally has a network of dentists to choose from.
You can also use an out of network dentist, but those costs are usually not covered by a PPO. Additionally, the non-network dentist may charge higher fees than the same services provided by an in-network dentist.
What Is HMO Dental Insurance?
An HMO is a combination of an insurance plan and healthcare organization, and it’s called a Health Maintenance Organization. HMOs are a one-stop-shop for your healthcare needs, but the downside is that you can’t choose your own provider. Less than 10% of dental policies are HMOs.
You should also understand that while you may have an HMO for your general health insurance, they may not offer dental services, so you may need a separate dental plan. If this is the case, you can choose a PPO for your dental insurance even if your general health insurance is taken care of by your HMO.
What is a Dental Indemnity Plan?
Constituting a very small percentage of dental plans, dental indemnity plans are typically more expensive than PPO or HMO plans. However, you are not limited to a specific HMO provider or PPO network. These plans usually have an annual deductible, which is the amount you need to pay out of pocket for your dental care until the insurance kicks in. Thus, dental indemnity plans are perhaps best utilized by people who are planning to have expensive restorative dental procedures and would like help on those costs.
What Is a Discount Dental Plan?
A discount dental plan or DDP is not really the same thing as health insurance. This is a paid membership that gives you discounts with certain dentists who agree to be part of the dental discount program.
What Do Dental Insurance Plans Cost?
The costs for dental insurance vary greatly. A dental discount plan could cost $10 per month, which is typically cheaper than a full dental insurance plan, but not by much. Many individuals can get a basic dental coverage plan for $14 per month, with the price going up for more benefits. A high-end plan might cost around $30 per month. Family coverage can range from $25 to $60 per month.
Many dental insurance plans include preventative maintenance with their basic coverage. This means you may get a yearly checkup and teeth cleaning included with your insurance. Check your plan for more details.
What Should I Look for in a Dental Plan?
When choosing your dental plan, most likely a PPO, you will want to look carefully at the benefits offered in different plans. How much are your co-pays? (A co-pay is what you have to pay the dentist after the insurance pays for their part.) You may also have a “yearly max” of what the insurer will pay out for dental services.
Your dental insurance plan may also separate what it covers into categories. These categories might include preventative coverage (such as yearly cleanings) and basic restorative care such as a filling or a root canal. It might also distinguish between minor procedures such as a fluoride treatment and major restorations and procedures such as dental implants, crowns, and bridges.
Periodontal coverage (for gum disease) is often extra in a PPO plan, to be sure to check the plan benefits if you have gingivitis or periodontitis. Many basic dental insurance plans will not cover periodontal services, including regular deep cleanings. So, ask your health insurance rep if you have any questions about coverage.
What Happens if I Don’t Have Dental Insurance?
If you do not have dental insurance, you don’t have to worry that you can’t get any dental care. However, you should be prepared to pay for basic dental services when you come to our Cerritos office for a yearly checkup or teeth cleaning. If you need a more comprehensive procedure that can’t be paid for upfront, we offer a number of financing plans.
What Types of Financing Plans Do You Offer?
If you need to get extensive dental restorative work done in Cerritos, we can make it easy for you with our customized financing plans. We want our patients to get the quality care they deserve, and these options can provide rapid funding. Our financing partners include:
- Wells Fargo Health Advantage
- GreenSky Patient Solutions
What Types of Dental Insurance Do You Accept at Dentist of Cerritos?
We accept most PPO dental insurance plans. Dentist of Cerritos is a member of many PPO networks, including:
- Delta Dental
- United Concordia Dental
If you don’t see your provider on this list, just give us a call, because we may still be able to accept your dental insurance. Let us know if you have any questions!
At Dentist of Cerritos, we provide quality dental care to patients whether they have dental insurance or not. We also offer customized financing plans. Contact us today to get the quality dental care you and your family deserve.