Dental Care for the Masses

dental care

Healthcare reform is being hotly debated across the country right now, but the need for dental services isn’t being discussed.  The cost for just healthcare is in the trillions and just like employer based insurance, dental is an afterthought.  Everyone needs to have their teeth checked and the price for these services isn’t going down any time soon.   Many people no longer get dental through their employer and the government health reforms won’t have any affect on that; the government also won’t be providing it through a public health system.  The good news is that there are many options available to the general public to keep your families teeth in good shape.

 Dental insurance is the most common type of plan that people think of when they are shopping around.  Companies like Delta Dental, Cigna and Metlife all offer these plans and they usually cost in the hundreds each month for a family of four.  They usually have some limits on how many times you can go to the dentist and what kinds of things you can have done.  Teeth whitening and other cosmetic work isn’t covered, but most of the services your family needs are taken care of with a small co-pay.  Depending on your budget, these plans work for most Americans as long as you are willing to pay on a monthly basis.

 A dental plan through your dentist is something a lot of the larger dental chains have started doing.  These plans are cheaper than insurance, but slightly more expensive than dental discount plans.  The biggest problem with getting one of these programs is that they only work at the dental chain you purchased it from.  If you have no preference about the state of your dental care then this isn’t a big deal, but many people don’t like the impersonal feel of ‘factory dental’.  Large chains have many dentists all working at the same location and it’s rare that you get to see the same dentist from visit to visit.

 Dental discount plans are also very common today and offer more than just dental benefits with their services.  Ameriplan and Aetna carry these kinds of benefits and they also include things like vision or hearing programs as well.  These plans are usually the least expensive on a monthly basis, but what you pay on a per visit basis is higher.  Discount plans are my personal favorites because they give the customer the greatest amount of choice in the care they receive.  Cosmetic dentistry is also included in these programs, but if you don’t want to pay for it you don’t have to.  There are also no limits on visits or services with a discount plan, so you can go as often as you like and have whatever work you want done depending on your budget.

 Paying for dental today has many choices, but as time goes on it becomes more the customer’s responsibility to arrange payment than it was in the past.  Employer based plans and insurance through the government are becoming less likely, but the need for us to go to the dentist is the same.  Maybe it’s for the best that we are given the full array of choices, but some people will always want to have things taken care of for them.  A bright white smile is something we all take pride in and paying for it will always be a difficult decision.  Taking care of your health is essential to a happy life and that includes you teeth and mouth.

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