If you want dental insurance but the cost is making you reconsider, you might be interested in a discount dental plan. We’ll explore this type of dental plan, including what’s covered, what’s not, and how much you can expect to pay:

What are they?


Discount dental plans (also known as reduced fee-for-service plans) aren’t a type of insurance. Instead, they offer discounts on dental services with a group of participating dentists. Essentially, you can enjoy basic dental care without needing to invest in a costly insurance plan or paying the full cost of the service, as with a discount plan, they are offered at a reduced rate.

How much do they cost?


The proportion of the fee that you need to pay with a discount dental plan is likely to be more than the proportion you’ll pay in a PPO or DHMO insurance plan. However, you won’t have to pay a deductible, and there aren’t any annual limits to worry about. Plus, their monthly premiums are much lower than other types of dental insurance plans.

What can you receive coverage for?


Discount dental plans tend to provide coverage for all types of dental care. Preventative (x-rays, cleaning, routine exams), basic (fillings) and major (root canals, crowns, dentures, complex oral surgery) procedures will all be discounted, although the rates at which they’re discounted by depends upon the specifics of your plan.

What might not be included?


Although specialist dental treatments may be available, many discount dental plans won’t include them. Before you choose a plan, you should check to see whether the treatment that you need is included. If you’re an elderly person, for instance, you should try to find a plan which covers dentures.



Is a discount dental plan right for me?


There are plenty of reasons why a discount dental plan might be the right choice for your oral healthcare needs:

  • You don’t have to worry about the paperwork or waiting periods which are commonplace in many dental insurance plans and can be extremely frustrating to deal with. With a typical dental insurance plan, the waiting periods might prohibit you from receiving immediate care. With a discount dental plan, that’s not an issue. Instead, you simply pay the discounted fee and receive your treatment.
  • There’s no annual limit, which means that you can receive as much dental care as you need and can pay for.
  • They tend to include a wide variety of dental procedures, sometimes including cosmetic dental treatment, which isn’t usually covered by PPO or DHMO insurance plans.
  • You don’t have to worry about being excluded from care due to a prior condition. Most discount dental plans won’t discriminate on this basis, so you’re still able to receive discounted treatment.

However, discount dental plans aren’t without drawbacks:

  • They aren’t very flexible, and your choice of dentists will be restricted. You’ll have to stick to a small group, and you won’t have anywhere near the same level of choice as you would with a standard PPO plan.
  • You’ll have to pay a higher proportion of the costs than you would with a DHMO or PPO dental plan. On average, you’ll pay anything from 10% to 60% of the fee. This is still a substantial saving, but it’s not quite as high as it would be under another type of dental insurance plan.



Many people find that the costs that they end up paying for their dental insurance aren’t proportionate to the number of claims that they make. Over a long period, the money can mount up, and you might find that downscaling your dental plan is a better option. Discount dental plans offer an alternative solution. Instead of paying high premiums, deductibles and having your dental care capped with an annual maximum, a discount dental plan is a great way to maintain a high standard of dental care while saving money.

Looking for a discount dental insurance dentist in your local area? Get in touch with Ascent Family Dental today!



Dr. Scott Williams

2021 Ascent Family Dental