Dental Insurance in America – Common Misconceptions

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
August 25, 2014

Woman washing dishes with young child

Americans shopping for dental insurance often face conflicting reports and mixed messages about the various options available to them. At Spirit Dental, we believe that shoppers should be presented with all the facts to make informed decisions. So in upcoming stories/posts, we’ll explain some common misconceptions about dental insurance – and what you should look for to find the plan you need.  

Tom Mayer


Need for Dental Insurance
The National Association of Dental Plans reports that nearly 127 million Americans lack dental coverage -- more than a third of the U.S. population! But many people are coming to understand that preventive dental care – like other forms of preventive health care – not only helps them stay healthy, but also is more cost-effective. In fact, the American Dental Association reports that for every dollar spent on preventive dental care, Americans save $7 dollars later on.

However, shopping for dental insurance is not a walk in the park. Because so many Americans are unfamiliar with dental coverage options, many fail to understand what they’re getting when they sign on with a plan. The bottom line is that dental coverage plans often highlight the positive plan features and bury the problems in the fine print.

Discount Dental Plans vs. Fully Insured Plans
Discount dental plans, sometimes called dental price clubs, have been around since the early 1990s. They provide members with discounts on fillings, exams, routine cleanings, and other dental services.  Subscribers pay monthly or yearly membership fees and participating providers accept a pre-negotiated fee as payment for services, usually at the time of service. Discount plans are not insurance. Spirit Dental is insurance.

Annual Maximums for the 21st Century
Spirit Dental pays up to $3,500 of dental expenses per person each year, twice as much as many dental insurance plans.  Says Spirit Dental CEO Tom Mayer: “The 20th century dental insurance plan is dead!  The old days of your dental insurance plan only paying $1,000 a year are over.” With Spirit Dental plans, dental bridges, implants or root canals, which can cost thousands of dollars, are covered.  And don’t forget – no waiting!

Waiting Periods
Many dental insurance plans have waiting periods on major services, like crowns, bridges, dentures and implants. Some discount plans still subject members to a waiting period before their discount is applied. Spirit Dental has NO waiting periods on major services.

Provider Network Options
Many discount plans require the member to use a participating provider in a limited network. Spirit Dental insurance plans allow the freedom of choice to use a network provider or go to the dentist of your choice.

Spirit Dental or Discount Plan? You Be the Judge
If you want to choose your own dentist, schedule an immediate appointment, and receive expanded annual coverage, the choice is clear: Spirit Dental beats other dental insurance and discount plans.

  • Choose Your Own Dentist
  • No Waiting Periods for All Services
  • $1,200, $2,500 or $3,500 Annual Maximums
  • 3 Cleanings Covered Per Year

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