PPO vs Indemnity Dental Insurance Plans: Which One Is A Better Choice For You?

Dental Health
By:Spirit Dental
June 2, 2015

Updated Feb 2023

Most often than not, individuals end up with the wrong dental insurance plan due to a number of reasons. When it comes to dental insurance options, some individuals may not be well-informed on what their choices are, and some individuals, on the other hand, just choose the cheapest plan they can find, without taking into consideration what their needs are. Unfortunately, there is still a huge majority of those consumers who pass up on getting dental insurance.

This is probably because they have this common notion that dental health is expensive, and that they’d rather pay for dental fees upfront, whenever they needed it, rather than pay for something that they feel they won’t be able to make use of. The truth is, it is the other way around. With the right dental insurance plan, you can bring more value to your money and be able to have bigger savings at the same time. This is one of the common misconceptions that everyone should become aware of.

If you’re considering getting dental insurance for you and your family, you need to become aware of the two major types when comparing dental insurance plans: PPO plans and indemnity plans. Let’s know more about these and understand their differences so you can make the right choice.


PPO or preferred provider organization plan is one of the most common types and is often sought by the majority of individuals and establishments. This kind of plan usually offers a huge network of dental service providers at discounted rates.

If you’re planning on getting a PPO, a fixed monthly premium needs to be settled. The dental insurance provider then pays for the basic medical and/or dental benefits fees. Depending on the type of PPO plan you get, these types usually have a deductible. As soon as care is given, the dental office will then send a bill to the carrier.

For those clients who would look to look for dental care outside the network of service providers, they are free to do so. However, take note that since they’re not part of the network, consumers might find the need to pay more.


Indemnity plans, on the other hand, do not have network provisions at all. When you’re under this type of dental insurance, your insurer will then reimburse you the total amount that you have paid for, regardless of the dental clinic. For instance, if you are on an indemnity insurance plan and visited the clinic for a dental cleaning, your plan will indicate a flat amount that the insurer will handle. Fees that go beyond the flat amount shown in your plan needs to be shouldered by the account holder.

Because there are no benefits and coverage, people with this type of insurance usually pay more. However, if you’re living in rural areas and the majority of the dental providers that are covered by PPO are inaccessible from your area, indemnity plan might be a better option for you.

Understanding what your needs are and what the differences of these plans will help you determine which plan works well for you and not just for your budget, but for your expectations and requirements overall. If in doubt, you can always ask your dental care provider or insurance specialist on what your options are, have them explain the pros and cons, and base your decision from there.  If you’re curious about your insurance options and what Spirit Dental & Vision can offer you, get a quote today.

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