Not all dental insurance plans work the same way. PPO and EPO designs include a contracted amount that the provider agrees to accept as full payment for covered services.

If your provider charges more than what your plan approves or allows you could have reason to dispute the bill, or you may have to bite the bullet. Your fate depends on several factors.


Having dental insurance already in force makes care from a periodontist far more affordable. But what if you do not have coverage yet?

If your family dentist suggests that you need a deep cleaning (root planing and scaling), you probably have gingivitis and will need several procedures annually – possibly for years to come.

Get started with a plan today and be prepared should your gums need more intrusive and expensive treatment later on.


How much does it cost to have your teeth professionally whitened?

Having dental insurance already in place could save you about $100 off the first step, a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that might impede the chemical agents and lasers from doing their jobs.

Then, your choice of brands and the different systems each provides could impact the amount you pay out-of-pocket for a brighter smile.


Dental insurance plans share one thing in common: waiting periods and graded benefits make it less affordable to for new members with existing problems with their teeth – at the beginning.

The cost of filling a cavity without insurance ranges from $150 to $800 all-in. At some point, it pays to bite the bullet and start a new plan to avoid surprise expenses.


Does it make sense to put your hard-earned dollars into dental insurance when the plans pay so little for expensive treatments such as root canals, implants, braces and other involved procedures?

You can lose sight of the big picture if you only focus on the limiting factors such as the annual maximum, copayments, and waiting periods. Hidden cost savings from network discounts, costs avoided, and tax savings tip the scales.


People with and without insurance often have to turn to finance to pay for routine and one-time dental procedures. Borrowing money from your dentist is not always the ideal alternative.

Besides, your local practice will probably refer your file to a third-party company anyway, which means choosing between a loan with fixed installments or a credit card with flexible payments.


People without insurance will often look for local dentists that accepts payment plans thinking that an office with in-house financing gives them an edge.

This approach rarely works.

Most dental practices partner with patient finance companies so they can focus on oral care, and leave the underwriting and collections activities to a third-party company.


Supplemental dental insurance when combined with flexible spending accounts does something magical. Patients with bad credit can finance their treatments without a need to pull their consumer report.

In addition, the two programs dramatically reduce the after tax cost of the work. It is like getting a below zero interest rate loan.


Patients can utilize supplemental dental insurance as a hidden form of financial assistance to help cover treatment expenses. The programs work well for those able to wait.

Tap into government grants that hide themselves in the form of tax-deductible expenses. Sometimes creativity counts.


Dental plans do not work like other types of insurance. Members are simply pre-paying for services and do not gain protections from unforeseen expensive hazards that could wipe you out financially.

Most plans have an annual maximum benefit or other cost-sharing feature that limits what the company pays. Patients are on the hook for the remainder. Find strategies to cope.