Dental care can take a big bite out of your wallet.
Even if you have dental insurance, coverage can be a costly problem. Most policies are designed to cover preventive care and have a $1,000 annual maximum. And, traditional Medicare plans do not cover most dental care services.
So, all it takes is one or two jaw-dropping procedures – like a couple of root canals with crowns – and you could be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.
To keep up with appointments and save money at the dentist, many Americans use discount dental plans (also known as dental savings plans). The facts and statistics below, courtesy of the 2017 Discount Health Care Programs Report, provide a glimpse into the need, value and usage of these non-insurance programs.
- The number one reason people say they do not go to the dentist more often is because "the cost of services is too high."
- Discount dental plans offer 10% to 60% off the regular cost of dental care procedures at participating dentists across the country.
- There are no dollar limits on how much a consumer can use a discount dental plan membership.
- There are no waiting periods before a consumer can use a discount plan membership.
- The national average cost of a crown at the dentist is $782.04 for a self-pay patient. The national average for that same procedure for a discount dental plan member is $484.75.
- Dentists estimate that 10% of all dental patients pay for procedures through a discount dental plan.
- Both consumers and providers report that more than 70% of discount dental plan members save over 40% on services (with median savings of 50 – 60%).
- More than 60% of discount dental plans cost less than $200 for an annual membership—as compared to 37% of traditional dental insurance policies.
- Over 60% of discount dental plan members have been a member for longer than one year.
- Twenty-six percent of discount dental plan members obtained membership through their employer.
For more information and statistics about discount health care programs, including discount dental and vision plans, click here to download the 2017 Discount Health Care Programs Report.