Dental insurance works in much the same way that medical insurance works. For a specific monthly rate (premium), you are entitled to certain dental benefits, usually including regular checkups, cleanings, x-rays, and certain services required to promote general dental health. Some plans will provide broader coverage than others and some will require a greater financial contribution on your part when services are rendered. Some plans may also provide coverage for certain types of oral surgery, dental implants, or orthodontia.
There are two broad categories of dental insurance coverage:
The biggest weakness in the above systems becomes obvious with a cost-benefit analysis; and the biggest strength is the number of available dentists.
There is also the dental discount program to be considered when evaluating the appropriate choice for your family. These work differently: For a substantially lower premium you get substantially lower dentist fees, some (or all) of these prices are pre-contracted with the dentist.
The biggest weakness of these plans is the number of available dentists, and the biggest strength is program cost.
Much like major medical plans, none of these options are perfect, the question is: which one is best for me? When considering your dental insurance options, here are a few questions to ask yourself: