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Believe it when I say "Dental Insurance" can be complex.  I see several areas of commonality with clients when they look for dental insurance.  They are:

  1. Does my dentist accept the plan?
  2. How expensive is it?

Often enough, the more expensive the dental premium the more likely that your dentist is in the network.  Why is that and why do you need to know the reason?  Well...dental insurance is a little different in how it handles providers in a dental field when you look at health insurance carriers and how they handle medical doctors.  Dentist have more pull in general with insurance companies because their services are more frequently used rather than your "medical doctor".  Plus there are not that many dentists around which means more demand for higher pay rates for the dental insurance carrier.  They (established dentists) are popular so people just don't buy a policy that isn't accepted by their dentist.  Sound familiar?  This type of plan and scenario is comparable to Dental Select Insurance Company and the many plans it offers.  The dental premium is more expensive BECAUSE they have a large and expansive dental network.  They control losses (in case you are curious) by implementing what I call "stop losses".  In other words they pay up to a predetermined amount for a particular dental service and nothing more.  The balance usually gets billed to you by your dentist.

NOW...there is another side of the coin.  Total Dental Insurance Company has a limited dental network because the fee schedule is not as FAT as "Dental Select Insurance Company".  As you compare the dental plans between "Dental Select" and "Total Dental" you will find they are very similar if not identical in many areas. BUT your long time dentist may not accept "Total Dental".  So why would you consider changing dentist and even enrolling into "Total Dental"?  Well....the newer dentist are guys starting out that have incentive to enroll and participate as a provider for "Total Dental" because they are guaranteed customers which helps grow their practice.  I could even argue that these "new guys" are trained in newer technology and better procedures than "grandpa" (my own personal opinion and experience).  However...do you want a "new guy" to learn through trial and error on you? 

It all comes down to this:

  1. What can you afford that makes sense for you and your family? Can you afford to keep your current dentist and pay premiums with "Dental Select"?  Or can you take time to visit and get to know a new dentist with "Total Dental"?  See the rates here to compare.
  2. If your family age group is young to middle age you probably need a good dental plan.  If you don't want to purchase a good dental plan find a good loan officer.
  3. If your family age group is older than you may consider funding catastrophic dental work through a HSA account. and get a tax deduction.  Wells Fargo banking can set you up for reasonable rates ($3.75 per month)
  4. If you are a college student go to "Total Dental".
  5. If you are a single mom struggling from pay check to pay check go to "Total Dental".
  6. If you have a limited "insurance budget". Judge which you use more and buy the better between the two. In other words...you go to dentist allot and don't want to change dentists? Than buy "Dental Select" and change your health insurance policy into a catastrophic plan to lower your overall insurance expenditures.
  7. Stay away from "Discount Dental Plans".  They are a gimmick.