The rising cost of living is creating a concerning trend of people deferring medical health check-ups, with the Australian dental fraternity concerned about the impact on oral healthcare. According to a survey of 25 000 people conducted by the Australian Dental Association, 58% of people had put off dental treatment in 2022. This can be detrimental in the long run as minor dental issues that could’ve been dealt with quickly will compound into much more complex and costly problems. However, there is an affordable dental care solution that many people are not aware of.
Traditional Options for Dental Care
Many people are aware of the two traditional dental care payment options; dental insurance and paying out-of-pocket. Here’s a quick look at how these compare, and what you get out of them.
Pros of Dental Insurance
- Financial security: If you have unexpected dental expenses, insurance will generally cover preventative care and certain procedures.
- Budgeting: You can plan the cost of insurance as it will remain fairly constant.
- Network: Agreements will be established between dentists and insurers for reduced rates.
Cons of Dental Insurance
- High costs: Private health insurance can still be expensive, plus you pay a deductible before coverage even starts.
- Limits: Insurance doesn’t cover all your costs, particularly if you need more extensive dental procedures.
- Delays: Certain plans have waiting times for procedures which can be harmful if you need urgent care.
Pros of Paying Out-of-Pocket
- Flexibility: You can choose which dentist you want to see and when.
- No limits: You pay for the services that you want and need, provided you have the money.
- No deductibles: You don’t have to wait about meeting a deductible before being treated.
Cons of Paying Out-of-Pocket
- Expensive: Paying out-of-pocket is fine for general procedures, but if you suddenly need extensive work, it’s really expensive.
- No discounts: You don’t benefit from discounted rates negotiated by insurers.
The Affordable Dental Care Solution You Didn’t Know About
What many people don’t know is there is an effective third dental care solution in the form of dental discount plans. Also known as dental savings plans, these are membership-based programmes where you enjoy discounts on dental services without the need for costly insurance.
You pay an annual fee to join a dental discount plan, and then get discounted rates through participating dental providers. These discounts will vary, depending on the discount plan you choose from and the provider you’re with, but you can benefit from discounts of up to 60% on dental services. Once you’re a discount member, you just present your membership card to the dental practice, and pay the discounted rates. You don’t have to worry about deductibles or procedures not being covered by your insurance.
Many dental discount plans will cover your preventative check-ups and cleanings, with savings on regular dentistry services such as:
- Cavity fillings
- Dental bridges
- Dental crowns
- Dental implants
- Fluoride treatment
- Gum grafts
- Root canal treatment
- Tooth extractions
Benefits of Dental Discount Plans
There are many great reasons to choose a dental discount plan when considering dental care payment solutions. These include:
- Affordability: Dental discount plans offer discounted rates on a range of dental services, with many dental practices participating in this valuable plan.
- No delays: Unlike with traditional dental insurance, there are no waiting periods for a discount dental plan, as soon as you sign up you’re all set.
- No maximums: Dental insurance often states there are annual maximum limits, but with a dental discount plan, you can get treatment throughout the year.
- No deductibles: There is no need to meet deductibles with a discount plan, as you would experience with insurance. You simply pay for the discounted rate when you have the treatment done.
- Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose from a wide range of providers and plans, which means you can shop around for the best deal.
- Comprehensive care: From preventative care to root canals and crowns, you enjoy comprehensive dental care with a discount plan.
- Easy to use: There are no complicated forms and requirements when signing up and using a dental discount plan, just show your membership card and pay the discounted rate.
How to Choose the Right Dental Discount Plan
Once you start researching, you will discover there are lots of dental discount plans available, so here are a few tips to assist you in choosing the right plan for you.
- Research your options: Go online and discover more about the discount plans available by comparing the benefits, features and costs.
- Provider network: For maximum benefit, you want a dental discount plan that has a broad network of providers in your area so you’re not travelling too far.
- Compare pricing: You need to know exactly how much you are paying for each service – if this isn’t clear, then rather look elsewhere.
- Fine print: As with any agreement, make sure you check the fine print thoroughly, considering any limitations or exclusions that could impact your oral health care.
- Your needs: If you have specific dental needs, then this must inform your decision when choosing the dental discount plan as you’ll need more comprehensive coverage.
- Recommendations: Ask around! Chat with your dentist, research plan recommendations, and ensure you’re going with a plan that has good reviews.
Dental discount plans are the affordable solution to necessary dental care that so many have been searching for. Don’t let financial concerns prevent you from getting the right dental care for yourself and your family.
Because Alexandra Hills Dental cares about your well-being, you will be presented with payment options to help you gain access to the treatment you need. The team also ensure that you are educated on dental habits to self-maintenance outside of the clinic.