Dental insurance vs dental plan. What’s the difference?

If you’ve ever had a round of expensive dental treatment, it might well be time to bite the bullet (courtesy of your new crowns) and arrange some dental insurance – here’s your guide to finding the best financial safeguard for your dental care.

Buy dental insurance or a dental plan

But where do you start?

The moment you type ‘dental insurance’ into Google, you’ll be faced with page after page of options.

Do you want dental insurance or a dental plan? Would a dental maintenance plan be best, or would dental implant cover be more appropriate?

And what about Denplan or tooth whitening cover?

The sheer number of choices will make your head spin.

To save you this stress, below are all the pros and cons we’ve learned about the different options. We hope they help you understand and choose the dental insurance or dental cover that’s best for you!

Dental insurance

Dental insurance is easily the most flexible option for someone who needs regular and – sometimes – specialist dental work.

You pay a monthly premium to an insurance company, and the cover can be for just you or for a number of people – usually your family.

Covering your dental costs

The thing to remember about dental insurance is that each insurer is different.

Some will cover NHS treatment only, but others will extend to private treatment too. There are usually limits about how much a policy will pay out in a year, and – rather like your car insurance – you can benefit from a no-claims bonus.

Most policies are open to you as long as you already have good teeth, and the beauty of them is that you can choose one that best suits your own dental requirements.

You can normally use any qualifying dentists you prefer and some policies will cover you when you’re abroad.

On the negative side, dental insurance can be expensive – especially if you intend to use private dentists and require a lot of dental work.

So, if you think dental insurance is for you, it’s important to keep your dental costs down. Spend a bit of time getting quotes from different providers so that you can compare what each offers for what price. You can then the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Dental Plan

A dental plan tends to be cheaper than dental insurance, but they have more restrictions on what dental costs they will cover – and sometimes on the dentist you can use.

Capitation schemes (like Denplan)

The most common type of dental plan is a capitation scheme such as Denplan, the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist. You pay your own dentist an agreed monthly fee, usually based on how much treatment you’re likely to need over a given year.

Consider a dental plan

In return your dentist will cover all routine and emergency treatment at no extra cost.

However, if you need extensive or specialist treatment, your dental costs may not be covered – so if this is likely to happen to you, it’s a good idea to consider dental insurance instead.

A similar type of scheme is known as a healthcare cashplan scheme.

Technically an insurance scheme, you pay a monthly premium and can use the plan to cover a variety of health costs – such as dental treatment, optician care, chiropractic therapy and so on.

However, the drawback is that cashplan schemes will only pay out up to about 75% of your dental costs – and only then up to an agreed limit. So if you use a private dentist, the payments are unlikely to make a significant dent in your dental bill.

Which to choose? Dental insurance or a dental plan

If you’re on a budget, dental plans could look like the best option – but be sure to shop around for good deals on dental insurance too.

And if you want maximum flexibility and peace of mind, dental insurance is almost certainly the choice for you – so why not look around for the best deals today?

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