Are Dentists Pushing Health Insurance or Membership Programs?

It seems that every time you go into a dentist’s office these days there are “membership clubs” or financing options. With more dentists being entrepreneurs and business owners, it makes sense they are trying to build their business from the financial side of things. No longer is it the case that all cleanings and crowns are covered by BCBSNC Dental. In fact, many health insurance plans do not even have dental insurance.

So, what can one expect out of a membership program or membership plan? Well, they are all a little bit different. You will have to get the specifics from your family dentist, but most offer two cleanings a year and the basics for $25 to $30 a month. When you calculate it out, you do end up saving money if you need more than just your basic cleaning. That said, if you have healthy teeth and rarely get cavities, these dental membership plans might not be right for you.

Here is an example of one plan in the Raleigh area:

Adult Membership ($25 per month):

  • 1 basic cleaning every 6 months*
  • 1-2 exams/year
  • X-rays as determined necessary
  • 1 emergency exam with X-ray/year
  • 10% off any needed treatment

Child membership ($23 per month):

  • 1 basic cleaning every 6 months*
  • 1-2 exams/year
  • X-rays as determined necessary
  • 1 emergency exam with X-ray/year
  • 1 Fluoride treatment/year
  • 10% off any needed treatment

You can easily calculate your yearly costs for going to the dentist and seeing if this type of plan is correct for you. Note that the cost of fluoride, X-rays and basic cleanings can differ greatly depending on the dental office. Keep this in mind before signing up for any membership plan.

You may also want to contact your insurance company or local insurance agent to see if they cover the cost of these services. You may be able to add dental insurance for cheaper than $25 a month. The only issue with that is the fact that some dentists might not be in your network and you may have to drive to a different dental office.

One thing is certain, oral health is very important. You can save some money, but we would strongly suggest making certain you are getting the proper oral care no matter what the cost.


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