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Dentists And Discount Dental Plans

In todayís economy, dentists are struggling to get their patients to keep up with necessary procedures and office visits, as dental insurance becomes more of a luxury than a typical benefit of an American workplace. Are discount dental programs the solution?

If you are one of the millions of people currently unable to afford insurance, but still want to keep yourself in good health, you may be looking around at the various alternatives to a pricey insurance plan. One alternative is to purchase a dental plan, which provides you with visits to a dentistís office at a reduced cost. However, there are some definite pros and cons to participating.

Since the only thing being offered is a reduction of the dental service costs, purchasing one of the plans is fairly simple. There is no paperwork or forms to fill out and the only qualification is that you can afford to pay the fee each month. Also, these plans can be customized to include anyone in the household, regardless of marital status or relationship. The application itself generally involves minimal information, and clearly lists the treatments available and the fees or discounts that accompany it.

Customers will still have to spend time shopping around for the best dentists or practice to suit their individual needs. Members should also keep in mind that practitioners participating in the plan are only offering the advertised discount on the usual office fees, but the services may cost more or less than their competitors, regardless. For example: Dr. Smile and Dr. Grin are both plan members, and each offers the same 20 percent discount, but Dr. Grinís office visit is higher than Dr. SmileĎs, even with the discount. Also, not all procedures are deeply discounted, and some of the most expensive aspects of dental care arenít reduced, as many people hope.

The discounts save cash-strapped families money, while also allowing them to receive dental care they might not be able to afford otherwise. For many of these plans, the monthly charge, called a subscriberís fee, is relatively low, and is divided between the plan administration and the dentists. He or she, in turn, agrees to provide reduced cost cleanings, x-rays, exams and other procedures. The advantage for large families, or those experiencing financial hardship, is they may receive their annual checkups, teeth cleanings and similar necessary services at minimal out of pocket expense

Many fear the downside of these programs is that there is the potential for the quality of the dentistís work or patient care to be compromised in the name of volume and affordability, as he is still required to pay for the office space and the staffís salary, regardless of the reduced income provided by the dental plan. Also, in some cases, dentists may work on a commission system, seeing and treating as many patients as possible to maximize their income and making the program of benefit to them. It always pays to do some serious research before committingFind Article, which will help you avoid encountering these pitfalls.

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