Need a dental plan.....

Colleen

Active member
Location
Arizona
I would appreciate any suggestions about dental plans that you have or have had experience with.
 

Colleen

Active member
Location
Arizona
Original Poster
Dental plans are not that good. Suggest you look into a college dental school -excellent work and prices are about half what a private dentist charges.

There are no college dental schools any where near here so a "real" dentist is the only option. Besides, I went to a "teaching" dentist several years ago when we lived in another state and he was terribly rough. I never went back. We live close to MX and a LOT of seniors go down there for dental work because it's cheap but that's not an option for me, either o_O
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
I had bad teeth since birth. I've had a full dental reconstruction (all crowns) & 28 root canals. I've learned quite a bit about dentistry.
When I worked for an aerospace firm 37 years ago, I was relieved to have full medical & dental coverage. But I didn't know how bad it was. A large filling would come out every few months & the dentist would just replace them with a larger filling. I asked him why they keep coming out. He'd say, "Sometimes that happens." I didn't know much about medical insurance at the time, so I trusted him. After I left that job & my dental coverage stopped, I saw a private dentist & she spent 2 hours with me, explaining how dental insurance works & why it's such a bad idea for someone who needs anything other than simple cleanings.

With a dental plan, your provider has the option of the cheapest treatment available - and they will naturally go that route to increase profits. I got fillings instead of crowns because crowns are more expensive, even though my new dentist said NONE of my teeth should have been filled because a filling only stays in when the decay is small. That led to frequent infection, which led to every tooth needing a root canal.

If you only need cleaning, any dentist will do. But if you need more-serious work like crowns, I'd stay away from dental plans.
 

applecruncher

Well-known member
Location
Ohio USA
Anyone who only needs 'simple cleanings' can pay for it out of their pocket a lot cheaper that premiums for dental plans cost. Anyone who needs major dental work will quickly find that dental insurance will only pay a small fraction then the annual benefit will max out.
 

Don M.

Well-known member
Location
central Missouri
Dental Insurance, IMO, is a waste of money. I've had it for years, with 3 different companies, and it seems like they seldom pay out more than half the premiums. I'm in the process of getting a partial, and should know within a few weeks just how much the insurance will cover. If it goes as expected, I will probably wind up paying well over half the cost. If that is the case, I plan to drop them (Renaissance Dental), and just use the dental benefits in my Medicare Advantage plan....Humana covers the cleanings, and minor repairs. Over the years, it seems like I fork out over $400/yr. for dental insurance, and get $250 in benefits...if I'm lucky.
 

Colleen

Active member
Location
Arizona
Original Poster
I had bad teeth since birth. I've had a full dental reconstruction (all crowns) & 28 root canals. I've learned quite a bit about dentistry.
When I worked for an aerospace firm 37 years ago, I was relieved to have full medical & dental coverage. But I didn't know how bad it was. A large filling would come out every few months & the dentist would just replace them with a larger filling. I asked him why they keep coming out. He'd say, "Sometimes that happens." I didn't know much about medical insurance at the time, so I trusted him. After I left that job & my dental coverage stopped, I saw a private dentist & she spent 2 hours with me, explaining how dental insurance works & why it's such a bad idea for someone who needs anything other than simple cleanings.

With a dental plan, your provider has the option of the cheapest treatment available - and they will naturally go that route to increase profits. I got fillings instead of crowns because crowns are more expensive, even though my new dentist said NONE of my teeth should have been filled because a filling only stays in when the decay is small. That led to frequent infection, which led to every tooth needing a root canal.

If you only need cleaning, any dentist will do. But if you need more-serious work like crowns, I'd stay away from dental plans.

Thanks for the info! I had NO idea. Maybe I'll just take that money I was going to spend on a monthly plan and just put it away for when I need it :)

I've always had good teeth and only had a couple fillings over the years and, since I'm a big coward (because I've had some really bad experiences!) about dentists, I haven't gone much to a dentist for regular "maintenance". But a few months ago I had an infected gum and found out I need 2 teeth pulled!! I've been putting it off but I can tell it's got to be done. :(
 

fmdog44

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Texas
Mine is Ameritas 800 487 5553 or 877 667 6127 toll free
Why not talk to your dentist or any dentist and ask them what they would recommend?
 

fmdog44

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Texas
Thanks for the info! I had NO idea. Maybe I'll just take that money I was going to spend on a monthly plan and just put it away for when I need it :)

I've always had good teeth and only had a couple fillings over the years and, since I'm a big coward (because I've had some really bad experiences!) about dentists, I haven't gone much to a dentist for regular "maintenance". But a few months ago I had an infected gum and found out I need 2 teeth pulled!! I've been putting it off but I can tell it's got to be done. :(
An infected gum needs immediate attention
 

GreenSky

Active member
Location
Las Vegas
Here's the issue with dental. If it's an HMO you will almost be guaranteed to get bad dentistry and likely be talked into treatment not covered. PPO plans are more expensive and can have 12-18 month wait for other than minor treatment. Furthermore the maximum benefit is rarely more than $1,500. So after paying $40-50 for 18 months you can "hope" you need a root canal covered at 50%.

I prefer a discount plan for about $110 a year. You will save about 1/3 off retail (pretty much what Delta Dental authorizes), no waiting periods and no maximum benefit. The is what my wife and I have.

While this is available all over you can go to www.californiadiscountdental.com and search for your dentist in all 50 states. I do get a very small commission so I apologize in advance for self-promotion. If too many object I'll remove the post and let the original poster pay through the nose for insurance.

Rick
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
Thanks for the info! I had NO idea. Maybe I'll just take that money I was going to spend on a monthly plan and just put it away for when I need it :)

I've always had good teeth and only had a couple fillings over the years and, since I'm a big coward (because I've had some really bad experiences!) about dentists, I haven't gone much to a dentist for regular "maintenance". But a few months ago I had an infected gum and found out I need 2 teeth pulled!! I've been putting it off but I can tell it's got to be done. :(
Nobody actually likes going to the dentist. We all detest it but it’s a necessity. If your gums are infected and two teeth need pulling, thats something that shouldn’t be put off or it will get worse.

You can do this Colleen.
Put your big girl pants on and walk into that office and get what you need done. You’ll feel better for it.
It’s taking care of yourself which is most important.🥰
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
I had bad teeth since birth. I've had a full dental reconstruction (all crowns) & 28 root canals. I've learned quite a bit about dentistry.
When I worked for an aerospace firm 37 years ago, I was relieved to have full medical & dental coverage. But I didn't know how bad it was. A large filling would come out every few months & the dentist would just replace them with a larger filling. I asked him why they keep coming out. He'd say, "Sometimes that happens." I didn't know much about medical insurance at the time, so I trusted him. After I left that job & my dental coverage stopped, I saw a private dentist & she spent 2 hours with me, explaining how dental insurance works & why it's such a bad idea for someone who needs anything other than simple cleanings.

With a dental plan, your provider has the option of the cheapest treatment available - and they will naturally go that route to increase profits. I got fillings instead of crowns because crowns are more expensive, even though my new dentist said NONE of my teeth should have been filled because a filling only stays in when the decay is small. That led to frequent infection, which led to every tooth needing a root canal.

If you only need cleaning, any dentist will do. But if you need more-serious work like crowns, I'd stay away from dental plans.
28 root canals?
Ouch! Are they as painful as people say?
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
28 root canals?
Ouch! Are they as painful as people say?
Not if they're done right. There should be a little pain after, but nothing that can't be dealt with by taking aspirin or Tylenol or maybe Tylenol/Codeine. I only had one dentist do a bad root canal - he didn't go down far enough into the root & he left infection before sealing the tooth. That traps the remaining infection which has no place to go when it spreads & my face swelled up, then I got Sepsis which is frequently fatal, plus diabetic ketoacidosis which can also be fatal. After my 8 days in the ER & ICU, I made sure he paid dearly.
 

debodun

Well-known member
When I retired, I lost my dental insurance. I found the premiums on a dental plans cost more than just paying OOP. Alos consider not all dentists accept all insurance policies. However, if you need extensive or expensive dental car or procedures, this might change things. So far I've been lucky where teeth are concerned.
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
When I retired, I lost my dental insurance. I found the premiums on a dental plans cost more than just paying OOP. Alos consider not all dentists accept all insurance policies. However, if you need extensive or expensive dental car or procedures, this might change things. So far I've been lucky where teeth are concerned.
Important: A dental plan is even worse if you need extensive or expensive procedures. That's exactly where your insurer will cut costs - and put your health at risk.
 

GreenSky

Active member
Location
Las Vegas
Important: A dental plan is even worse if you need extensive or expensive procedures. That's exactly where your insurer will cut costs - and put your health at risk.
Not sure I completely agree, but generally dental insurance is a terrible buy. Waiting 18 months, paying $50 each month, and then 50% coverage for major work is absurd. Especially when most plans have a limit of $1,000 - $1,500.

I can't remember the last time any of my clients bought dental insurance. A discount plan like the one I posted earlier is a much better value.

Rick
 

Victor

Active member
Location
midwest USA
I would appreciate any suggestions about dental plans that you have or have had experience with.

Try a discount plan called DentalPlans that uses Carrington. I have been using it for a long time and it is
indispensable for me. Pay a annual fee under $200. That's all. However, only some dentists accept it in U.S
and you must search for them. Crowns are about half off.
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
Not sure I completely agree, but generally dental insurance is a terrible buy. Waiting 18 months, paying $50 each month, and then 50% coverage for major work is absurd. Especially when most plans have a limit of $1,000 - $1,500.

I can't remember the last time any of my clients bought dental insurance. A discount plan like the one I posted earlier is a much better value.

Rick
WHAT??? An 18-month wait? When you have a dental infection that needs immediate treatment? I waited 6 days before I went to the ER (because the dentist told me the pain was normal) & I could have died of sepsis by then.
On the other hand, if the patient dies, the insurer saves treatment costs.......
 

Olivia

Well-known member
Location
Hawaii
I always had a dental plan throughout my working life. And even then there was around a 1-year waiting period when first getting it. If not, then someone would only buy dental insurance when they started having dental problems. Yes, the usual yearly coverage limit is $1000 with my dental insurance provider, but that $1000 goes farther then one would think and the dentist gives you more because you do have the coverage. I don't let my coverage lapse and possibly would have to wait a year. But that's just me. But no one on some forum is going to change what I know has been good for me.
 

GreenSky

Active member
Location
Las Vegas
WHAT??? An 18-month wait? When you have a dental infection that needs immediate treatment? I waited 6 days before I went to the ER (because the dentist told me the pain was normal) & I could have died of sepsis by then.
On the other hand, if the patient dies, the insurer saves treatment costs.......
Not everything has an 18 month wait. And the company would save all costs if they stopped providing any coverage.

Seriously, it's not a conspiracy of you vs the company. I'm sorry you had a bad experience but blame the dentist you chose not the insurance company. They provide dollars not professional services.

Rick
 

GeorgiaXplant

Well-known member
Location
Georgia
I have Medicare Senior Advantage with Kaiser-Permanente, which is free, BUT I pay $15/month for the portion of Senior Advantage Plus that covers vision, dental, hearing. I signed up after the dentist I'd been seeing for the past 10 years told me I had to have all my teeth pulled and full dentures...approximate cost? Her portion $2700, oral surgeon's portion? Approximately $5,000. Kaiser's contract for dental is with Delta Dental, and Delta sent me to Great Expressions. Three fillings, two extractions and a lower partial later, I've spent $1100.

I'd had dental insurance years ago and it paid next to nothing and then only if your teeth were knocked out by a bale of purple nickels falling from the sky on an even-numbered day of an odd-numbered month during a leap year. At $25/month, I dropped it real quick and figured all dental plans were expensive and useless. I only started investigating again after the $7700 estimate from my old dentist.

So...check out a plan offered with your Medicare supplement. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
 

Butterfly

Well-known member
I've never had a dental plan that was worth the paper it was written on. A friend of mine did have a dental plan that she thought was great, but I checked into it and the dentist she went to under the plan charged her more for her portion than my dentist did for me paying the whole bills myself. I've got pretty good teeth, and the only thing I have done is the deep cleaning (which requires local anesthesia and has to be done in two different visits because they can't give anesthesia in your whole mouth at once or you can't swallow) and the fancy dentist on her plan charges over FOUR TIMES what my dentist does to do it.

I've been going to the same neighborhood practice forever and my present dentist is the son of the dentist I went to as a kiddo. When we were overseas, I'd even schedule my regular checkups, etc., for when we were home on leave. If this guy dies before I do, I'll go to his daughter, who is also a dentist.
 


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