Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dental plans - are they a good thing?

With many dentists now offering payment plans and a range of plans available from a number of providers, are they a good thing for patients?
Where dental payment plans are concerned, we can be clear about one thing - they are good for dental practices.  Firstly, they ensure that patients will return to the practice for their routine check ups and secondly, they provide a stable income for the practice.  However, their benefits to patients are less clear.

There are a number of different types of dental plan including:
  • Capitation schemes which provide cover for all dental treatments
  • Maintenance schemes which cover routine maintenance such as check ups and hygienist sessions and give discounts on other treatments
  • Insurance schemes which, typically, give cash payments of a proportion of the treatment cost
When choosing the best plan for you, there are a number of questions to consider:
  • What is the monthly premium/payment and how does this compare with existing expenditure on dental care?
  • What is covered and what will you have to pay extra for for.  Extras may include policy excesses, a proportion of the treatment cost, laboratory bills etc.
  • What happens if I don't make a claim or miss a checkup?  Normally, you will not be given credit for the missed appointments.
  • What are the alternatives.  If your dentist offers credit facilities, it may be cheaper for you to belong to a basic maintenance plan which offers a discount on treatment and spread the cost of more costly treatments via extended finance rather than belong to a full capitation plan which you may make little use of.
At AllClear, we offer a range of maintenance plans.  Unlike many other dental plans, every penny you pay is credited to your account with us and the cost of your check ups and hygienist sessions is debited to this as and when you attend.  In this way, if you miss a check up or hygienist session, your money is held and can be used against other treatments.  We'll also give you 15% discount on most treatments.  For further details, call in, phone 020 8688 3869 or see our website.

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