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      January 29, 2020

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Dental Insurance vs Dental Save

Best Dental Insurance Plans

To help you find the Best Dental Insurance Plans, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Dental Insurance and Dental Save.

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Where can you get the best dental insurance? If you're one of the 74 million Americans who aren't covered by an employer or government plan, chances are you've asked yourself that question recently. One big reason people avoid dental insurance is because those plans can be expensive.

The price for dental insurance can vary depending on where you live, but it's not uncommon for a basic cleaning to cost $100 - and that doesn't include the x-rays, the exam, or the cost of any repair work or fillings the dentist discovers during your visit. Fortunately, you can purchase your own coverage.

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Best Reviews

2020

Dental Insurance Reviews

5 stars
Dental Insurance

DENTAL INSURANCE

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Cost:

Plans start at $6.95/month

Benefits:

Plans from at least 9 different providers

Vision plans also available

Plans:

Dental Insurance

Discount Dental Plans

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Dental Insurance is the internet's best resource for both kinds of dental coverage: traditional insurance and discount plans. When using the Dental Insurance site to shop for coverage, you'll have access to a variety of providers.

In our testing, we found plans offered by the following providers:

  • AmeriPlan
  • Ameritas
  • Argus
  • Delta Dental
  • Guardian
  • HumanaOne
  • Nationwide
  • Renaissance
  • Solstice

You start by entering your zip code to find plans in your area. Then, if you know you want a particular provider, you can select from the filters on the left side of the page. These filters also let you sort your options by Plan Type (such as Dental HMO, Dental Prepaid, Discount Card, Indemnity, or PPO) or Monthly Cost.

Naturally, your monthly or annual costs will vary depending on the dental coverage you select, but at the time of our review the lowest-priced plan in our region was the discount card offered by Argus. For $6.95/month for an individual or $14.95 for households of 2+ members, your coverage would include $50 cleanings, $80 fillings, $640 for a crown, and unlimited use of discounts.

The lowest-priced dental insurance plan in our area was also offered by Argus as an HMO. Monthly premiums ranged from $7.95 for an individual to $21.55 for a family of 3 or more, and sample pricing for services included free cleanings, $80 fillings, and no plan maximum or waiting period.

We like how this site spells out very clearly the basic information about each plan, with further details and a dentist provider search just a click away - although we would love to see Dental Insurance add a feature that allows you to search for a dentist and then see which plans are accepted by his or her office. Be sure to pay attention to the first box below each provider name: that's where you can see right away if it's a traditional dental insurance plan or a discount card.

We really appreciate the section that tells you any deadlines for getting coverage. For example, the Argus plan mentioned above required us to apply by the 25th of the month to get coverage on the first day of the following month, while AmeriPlan usually becomes effective within 48 hours of submitting the application.

You can select up to three plans to see a detailed comparison, if you're having trouble narrowing down your choices. We strongly encourage you to verify that there are dentists in your area that accept the plan you choose before making your purchase. For instance, the Argus dental insurance mentioned above was listed as available in our area, but the provider search turned up no participating dentists in our area.

Dental Insurance is operated by Kelsey National Corporation, which has been in business for over 50 years. The company has a stellar "A+" rating with the BBB and zero registered complaints as an accredited business there. This service also has licensed insurance agents available via toll-free number, Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm Pacific Time, if you need help getting a quote, finding the right plan, or enrolling in the plan you've selected.

There's just no easier way to shop for traditional dental insurance and discount dental plans than the Dental Insurance site. No matter what type of coverage you want, this service will help you get the right plan for you, your significant other, or your whole family. Dental Insurance earns our highest ranking and is our recommended choice when shopping for dental insurance coverage.

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3.5 stars
Dental Save

DENTAL SAVE

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Cost:

Plans start at $9.99 per month or $99 per year

NO activation fee on yearly plans; $20 activation fee on monthly plans

Benefits:

Prescription, Vision and Hearing Discounts included

50,000 dental locations through Dental Save and Careington networks

No waiting period: discounts are effective from day one of membership

Plans:

Discount Dental Plans

Dental Save is a discount dental plan that "works like a wholesale price club for dental care", giving members access to discounts up to 50% on all dental procedures in their network.

Most of the providers included in the Dental Save plans use the Careington network, so we encourage you to read our review on that company and determine if it would make more sense to go directly through Careington or to use Dental Save for its other benefits. Some of these extras that are included are Hearing; Vision and Prescription discounts are included in both Dental Save and Careington plans.

Pricing with Dental Save is straightforward. On the main Pricing page, it's easy to toggle between yearly and monthly plans. Here's what you can expect to pay for this dental care discount program:

  • Individual: $99/year or $9.99/month + $20 activation fee
  • Dual: $165/year or $14.95/month + $20 activation fee
  • Family: $199/year or $17.95/month + $20 activation fee

When we visited the Dental Save website, we got a pop-up offering us a discount of 15% on our plan subscription if we entered our email address.

Figuring out what you'd pay for service can be time-consuming. Once you have a list of providers in your area, you can see the network in which they participate and the fee schedule used by their office. Almost every single in-network dentist in our major metro area used the Careington POS network with a CI-4 fee schedule. If you're scratching your head, wondering what a CI-4 fee schedule is, you're not alone. We had to go to the Careington site and pull up a PDF of prices.

Here's what we found there. A preventative visit like cleaning (for an adult) would cost $55, while fillings would be somewhere between $84 and $92. How much would those cost out-of-pocket at your dentist's office? In our area, the average cost for the cleaning alone would easily be $100. So, for a family of 6, you could spend $600 for those cleanings, or pay the $200/year in Dental Save premiums and $330 for the cleanings. That saves you a total of $70, just on cleanings. You'll save more if you need fillings or more extensive procedures.

We found a few stray typos on the Dental Save site that made this service feel less experienced and professional than some of their competitors. ("Countinue whitout 50% off" and "Lear More" on a pop-up, for example. We also got a chuckle out of an image used on the Fee Schedules page that showed a charge for a "temporary feeling" instead of "filling")

On a positive note, the company has been in business for nearly 40 years and had an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau at the time of our review. Better yet, there were absolutely no complaints registered with the BBB regarding this dental care discount program. That's a big part of the reason behind our 3.5-star rating for this dental discount plan: despite the typos and the fact that they primarily offer Careington plans that can be purchased directly, this company has a good reputation for customer service.

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Continued from above

When it comes to Dental Insurance, you have two main options: traditional dental insurance or discount dental plans. With dental insurance, it works as you'd imagine you pay a monthly premium, and you may or may not have an annual deductible.

On the other hand, discount dental plans give you access to savings on dental services and are often valid for use from the day you pay for coverage. Many of these dental savings plans have options for further discounts on vision, hearing, prescriptions, and even telemedicine services.

So, what's the advantage of using one over the other? It really depends on what you're looking for. Many people like the security of a traditional dental insurance policy, because they're already familiar with how they work. However, a growing number of consumers are opting for discount dental plans: even though you have to pay at the time of service, the amount you save compared with paying 100% out of pocket can be significant.

No matter which type of dental coverage you need, what should you consider as you choose the right provider and plan for you or your family? Here are several criteria to keep in mind:

  • Type of Plans Available. If you already know you want a discount dental plan or traditional dental insurance, does the site offer it? How many providers are included? Can you choose from a wide range of plans, premium levels, and options?
  • Pricing. What will you pay for your coverage? Do you have the option to pay monthly or annually as you prefer? Will the dental insurance or discount plan save you enough money to justify the premiums and any enrollment fees?
  • Reputation. What do others have to say about their experience using the service and/or the plans provided? Is the company rated by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Support. Many dental insurance websites have licensed agents available to help you with your decision, assist you in completing the enrollment, and so on. How easy is it to get help if you need it?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Dental Insurance and discount dental plans available today. We hope this information helps you find the best coverage for a healthy smile at the right price!

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