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      November 13, 2019

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Dental Save vs Avia Dental

Best Dental Insurance Plans

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

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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.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2019

Dental Insurance Reviews

3.5 stars
Dental Save

DENTAL SAVE Visit Site

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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2.5 stars
Avia Dental

AVIA DENTAL Visit Site

Cost:

Plans start at $8.25/month or $99/year

$20 processing fee at time of registration

Benefits:

Prescription and Vision discounts included

Acceptance guaranteed

More than 40,000 dental providers

Annual and monthly payment options

Plans:

Discount Dental Plans

Avia Dental Plan has been in business since 1994 and is committed to helping individuals, families, and groups of any size to save money on dental care.

This service works as a discount dental plan and also includes discounts for prescriptions and vision expenses. You can expect to pay $8.25 per month or $99 per year for an individual, $12 per month or $144 per year for two people, and $13.25 per month or $159 per year for a family of 3 or more. All plans include a one-time $20 processing fee.

Avia has one of the lowest fee schedules on the market. This means that you will spend less money for your typical dental services. For example, Avia members will only pay $15 for a periodic oral exam, instead of the $50+ that most dentists charge for cash patients. An adult cleaning is only $35, and a children's cleaning and fluoride treatment costs $46. That could save you a lot of money for your routine care.

If you need something more involved like a root canal, you'll get even bigger savings as an Avia member. A molar root canal can easily cost upwards of $1100 if you're paying out of pocket, but with the Avia discount dental plan you'll only spend $490. That savings would easily pay for your membership with just one procedure.

We had some issues navigating the site. Specifically, when we tried to search for dental plans in our area by zip code, we were taken to a third-party site and told that our IP address disqualified us from their offer. We spoke with a very friendly Avia representative who said that it was a known issue and who walked us through a better route to get the information we needed (click on your state on the map, then click on the blue Sign Up Now button on the right side. Select your state in the dropdown box, and then scroll down past the sign up form to see detailed information about their discount plans in your state).

Unfortunately, despite having more than 40,000 dental providers who accept Avia dental plans, this provider doesn't offer coverage in a long list of states, which may include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

And, in our major metro area, there were only a few practices that came up as part of Avia's network of dentists. Those offices have a reputation of low-quality service, recommending unnecessary procedures, and not practicing a high standard of care with their patients. None of the dentists with a great reputation in our area were in Avia's network.

For that reason alone, Avia ranks at the bottom of the providers of dental insurance and savings plans in our review: there are just too many prospective customers who won't find what they need on this site, just because of where they live. And, even if Avia is available in your area and seems to be a good way to save money, you'll need to be sure that there's actually a dentist you trust that accepts their plans - otherwise you might wind up with subpar dental care that costs you more in the long run. We recommend that you consider the higher-ranked dental insurance and discount plans in our review.

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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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