SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

December 12, 2016 09:10 ET

Dental Savings Plans May Be the Answer to the Oral Health Care Crisis

:DentalPlans' Member Survey Provides Insight into Savings and Usage

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - December 12, 2016) - Lack of access to dental care has been identified as a growing public health care crisis, especially for those who are uninsured or under-insured. And those without dental benefits report higher incidences of illnesses that can severely impact their health and overall wellbeing.

Dental savings plans provide an affordable option for the uninsured and under-insured. With a dental savings plan, members gain access to a network of dentists who have agreed to offer reduced rates to plan members -- typically 10%-60% off the cost of virtually all dental care needs and treatments.

In a recent poll by :DentalPlans, the leading online marketplace for dental savings plans, approximately half (54.3%) of members surveyed saved $101-$500 on their dental care annually. Nearly a third (28.3%) saved more than $500 annually. With such savings and other plan benefits, 91% of members surveyed find their dental savings plan to be a good value.

And, the majority (87.5%) of dental savings plan members visit the dentist at least twice per year. Doing so helps to decrease their risk for heart attack, stroke and other diseases that are linked to gum disease.

According to a dental crisis report, lack of access to dental care has been identified as a growing public health care crisis. People without dental benefits report higher incidences of other illness:

  • 67 percent are more likely to have heart disease;
  • 50 percent are more likely to have osteoporosis; and
  • 29 percent are more likely to have diabetes

"Several surveys have shown that those with a dental savings plan visit the dentist more regularly than those without it, helping them to avoid an oral health crisis and save more money in the long-run," said Bill Chase, vice-president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "Not only will they save on their visits and procedures -- some have quoted thousands in savings -- with their plan, but they will also help to avoid more painful and larger procedures, which can be even more costly."

The increased usage or dentist visits with a dental savings plan presents a striking contrast to the more than one-third of Americans who are unable to afford or access dental treatment, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. And people without dental benefits, many of which are among the 738,000 Americans that head to emergency rooms for dental treatment annually, delay prevention and early treatment. This results in oral diseases and for some, excruciating pain.

Members indicated that the top reasons for not seeing a dentist regularly is the cost of care, with 37.6% saying they could not fit the expense into their budget. Lack of dental insurance was the other primary reason as 35.3% did not have coverage.

Dental savings plan members said that they opted to join a savings plan because:

  • They do not have traditional dental insurance and need dental coverage (65.8%)
  • They felt a dental savings plan was a better value than traditional dental insurance (24.2%)

Most of the members surveyed use their dental savings plan for the following:

  • Preventative care, such as check-ups, cleanings, x-rays, etc. (92.2%)
  • Restorative care, such as root canals, crowns, fillings, etc. (70.3%)
  • Dentures/Implants (12.3%)

"The stories we hear from members about living with dental pain and embarrassment due to missing and decayed teeth are heartbreaking," said Chase. "Thankfully, we can help them reclaim their smiles and oral health."

Unlike dental insurance, dental savings plans do not impose waiting periods before members can save on dental care. And there are no annual spending limits -- many dental insurance policies limit coverage to $1,000-$1,500 annually. In contrast, dental savings plan members can use their plans to save at the dentist as often as they need to do so.

Find out more about dental savings plans on dentalplans.com.

About :DentalPlans
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Twitter (PR), Pinterest and YouTube.

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