We know you care about your smile, and we want to help you keep it in the utmost health. We’re accomplishing this in the best way we know how – by making dental care more affordable for you and your family.
Some large companies offer dental insurance benefits to their employees. Do you work for one of them? If not, you might be one of the more than 108 million Americans who lack dental insurance, according to “Oral Health Update in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.” This is more than 2.5 times the number of Americans who don’t have medical insurance.
Many people without dental plans simply avoid the dentist to save money, but if your teeth hurt, this is not a practical option. You need to see a dentist right away, and you don’t want to take out a second mortgage on your home to do this.
No matter how healthy your teeth are, you never know when you might fall and chip a tooth or wake up one day with excruciating pain because you forgot to floss out that piece of popcorn last night. Dental emergencies can happen to anyone, and you want to be prepared. Some common dental emergencies include:
- Particles lodged between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Lost filling or crown
- Loose or partially dislodged tooth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Tissue injury
In these situations, you can’t simply go get a job with one of those companies, pay high premiums, wait for dental coverage to begin and then find out that insurance does not cover treatment for injuries incurred before signing the policy. You need something now – a dental plan for individuals could help solve this problem for you.
Preventing Oral Problems
Financial burdens caused more than 50% of uninsured and 30% of insured Americans to skip necessary oral care visits during the last year (2009 Harris Interactive/HealthDay Poll). You might avoid oral care visits to save money, but you may not realize that by avoiding the dentist, you could set yourself up for some even bigger costs later on. A dentist can recognize oral decay and gum disease before it gets serious, and the cost to fix it will be much lower in these early stages. If you don’t want cavities or periodontitis to sneak up on you, schedule a checkup and cleaning with the dentist every six months to a year.
Almost 75% of American adults have some form of gum disease and are not even aware of it, according to the American Dental Hygienist Association. Gum disease comes in two stages:
- Gingivitis is reversible and can easily be treated. Common signs include red or swollen gums, bleeding in the mouth and sensitive gum line.
- Periodontitis can be treated and stopped, but not reversed. At this point, the gum infection beneath the surface has begun to attack the bone structure of the teeth and possibly the jaw.
Scientists have linked advanced gum disease with other more severe illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. You can reduce the likelihood of suffering from these diseases later in life by taking good care of your mouth.
Add these simple steps into your oral hygiene regimen to help maintain a healthy mouth for you and your family.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day – once before breakfast when you wake up and once right before you go to bed. Use a soft-bristle brush to avoid wearing down the enamel.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day – preferably right before bedtime. Make sure you really rub the strand against the surface of each tooth to scrape off plaque.
- Swish with mouthwash at least once a day – Look for one with fluoride and antibacterial properties. The consistent habit will make your mouth fresh and healthy and rinse out any lingering food particles.
- Eat healthy – Don’t micromanage, but watch what you eat. Certain foods (like strawberries) are especially good for your teeth, but some foods (like sugary desserts) can actually damage your teeth by creating a perfect atmosphere for acidic reactions on your enamel.
- Drink plenty of water – Lack of hydration actually contributes to a dry mouth condition called xerostomia, which makes your mouth the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. If saliva can’t wash food particles away, they’re going to sit between your teeth and cause acidic reactions.
On the Job
Roughly just 48% of the U.S. workforce can obtain a dental plan through their employer, although 74% have access to comparable medical-only benefits (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
If you do receive dental benefits from your workplace, you may want to be aware of some future changes you might encounter. People are cutting back on expenses, and that includes your employer. Dental insurance is one of the first benefits employers are looking to cut back.
It gets worse.
More than 66% of employers said they would have to raise the cost of their plans next year, and 27% of employers said it would cause them to make their insurance coverage less generous (National Business Group on Health / Towers Watson). That’s not good news for you, the employee. Essentially, you have to pay more money.
In addition to general changes, 28% of companies have opted to charge extra to add a spouse to insurance plans. Next year, 12% of employers plan to shift to high-deductible insurance coverage to save money (National Business Group on Health / Towers Watson). As a result, you will have to pay a lot more money before your insurance will contribute anything.
You may have access to a dental plan through your employer, but you might also want to investigate a dental plan for individuals so that when the time comes, you’re not suddenly responsible for an enormous deductible.
Imagine this scenario: You’ve opted out of your employer’s dental insurance because you can’t afford it (OR Your company doesn’t offer insurance). One day, you come home from work just in time to watch your little boy ride his tricycle into the side of the house. He chips his tooth and cries all evening. He’s obviously in pain, but after rent earlier that week, you don’t have the cash to fund an expensive trip to the dentist. You could scramble for some insurance, but he needs help immediately. In a quick Internet search, you stumble across a company that sells dental discount plans – effective immediately! You sign up, pay the low fee and get an emergency appointment with a dentist in the network without having to wait for approval or eligibility. Your son’s tooth gets fixed, and your wallet is no worse for the wear.
Options for Individuals: (Insurance, Discount Plans)
As an individual, you have several options for making dental care more accessible.
1. Preferred Provider Organization – A PPO plan gives you access to specified prices and discounts within a network of oral health professionals. These dentists and specialists provide service only to those within the PPO network, but policyholders can visit dentists out of the network at a higher cost. This plan typically has higher premiums and deductibles, however, and you are restricted to a yearly maximum of coverage.
2. Dental Health Maintenance Organization – A DHMO plan gives members access to a network of dentists and specialists for a fixed monthly fee regardless of how much treatment is needed that month. Preventive work is often provided for free, but you are assigned to a dentist. You may not get the best care, because the dentist is paid per patient regardless of the treatment’s intensity, and they might rush to the next patient.
3. Indemnity – Traditional indemnity plans reimburse the patient or the dental provider for services rendered. You typically can choose from any dentist, but these plans rely on high deductibles and limited yearly maximums to fund their payouts.
4. Discount Plan – For a low monthly fee, discount plans give you access to discounts within a large network of dentists. There is no yearly maximum. You pay a discounted price directly to the dentist, eliminating the long, complicated claims process.
The Careington 500 Series dental plan for individuals can help lower the cost of dental visits for you and your family.
Why Your Dental Health is Important
Your dental health is important, and the best way to maintain it is by visiting the dentist regularly. Almost 75% of American adults have some form of gum disease and are not even aware of it, according to the American Dental Hygienist Association. If you don’t treat gum disease early, it can eat away at your bone structure to destroy your teeth and even your jaw bone. Poor dental health can also contribute to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease, not to mention discomfort and even poor self-image. Take action to prevent serious dental problems by getting regular checkups and cleanings. Let your dentist check for signs of oral disease or decay so you can get it treated early.
Why You Should Consider a Discount Plan
Whether you need extensive oral reconstruction or you simply want to incorporate regular checkups into your routine, a discount dental plan can save you more money than an insurance plan.
- Discount dental plans for individuals have no yearly maximum, whereas insurance plans for individuals limit you by compensating only a certain amount of money per year.
- Discount dental plans for individuals have a low monthly fee, whereas insurance plans for individuals charge high monthly or yearly premiums.
- Discount dental plans for individuals let you pay the dentists directly at a discounted price, whereas insurance plans for individuals require you to file a claim and wait for reimbursement.
- Discount dental plans for individuals allow you to obtain discounted treatment for pre-existing conditions, whereas insurance plans for individuals typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
- Discount dental plans for individuals cost you less in the long-run. You only pay for the treatment you need rather than paying in advance in the form of high premiums.
Why You Should Choose Careington
The Careington 500 Series discount dental plan for individuals could be a great choice for you and your family. You can enjoy these great benefits with a Careington plan:
- We have more than 60,000 dentists to choose from nationwide. That way, you can get great dental care wherever you are.
- The plan is effective immediately. This means that if you have a toothache today, you can get it fixed today. All you have to do is make an appointment with a dentist in our network.
- Monthly rates start at $9.95 for an individual. Low rates mean you could have money left over to do the things you really want.
- You can use it as many times as you want and still get the same great discounts.
- We can get you 20-60% off your dental bills, and sometimes even more.
- You can see our full fee schedule online before you sign up. We know we can save you money, and we’ll show you exactly how.
- You can include other people on your plan as long as they’re either a family member, they live in the same household or you’re financially responsible for them.
- It only takes a few minutes to sign up now!