Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Get an Individual PPO Dental Plan

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) are typically those that have a closed panel of dentists, specialists and surgeons from whom a policyholder has to choose for getting treatment. Remember that individual PPO dental plans offer less flexibility in accessing dental services and treatment costs.


Step1 : Go online and search for companies offering dental plans. Ask for online quotes from top companies as they usually offer wider coverage. Many online sites offer an option to choose the dental plan before you can receive a quote. PPOs are the cheapest dental plans and there are several sites giving you instant online quotes.

: Pick up your local directory and call the local insurance agent. Request quotes for a PPO plan. Ask about new offers and discounts.

Step3 : Consider membership in various institutions. This affiliation can help you obtain discounts on your PPO policy, as some institutions have tie-ups with insurance providers.

Step4 : Find the name of your nearest dentist (or your current dentist) and see if he or she is in the network of PPO dentists of the plan you are considering. Non-participating dentists are usually not available under the provisions of a PPO plan.

Step5 : Shop around for the cheapest quote. PPOs are less expensive when compared to indemnity dental plans. Make sure you check the type of coverage and its clauses before finalizing the plan. Send in your premium payment and get insured.

Tips & Warnings

* Using credit cards to make payments can also get you discounts.
* By increasing the deductibles, you can lower your premium.
* Buying online can save money.
* Visiting a dentist outside the network can be expensive. Clarify payment terms in case of emergency and similar events.
* Some plans allow you to schedule the appointment based on convenience while others require you to visit the dentist within the PPO network on their available time and date. With dental problems, this may not always be convenient.

By eHow Personal Finance Editor

How to Find an Affordable Dental Plan for the Family

Dental insurance plans differ from one company to another. All companies have one common aspect: they do not provide a comprehensive coverage that includes all kinds of treatment under a single plan. Therefore, it makes sense to find a plan that is not very expensive and provides wide coverage. Make sure that the plan is affordable, especially when there are out-of-pocket expenses.


Step1 : Remember, affordable does not mean cheap. Assess your family needs for dental care and choose a plan based on need and your financial capacity. You don't want to be underinsured by paying less.

Step2 : Contact your employer. Your employer most likely has a group policy for the employees. Enrolling your name with your family under a group policy is the best health option, if possible. This will save a lot of money on premium costs.

Step3 : Go online and shop for quotes. Several companies offer different insurance plans. Find a plan that is affordable based on your family’s needs. Visit It has a comprehensive list of dental plans with single as well as family fees. Family dental plans cost an average of $115 to $160 annually.

Step4 : Look for discount dental plans. You can also choose a dental plan based on the area code of your residence. These plans generally cost less for dental checkups. Although the coverage on this plan is restrictive, it is more affordable than other plans.

Step5 : Talk to a dentist and take suggestions. Dentists have relationships with several insurance providers. They can guide you in getting affordable dental coverage.

Step6 : Talk to friends and colleagues. Ask how they got their dental insurance coverage. You may get good suggestions on affordable plans.

Step7 : Do your own research through health magazines and hospital guidebooks. This kind of analysis will enable you to compare plans, quotes and suggestions. You will most likely find an affordable plan for your family.

Step8 : Remember, dental plans come usually under the Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) categories. The HMO dental plans allow you to choose a dentist or group of dentists to handle your treatment while PPO restricts your choice to the list of dentists available in your area. (I THINK IT IS THE OPPOSITE) Choose a right plan that is affordable.

Tips & Warnings

* Working couples are advised to buy a group policy under a single employer. If both employers offer a group plan, compare plans and choose the best one.
* Choose preventive care as the best option when using benefits of a dental plan. It will cost you less and ensure the best use of your dental insurance.

By : eHow Health Editor
Source :

Saturday, August 16, 2008

All About Dental Care

Caring for one’s teeth is an important thing. A person’s dental hygiene is reflective of the way he takes care of himself. A person with poor dental hygiene is bound to be the subject of small group casual talks one time or another. He would probably have lower self-confidence especially if he can’t smile or talk straight because of his mouth’s smell.

Sparkling white teeth, coupled with mint-fresh breath are two of the most impressive features one can have. But how does one properly care for his pearly whites? Here are some useful tips:


One of the basics of dental care is tooth brushing. We have been taught how to brush our teeth when we were kids but some times, we just forget to brush our teeth or forget how to brush them properly. Use a recommended toothbrush with the right texture and hardness. If the gums are sensitive, opt for the “soft” tooth brush.

- Make sure that your toothpaste is approved by the ADA or the American Dental Association. Yes, cheap products are very tempting to buy but they can take the smile out of one’s face in the long run.

- When brushing, make sure to brush the teeth thoroughly. Make sure to brush the gums so as to prevent gum disease from developing.

- Buy a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner. Most of the germs in the mouth are in the tongue and it’s good to brush the tongue to get rid of the germs which cause bad breath.


Flossing is a relatively less popular way of caring for the teeth than tooth brushing. However, flossing can get rid of the dirt, plaque and food particles in the sections of the mouth that can’t be reached by the tooth brush. One should floss at least once a day.

- Make sure you floss once a day

- The right length of floss important. The floss should be around 13-18 inches long so that one can freely move it back and forth between the teeth.

- Repetition is very important. Flossing requires at least eight strokes to be able to effectively dislodge all the food particles and plaque from the teeth.

Eating right

Eating right is a preventive measure to keep the teeth pearly white. Again, people take the fact that eating sugary foods is detrimental to the teeth. Children can eat them as much as they want if they still have their milk teeth, but for adults, once the permanent teeth are damaged, there’s no going back.

- Eating the right food can help prevent tooth damage

- Stay away from sugar-rich foods such as candies and chocolates

- Limit the intake of snacks so as to limit the acid attacks on the teeth

- Look for sugar-free goodies in groceries and munch on them and stay away from the sugary ones


Going to the dentist at least once a year is recommended. Experts know best and there are things that we can’t see with our bare eyes. The dentist can help one maintain one’s dental hygiene.

Avoid other things that can cause tooth discoloration and decay such as smoking. Perennial smokers are bound to develop tooth discoloration and bad breath.

Dental hygiene is very important not only because it is a measure of how other people thinks about us, but because it makes us feel better about ourselves and boost our self-confidence. We only have one set of permanent teeth, take care of it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Take Care Of Your Teeth Between Dental Visits

It is hard to give precise advice about what can be considered a good dentist that gives high quality results. The reason for this is that each one of us is unique in the type of service we need for our care, making it hard to compare. One thing you do want to look for is a dentist who is genuinely interested in your family’s health and welfare in general. This way you know you will be receiving the best possible care available. To locate a dentist with the credentials you are looking for you can contact your local dental society by either writing or calling them for a list of dentist names in your area. Talk to your family doctor or pharmacist to see if they recommend anyone. It is always a good idea to talk to family and friends, or even people you work with to get opinions about dentist they have been to. Two other choices would be to talk to a dental school, or a local hospital that has a certified dental program.

When you have completed your research, make an appointment for a consultation. During this visit you should be able to tell if this is the dentist you feel is right for your family. While you are there take in consideration things like, is the appearance of the office and dentist clean, and in order? Can you make your appointment for a time suitable for you? Is the dentist located in a convenient place for you? You will also want to know what you would need to do if you had an emergency after office hours. Find out just exactly what your dentist is certified in, and do they provide instructions to help you take the best care of your teeth as you possibly can. Keep in mind you should never be ashamed of asking as many questions that come to mind, including how much are fees for service rendered.

The earlier you find and treat any oral problems the easier and less expensive it will be to take care of it. Therefore regular visits to the dentist is necessary to take proper care of your teeth. Only going to the dentist for an emergency merely takes care of a problem that could have been prevented by regular visits.

Every so often you will need to have x-rays taken of your teeth to help determine what condition they are in. X-rays can show if there are any issues concerning your oral hygiene that may not be detectable by an examination. Detecting problems of any kind so they can be treated early will prevent a more serious problem from occurring later and be less expensive.

Brushing and flossing your teeth at the very least once a day will help you remove plaque, which is a bacteria that forms on the teeth causing teeth to decay and can cause gum disease. You can help protect your teeth every day by using a fluoride tooth paste. Using a fluoride mouth wash also helps reduce tooth decay. You can decrease the amount of treatment needed for your teeth and gums by limiting the amount of sugary snacks you eat every day, and by eating nutritious meals.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dental Plans For Great Dental Care

People often do not pay as much attention to their dental health as they do to other illnesses, often with serious consequences. To keep dental diseases at bay and to meet the rising costs of dental treatment it is important that you choose a good dental plan. Having a dental plan should encourage you to take more preventive care of your teeth to avoid the more serious dental problems.

With medical insurance services, the cost of a particular medical treatment or health check is reimbursed directly by the insurance company to the medical service provider. With dental insurance plans, the company is responsible for reimbursing the dentist. Dental plans can however vary in type and feature. Dentists participating in discount dental plans take lower fees than those covered by regular dental plans, with discounts varying between 20% and 60%.

All dental plans charge a membership fee, with the amount varying from one plan to the other. Dental plans are offered to either individuals or to the whole family, with family dental plans usually offering bigger discounts than individual dental plans. You should compare the rates charged under the different plans before selecting the most appropriate one for you.

It is important also to know the type of dental services covered by your dental plan. Routine dental check ups and dental treatments such as oral examination, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, teeth filling and teeth extraction are generally covered by most dental plans. However, dental plans do not always cover major dental care treatments such as oral surgery, dental implants, restorative care, braces, root canal treatments etc. In case of such costly dental procedures you unfortunately have to foot the bill yourself. Often there are a number of alternative treatments available for certain dental problems. Under such circumstances dental plans allow reimbursement for the cost of the basic dental treatment, and further costs in excess of the basic treatment cost has to be covered by the patient.

Dental health plans may or may not allow you to choose your own dentist, but it is common practice for patients to generally receive dental care from dentists mentioned in the plan. Before choosing a plan make sure that the participating dentists practice in your area. Choose a plan that is accepted nationwide and not restricted to your state. Check whether you are allowed to visit the dentist unscheduled, or at scheduled hours only.

You also need to decide whether you want an annual plan or a monthly plan. Annual dental plans are more cost beneficial than monthly plans. So get regular check ups with your dentist to reap the maximum benefits out of your dental plan.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Saving On Dental Bills With Discounted Dental Plans

Statistics report that over half of the population of the United States is not covered by dental insurance or some type of dental plan. The statistics go to show that not everyone is taking advantage of the enormous savings that result from dental plans. And in a world of lower and middle class domination, perhaps more should indeed pay more attention to the benefits of dental plans.

Dental Insurance Vs Non-Insurance Dental Plans

Typically there are two categories of dental plans: those that are typical insurance plans, and those that aren't. As dentists have come to find, there is a better favor for the non-insurance counterparts, since there is less paperwork involved.

Insurance plans are commonly restricted in what they pay, how they pay, and for what reasons they pay. Insurance plans also demand that those taking advantage of the cost cuts must pay deductibles. These deductibles, which are usually a fixed rate, help the insurance company's hold onto their money and discourage any gaming of the system.

On the other hand, non-insurance dental plans are much easier to work with. They, on average, cut around one third of the total cost. There is little to no paperwork to fill out, and best of all, there is not deductible to pay. Dentists prefer this method just as much as patients do, due to the large cut in paperwork.

The only drawback to non-insurance dental plans is that they are only present in participating dentist offices. For this reason, you'll be hard pressed to find a dentist at random who participates in non-insurance dental plans. This is compared to insurance dental plans, which should be taken virtually everywhere there is a dentist's office.

Smart Choices in Dental Plan Shopping
If you're looking to purchase a dental plan, be sure to shop around. The majority of those who do have dental insurance tend to spend more than they should. To avoid this, there are a few tips that can get patients by with spending less money both on dental insurance and dental bills.

After ensuring that you have looked at several different plans, and have found the best cost saving option, there is a little verification work to be done. First ensure that the dental plan being offered is guaranteed- meaning that the insurance company won't reverse a decision for menial reasons. Also get a quote on around how much one would save on a specific procedure and ask about the deductible that insurance companies demand patients pay.

Also be aware of dental plans that are offered from foreign sources (usually outside of one's own state). These plans may indeed be legit, but there is slightly more risk that is run as a result of the distance. Don't let a good dental plan get away because the provider is located in another state, however but be cautious nonetheless.

Final Thoughts on Dental Insurance

Dental insurance, families will find, can save a large amount of money over the course of a few years. The money saved in high-cost operations and checkups is more than worth the fees paid. But to ensure the best plan, follow the fore mentioned steps to make sure you're making money in the long run- not losing it.

After all, you buy a dental insurance plan to save money, not spend it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gum Disease And Dental Checkups

About a year ago, my dentist and hygienist said that I had gingivitis. Actually, I suspect that I've had it for over a decade. The interesting thing about gingivitis is that it doesn't make much noise as it slowly erodes your gum tissue. Sometimes, a lot of bone loss can occur before you become aware of it.

What made me pay attention was when the hygienist wanted me to sign a paper that the office would not be responsible if I lost my teeth. At first I saw this as a possible marketing ploy, since they wanted me to have a root scaling and planing procedure done. That sounded painful and expensive.

I figured that having me sign that paper was part of their attempt to move me in the direction of accepting this treatment. They wanted me to start right away. I declined. I wasn't about to approve a treatment that sounded so serious without a little investigation of my own.

What I found was disturbing. I think that a lot of people don't quite understand that bleeding gums, no matter how minute the bleeding, is a bad sign. For example, I've heard someone say that their gums only bleed if they push too hard with a toothbrush. She thinks that means she doesn't have gingivitis or gum disease.

However, you would have to push fairly hard to make healthy gum tissue bleed. Therefore, if a person has gums that bleed from brushing or flossing then there is a chance that person has gingivitis or worse, periodontal disease. A person that notices bleeding gums should check with a dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

I also discovered that a root scaling and planing was not something I wanted either. In fact, a relative of mine had the procedure done. In her opinion, it made her gums worse. The procedure involves numbing the gum tissue and scraping underneath the gum line down to the root to remove any built-up tartar or plaque.

I researched some possible alternative solutions and found something I thought might be promising. I tried it and by the next visit my gums had become healthier. They were better to the point that the hygienist and dentist said that there was no more tarter under the gum line. I no longer needed the root scaling and planing treatment.

I recently visited the dentist again and they said my gums are continuing to improve. This time there was zero bleeding during the probing part where they check for pocket depth with a metal instrument. No bleeding during a checkup is a good sign.

Gingivitis can be hazardous to your health. Infected gums can provide a pathway for bacteria to enter the blood stream. In addition, gingivitis is the major cause of tooth loss and not cavities as one might expect.

If you have or think you might have gingivitis, gum disease or any other health problem, be sure to visit your doctor or dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Author: David Snape
Article Source:
Join any dental plan today and get 3 additional months of coverage FREE!

• Save 10% - 60% on most dental services
• Plans starting at $79.95 per year
• No paperwork hassles
• 30-day refund policy

> Click Here & Start Saving!