Going to the dentist without insurance quickly adds up with each appointment. As an alternative, consider signing up for a dental membership plan. This pre-paid membership is paid directly to the dentist offices and covers a whole year of visits. Memberships work differently than insurance, so for first-time membership purchases, learn about the benefits and what is included in your membership.
1. 12-Month Membership
A dental membership is based on a 12-month window. The membership lasts for a whole year but is not based on a calendar year. For example, if you sign up for a membership in July, the full membership will last until July of the next year. You do not lose your membership benefits at the end of December.
With the flexibility of the membership, you may time out the membership sign-up date to match your affordability. For example, if you typically file for a tax return in February, consider the annual membership from March to March. When each March rolls around, you will use part of the tax return to pay for the membership so you can easily afford payments.
If your job offers a quarterly bonus or holiday bonus, you may time the membership around the dates. Budget and plan accordingly to easily fit the membership into your spending.
2. Fixed Costs
When you pay for the membership, you are guaranteed the services offered in the membership. There are no extra fees or charges associated with the included services. Many of the membership packages include annual x-rays. If the dental office upgrades x-ray equipment or raises prices for the services, you are not impacted by the changes.
The fixed costs give you a whole year with any of the price changes. If changes are made to the annual price, the dental office will inform you well ahead before your membership renewal. Along with the initial cost savings of a membership, the fixed cost savings could add up year after year.
3. Discounted Treatment Plans
A membership covers the basic essential services. For adults, the services include two cleanings, an exam, and x-rays. Through the appointments, a dentist may find other problems that need additional treatments. Additional appointments may include fillings, root canals, or pulled teeth.
While the extra treatments are not a part of the membership package, discounts are included. The discounted treatment plans may include a percentage off the service. The percentage off amount is more ideal than a set value off. For example, if you have $30 dollars off a service, the $30 is set no matter the total amount.
However, if you have 30% off a service, your savings will only increase with the cost. A $100 appointment will save you 30 dollars while a $200 dollar appointment will save you $60. The percentage off goes a long way to savings, especially if you need multiple services in a single year.
4. Adult Oral Screenings
Adults with a dental membership have an oral screening included. The oral cancer screening includes many components to spot any early signs of cancer. The exam will help detect any signs of cancer in the mouth, lips, tongue, or jaw before the cancer has a chance to spread.
A screening consists of several elements. A physical exam includes a dentist visually inspecting the whole mouth for any signs of cancer. Through their training and expertise, the dentists know what to look for through the screening.
More extensive screenings may include a physical exam to check the tissue and gums around the mouth. A dentist feels for any soft spots, tumors, or areas of concern. Taking part in each screening each year allows a dentist to notice any differences in the mouth. Significant changes could be an early warning sign to look out for.
5. Children’s Fluoride Treatments
While adults have oral screenings, a child’s membership includes fluoride treatments. Fluoride is an essential part of oral health, especially as children’s mouths grow and change. Fluoride protects the mouth against acid wear. Strong teeth are essential, especially for children with a sweet tooth.
While many kinds of toothpaste and water contain fluoride, a full fluoride treatment adds an extra layer off protection for the child. The treatments are done at the regular cleaning and completed twice a year.
A fluoride treatment is a painless process done at the end of an appointment. A dentist applies the fluoride directly to the teeth and the treatment stays on for at least 30 minutes. After the appointment, drinks and food should be avoided for this period of time.
Building oral health habits in a child early on will turn into a lifetime of healthy choices. The fluoride will prevent cavities and more expensive treatments later on. Adults also have the chance to have fluoride treatments as part of the membership plan.
For more information on our membership plans, contact us directly at Valley Oak Dental Group. We will help you get set up with a dental plan and go over all the details, along with making your first appointment.