Dental plans are available to all family members, they are free for under 5s and offered at reduced cost for older children.
Regular visits to your dentist are important, to keep your teeth and gums healthy. They also help with aspects of wider health, or spotting oral cancer but are these the reasons people choose to take out a dental plan.
A fair amount of research has taken place into types of payment for dental treatment and why choices are made. Often country specific, such as for the Swiss referendum on dental payments in 2018, or systematic reviews in India, or the UK.
There are variations, along with constant themes. We have aggregated data from a variety of sources, to provide an overall view.
Drivers Of Choice
There are practical reasons, keeping fit for work, or life, feeling good, not needing to dash to a GP with an oral problem, when they would rather you saw a dentist. They play a part, although people’s main reasons are clear:
- Economic value, spreading dental treatment cost and saving money on treatment.
- The reassurance of being covered and being able to regularly see a dentist you trust.
- Having a preventative approach to oral health and/or improving your oral health.
- Visiting a dentist more often, when otherwise you might not make the effort to go.
Additional factors are mentioned in research, such as valuing a dentist’s advice, discounts on other treatment. The core themes above are however consistent, in the order given, although a dentist might have a slightly different view.
Dentists are primarily health professionals, they really do sit up at night thinking about keeping their patients healthy. If they were surveyed, the clear reason for dental plans would be encouraging people to take care of their teeth.
Employers might take a similar view, dental issues account for around 15% of time off work. Educators have expressed much the same opinions on younger holders of dental plans, they make a difference to attendance and performance.
The consumer organisation Which, generally came out in favour – “If you want to spread the cost of going to a dentist but don’t think dental insurance, or NHS pay as you go is right for you, a dental plan might be the best option.”
They go on to say that plans see dentists devote more time to patients, although also mention that in some places, patients can feel obliged to sign up.
This is not the case at Elgin Dental Care, we are happy to treat patients regardless of membership. Our dental plans are available simply because they provide extra benefit, save patients money and add convenience.