Rethinking Dental Plans

Meet patients’ wants and needs with an innovative alternative to dental insurance

Private practice dentists face a host of challenges in their day to day lives, from running a business to keeping their skills sharp, and from managing staff to balancing the practice’s demands with their personal lives.  Getting patients to keep appointments and accept treatment recommendations is another major frustration; we live with the knowledge of what a profound effect oral health can have on our patients’ overall health, while patients seem to be more and more focused on the cost of care than on the health benefits associated with visiting the dentist regularly. As dentists, it’s important for us to remember that patients often feel faced with a difficult dilemma; either turn to dental insurance to help manage expenses, or for those without benefits, simply forgo dentistry altogether until an emergency arises.

As a result, dental insurance has unfortunately come to be viewed by many as the only viable way to ensure access to regular, affordable dental care. But it’s important for every dentist to remind his or her patients that dental insurance vs. dental neglect is a false dichotomy; there is another answer, one so simple that more and more dentists – and patients – are beginning to change the way they think about dental plans. The reality is that dental practices can provide their own in house “dental plan” such as Quality Dental Plan. This system offers complete preventive care and patient savings for a fixed annual price – without involving insurance companies.

Leverage QDP’s Proven Success for Your Practice

I use this approach in my own practice and have found that along with giving patients who don’t have dental insurance the sense that they can indeed afford regular dental care, it removes many of the headaches that come with third party insurance companies. Here’s how it works: Patients pay a small upfront annual fee up that includes a set of preventive services for the year (cleaning, x-rays, etc.). They then also receive the added benefit of discounts on all additional treatment determined by you. Costs are kept low, all decisions are made in the practice, fees are collected in advance and patients have a strong incentive to come in for regular care.

This kind of plan benefits patients, and can match and even exceed both the tangible and intangible benefits of dental insurance. That’s because patients are only paying for what they need and not dealing with hassles and high costs associated with traditional insurance.