With so many changes taking place in the healthcare industry and the emergence of nontraditional career choices, many people don’t have the traditional dental insurance provided by their employers like past generations have. At the same time, receiving quality dental care is just as important as it ever was. Essentially, you’re on your own to pay for dental care options are to pay the costs out of pocket, purchase your own dental insurance or use some alternative plan. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of your options.

Traditional Dental Insurance

Like a typical medical plan, traditional dental insurance requires out-of-pocket payments, like deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments. These help keep the premiums affordable. . However, dental plans differ in that they typically reimburse plan participants based on the “class of service.”

You may also run into limitations on the number of times you can receive treatment and coverage may differ depending on your age. On top of that, dental insurance plans often have an annual maximum that they will pay in a given year for treatment. If you only need routine care, such as exams, cleanings, and x-rays, you probably won’t reach your annual maximum. If you need more complex procedures, you may reach the limit.

Alternative Dental Plans

Discount dental plans have recently become another option for paying for dental care. They function differently, as they are not insurance. They’re more like buying a membership to a warehouse wholesaler, such as Costco. Your plan contracts with a network of dental care providers who agree to provide care at a discounted rate. In this case, when you go to the dentist, you cover the full cost of the service through purchasing the membership and paying the discounted rate. Like traditional insurance, a plan like this may have limitations on the number of office visits, consultations, x-rays and various other treatments that it will cover.

Out of Pocket/Financing

Probably the most expensive option in the long run is paying out-of-pocket or trying to finance your dental care using a credit card or some other means of making payments. The only way this would make sense is if you don’t visit the dentist regularly, which could definitely end up causing severe problems and costing lots of money in the future. If you do come in for a procedure and decide to finance the cost, make sure you understand how finance plans work.. Take the time to understand your options and obligations and you can improve your financial and oral health.

Modern healthcare and dental care will continue to change as time moves on, but it’s always best to face any dental issues you may have early before they become more serious. For more information on the best ways to pay for dental care, go to http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/paying-for-dental-care.