Taking a look at cheap dental plans

Dental health is important but until you’re reeling in pain from toothache or in need of a root canal, it is often an expense one tends to neglect. Moneybags writer Danielle Van Wyk looks at the types of dental cover you can get and how much basic plans cost.

What is dental cover and why do you need it?

Like with medical health cover plans, dentistry has its own specialised dental plans. Examples of this being Affinity dental and Dencap dental, to name a few.

Standard dental cover plans according to Dencap are where “the patient pays a fixed monthly rate and the dentist renders dental services to the insured patient. These services are then fully covered by the plan.”

The reason for a dental plan is often because medical schemes who don’t cover dental benefits from their risk pools, typically expect members to fund their own dental costs from their medical savings accounts. This is where it could get expensive, because few members usually have adequate funds left in their savings and therefore have to pay out of pocket for the cost of dental procedures.

While there is no guarantee that your dental insurer will pay for your entire procedure, having the policy in place takes some financial pressure off of you and allows you to get the necessary care without having to worry about covering the cost.

Dental cover options

That being said, it is important that you choose the correct plan for you and your family. Below are a list of some and their corresponding prices.

Dencap standard plan – Here members can expect to be covered for consultations and x-rays, oral hygiene instructions and scale and polish, all fillings, extractions, emergency treatments, treatment of sensitive teeth, pain and sepsis, dental prescriptions, local anaesthetic and fluorite treatments and fissure sealants for children.

Cost: 1 Adult – From R286.60      Family of four – From R343.60

Affinity dental Silver (standard) plan – This plan makes provision for full mouth examinations or scale and polishes, intra oral radiographs, emergency examination, infection control, extractions, fillings and specialist dentistry.

Cost: 1 Adult – From R156            Family of four- From R518

What is important to note with these plans is that they typically have an accompanying list of dentists that they are affiliated with. It is thus important to take note of the network in seeing if your preferred dentist is covered. If not, it may be worthwhile enquiring about whether non-participating dentist’s claims will be considered.

Alternatively people could get away with potentially paying less on various basic medical insurance plans like the Momentum Health4Me that boasts a basic dentistry benefit under their day-to-day plan.

“Here members could get away with paying anywhere from R244 for the primary adult member and between R107 – R214 for added dependents,” states Momentum.

Most medical insurance options make provision for basic dentistry, and if you are one of those people who rarely require dental work, you could get away with that class of cover. But if you have kids and are yourself suffering from a dental condition then it is worthwhile looking into a separate comprehensive dental plan. This will better assist you in comparing the total cost of potential dental treatments to the cost of the proposed insurance plans.

Insurance always seems an unnecessary expense until you are in a bind. With the cost of dental consultations and procedures having the ability to totally break the bank, investing in sufficient suited cover for you and your family is always advised.