Dental Discount Plans 101: How They Work, Which to Choose


A dental discount plan, also called a dental savings plan, is designed for groups, families, or individuals seeking to save some money on dental care.

Dental discount plans are not health insurance plans, but members can save as much as 50% off dental treatment and maintenance costs by seeking dental care from a network of participating dentists.

What Are Dental Discount Plans?

Dental discount plans work by creating a network of dental care providers who accept discounted payments from dental discount plan members. 

Dental discount plan members simply show their membership card to a participating dental provider and receive discounted dental care and service directly from the dentist.

Since most traditional dental insurance plans fail to meet the needs of most average Americans and are not very cost-effective, dental savings plans offer an affordable alternative. Unlike dental insurance, dental savings plan members pay an annual or monthly fee that grants them access to dental care from more than 100,000 dentists across the country at a significantly discounted rate.

Because dentists recommend that, for maximum oral health, you should have two dental checkups, two teeth cleanings, and one set of x-rays each year, most discounted dental plans will ultimately pay for themselves in savings.

Dental discount plans offer quality dental care that everyone deserves at a price that anyone can afford. Dental insurance plans simply cannot make that same promise.

Why Are Dental Discount Plans a Good Alternative to Insurance?

A dental discount plan is different from dental insurance policies primarily in that a dental discount plan does not pay any of your dental expenses. With dental discount plans you will pay for services at the time services are received, but at a discounted rate.

A dental discount plan is an alternative to insurance because there are no claims to file, or annual maximums. The cost of yearly dental discount plans can be as low as $100 for an individual and $150 for a family. And you can get discounts on treatments from 15-50% at participating providers.

If you need a lot of dental work, insurance plans usually hit a cap. Meanwhile, you can use your dental discount card as often as you like.

Additionally, dental insurance doesn’t cover every procedure. Cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening often aren’t covered. That’s never a problem with dental discount plans. While dentists hold the right to determine which treatments are eligible for discounts, all are generally available.

When considering membership in a dental savings plan, you may want to contact participating dentists in your area and discuss their actual charges to determine just how much you can save with a discount dental plan.

Please be aware that a dental discount plan is different from a medical discount plan. Medical discount plans aren’t recommended because of the high cost of medical expenses.

How Much Can I Save With Dental Discount Plans?

The money you can save with a dental discount plan can vary based on the program you choose and the type of dental work you need. For example, witha Carefree Dental membership, you can save between 15% and 50%* on standard dental procedures.

*Per visit, in most instances on services at any of the many available dental practice locations. Actual costs and savings may vary by provider, service and geographical location. We use the average of negotiated fees from participating providers to determine the average costs, as shown on the chart. The select regional average cost represents the average fees for the procedures listed above in Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and New York City, as displayed in the cost of care tool as of June 2020.

Which Dental Discount Plan Should You Choose?

While we believe that Carefree Dental’s dental discount plan is the best deal  in dental, there are many different plans to choose from.

When you decide between dental discount plans, make sure you check that there’s a participating provider in your area. It’s important to find a plan that meets your and your family’s needs the best.

The following is a list of some of the most popular companies providing dental discount plans: offers between 10% and 60% savings on dental care through trusted brands like CVS Health iSave, Aetna Dental, Cigna, and more. The company provides more than 30 different dental discount plans that you can choose from with more than 140,000 participating dental care providers.


1Dental offers two different dental discount plans that provide between 15% and 60% savings on most primary dental care services and between 15% and 20% savings on specialty services. An individual plan starts at $99 a year, and an individual can combine both programs offered for an additional $30 a year.


DentaCard offers members discounts between 20% and 50% on dental visits, which vary by provider and specialty. Costs for individuals start at$89.95/year and $129.95/year for families, with an additional $10 sign-up fee.


Dentemax offers direct savings of 20-50% on cleanings, dentures, braces, crowns, and more. The Dentemax savings card costs only $9.95 per month or $109 a year, plus a $9.99 sign-up fee.

Why Carefree Dental Is the Right Choice

While other dental discount plans are still better than dental insurance, the best deal in dental is Carefree Dental, and here’s why.

With the Carefree Dental Card, you can save 15-50%* off your dental bill at participating providers, per visit in most instances. For only $15.95/month for individuals and $19.95/month for families, this can mean great discounts on your dental treatments. 

The Carefree Dental program includes over 262,000 available dental practice locations nationwide.**. This means that you can easily find a Carefree Dental provider near you.

Get the best deal in dental and sign up for Carefree Dental!


*Actual costs and savings vary by provider, service and geographical area.

**As of April 2020.

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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