Updated: 1/4/2020 As you search for a discount dental plan or begin your 1Dental dental plan experience, you want to save the most with your plan and improve your overall…

How Discount Dental Plans Work

How Much Does a Discount Dental Plan Actually Save You?

Updated: 1/4/2020

As you search for a discount dental plan or begin your 1Dental dental plan experience, you want to save the most with your plan and improve your overall dental care. To help you with this, here’s a checklist to work through:

Since these dental plans are somewhat of a new concept to many people, understanding how they work and how they differ from dental insurance takes a bit of explaining.

We’ve created a great resource to help you understand how these plans work and what to expect from your dental visit — we even tailored it to the type of visit or treatment you need!

Introduction to 1Dental’s Dental Plan Savings Resource

A lot of long hours went into creating our Dental Plan Savings resource and we hope it helps people understand how these plans work. Also, a big thanks to Shine Bright Dentistry for their help in reviewing our resource for accuracy and clarity.

Dental Plan Savings Resource Preview

Our resource has a lot of information to offer. Each page includes Sample Invoices for that particular treatment or visit and some Quick Tips to help you maximize savings for that treatment and visit type.

Quick Tips

Keep in mind the Sample Invoices are national averages of prices found with and without a discount dental plan. Though prices may vary by state, they should be close to what we’ve provided (For the most up-to-date treatment prices in your area, please visit the 1Dental fee schedule and enter your zip code). See our sample invoice example below from our savings resource.

Sample invoice

The following sections offer a breakdown of what you can expect to find within each page of the resource.

Dental Plan 101

This page offers a step-by-step guide, or a general overview of steps, to how discount dental plans work — from the time you purchase a plan to the day-to-day uses of the plan.

Dental Plan 101 snippet

First-Time Dental Visit

Next, make your way to our first-time dental visit page. This page is segmented into visits for adults and children — these visits are quite different depending on the age of the child so the distinction is important.

FirstTime Dental Visit

Routine Dental Visit

What happens after a first-time dental visit? Hopefully a return to your dentist 6 months later or the following year. This section breaks down what treatments and prices you can expect from those routine visits.

Routine Dental Visit

Other Treatment Visits

We hope to add to this list, since there are many more dental treatments that are discounted using our 1Dental discount dental plan. However, this initial list is a good start. Tooth fillings, root canals and dental crowns, tooth extractions and dentures are common treatments we get questions about. We hope this resource helps answer those questions and sets up some realistic expectations for what you might experience at the dentist when it comes to the treatments you’ll receive and the prices you’ll pay.

Dental Treatments

Even if you’re not a member, we welcome you to head over to our dental plan resource and find out more about how to use a discount dental plan at the dentist and see what it could save you!



Natasha is 1Dental’s managing editor and copywriter, focusing content on dental and health news, advice and tips straight from the experts. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has since been a book editor and now copywriter and managing editor on dental and health. You can find her on Twitter and all of 1Dental’s social networks.

  1. how do i cancel my dental insurance the dentist told me that if i use your insurance they would have to charge me higher fees than she does now so i might as well cancel my dental insurance

    • Hi John,

      Do you have a dental insurance plan you are using? Our plan is actually not dental insurance. It is a discount dental plan. You pay the low annual fee and receive discounts when you go to the dentist. I don’t really understand why the dentist would have told you you would have to pay more using our plan unless you have another insurance plan you have been using. Sometimes dental insurance can get you lower rates at the dentist, but you are paying more throughout the year for the plan than you would a discount plan. If you have questions about your plan, we would be happy to talk you through it before you cancel with us. Also, we would be interested to hear which dentist you are visiting. You can call us at: 855-760-4107. However, if you would just rather cancel right away, you can send us an email at customercare@1dental.com with your name and that you want to cancel and we will take care of that for you.

  2. what is the cost before the application of the plan . is the estimate given by the dentist the cost that is to be paid by patient or if not then how are the reimbursement by the plan done. so far I donot see any savings of the plan. further, I expect to see the charges before the plan reimbursement in order for comparison.

    • A 1-member plan costs $99/year, plus a $20 processing fee for the first year. Dentists in our network have agreed to offer a discounted rate on treatment for their area. Prices may vary by geographical location. You can see our fee schedule and see average prices in your area by typing in your zip code on this page: https://www.1dental.com/fee-schedule/.

      There is no reimbursement from the plan. Dentists agree to give discounted rates of treatment to our members so you pay the discounted price at the time of your visit. If you visit our dental plan resource outlined in this blog post, it will show you some sample invoices for what you might expect to pay at different dental visits (root canal treatment, routine cleaning, etc.). Again, these prices are averages. To see a closer average price for your area, visit our fee schedule page and enter your zip code.

      Hope all of that made sense! Let us know if you have more questions.

  3. I’ve had to use a couple of Dentists since my membership. I live in Montana and I have few options as to which Dentists I have to use. So far they haven’t heard of you and therefor I’m wasting my money on something that I receive no benefits.

    I hereby cancel any an all future relations with Dental One effective 09/05/2017.


    John W Lusty

    • We’re sorry to hear you had a negative experience using our plan. I have passed your information on to our customer care department and they said they were taking care of your plan cancellation. To help us better understand what happened, did you tell the dental office you had the 1Dental plan or the Careington plan? Often dental offices recognize the plan name over the company name. And would you mind sending us your city or zip code? If possible, we would like to follow-up with those dental offices to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. You can email me that information at editor@1dental.com if you’d like.

  4. I have been a Careington member for many years. I have been going to Aspen Dental. Within the last week I went for a checkup and they started a crown. They do not follow your guideline for fees anymore. They only give a 20% discount. This was a shock to me and is costing me considerably more. I am on social security. I just thought you might want to know this. Thank you.

      • I too have run into this with ASPEN DENTAL – they seem to get around honoring your fees by simply NOT using the type of crown that the fee schedule covers at the highest discount. This is very disturbing to me – now I have to look for someone in my area who will use the crown that is discounted more….

        In my opinion, if they agree to be “in network” – they need to honor all the agreed rates….

        • Hi Chris, thank you for writing. I can appreciate your frustration. There may be a couple of different reasons behind the particular choice of crown. Dentists will choose the procedure they think best fits the patient’s needs. In addition, new technology has made certain porcelain crowns that are not currently listed on the fee schedule easy for dental office to make in-house eliminating the need to employ a third party lab. What we are often seeing in cases like yours is not an unwillingness to comply with the fee schedule, but a leveraging of new technology to produce a better product. We are continually working to expand the fee schedules, and crowns like I have described are on our list.

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