Many employers offer dental insurance to workers. Individual policies are also available. Dental insurance often has little or no cost for preventive care and covers all or part of certain dental expenses. More complex dental procedures are subject to a deductible. Some policies link the deductible to a benefit schedule (filling, root canal, crown, implant, etc.). Others require the policyholder pay a percent of the usual and customary charge. Dental insurance may have an annual benefit payout limit unless the plan is an HMO. Dental HMO's typically have copay requirements.
Dental discount plans, on the other hand, are programs where participants pay less for services performed by participating dentists. Discount plans do not have deductibles, waiting periods, or maximum payouts.