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Smile Michigan Public

Evaluating Your Plan

Which is more important to your dental plan — your family’s dental health or the possibility of “saving” a few dollars on your dental plan? Take this quiz to find out.

  • Can I see any dentist I choose?
  • Can I see a specialist any time my dentist or I believe it is necessary?
  • Can I change my dentist at any time?
  • Am I directly involved, along with my dentist, in choosing the best course of treatment to fit my specific needs?

Did you answer yes to all of the above questions? If not, then you’re probably a member of a restricted dental plan and might want to re-evaluate your current choice.

A restricted plan limits its members in two ways – in the number of dentists they can choose from and the amount of care they may receive.

Many of these plans are based upon providing care per person rather than per procedure. This limits your dentist in the quality of care he can provide you with because he has to consider which treatment options your dental plan will pay for rather than which treatment is best for you. Because of this, many dentists choose not to participate in these plans.

See, when deciding how much care should be provided for each patients, these insurance plans base their estimates on what the “average patient” is likely to need. The problem? There’s no such thing as an average patient.

Responsible dentistry requires your dentist to look at your specific situation and to do what’s best for your dental health. Treating you based on the needs and problems of an undefined “average” patient compromises your dentist’s ability to do so.

The Bottom Line

You should have the right to choose, the right to change dentists, the right to consult a specialist and the right to be treated as an individual patient. You should also have the right to say “no.”

If you lack one or more of these very important freedoms, your oral health is likely to be compromised. Trust and good faith is an integral component in the dentist/patient relationship, and your relationship with your dentist is as important to your oral health as brushing and flossing. And since these restrictions can cause mistrust, they’re bound to have negative consequences on your health.

Talk to Your Michigan Dental Association Dentist

If you have questions about your dental plan, or if you need to make a choice about your family’s dental care, talk to your dentist. The members of the Michigan Dental Association encourage you to discuss treatment options, and to make decisions about your care based on facts and professional recommendations. They’ll help you make the right decision so you and your family can smile on.

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