If you want flexibility in choosing which dentist to use, PPO dental plans are the ideal choice. PPO stands for preferred provider organization and requires that plan holders use the services of a dentist who is a member of the PPO network in order to get the most affordable pricing. If you use an in-network dentist, you can enjoy benefits such as a lower deductible and higher coverage for particular procedures, since the provider has negotiated special payment schedules for services rendered with them.
However, PPO dental plans will give you the option to see a dentist of your choice who is outside the PPO network, but with coverage limitations. You will be allowed to continue seeing your old dentist, but you will be charged a higher deductible and the share of total charges the provider will cover is reduced. However, there may be exceptions to this provision, such as if the plan holder requires dental care while visiting an area where there are no in-network dentists available. PPO plans also allow you to see a dental specialist without necessarily having to go through a designated primary care provider for a referral, making it more convenient for patients who may need urgent dental care.
Generally, there are two types of PPO dental plans:
Basic plans that provide only services such as fillings, as well as regular cleanings and checkups. These are popular with many people who have good dental health since they allow them to avail of preventive care and some essential procedures at an inexpensive price.
Comprehensive plans that cover a variety of procedures, including some types of oral surgery, which are generally not covered under most health insurance policies. These are available as standalone dental coverage or may be offered as part of an overall health insurance plan.
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