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Pros and Cons of PPO Dental Plans

PPO dental plans offer the best of both worlds: lower fees with more providers to choose from and the option of going out of network.

This type of dental coverage is a great way to provide affordable dental care to your family.  It has been my choice for my family for years.  If you choose carefully, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in my opinion.

Individual dental PPO stands for preferred provider organization. Dentists choose to accept PPO plans and negotiated lower fees so they can attract more patients and help their business grow.

Insurance companies refer patients in exchange for reduced dental fees.

Like dental indemnity insurance, individual dental PPO plans cover all of preventative costs, and a percentage of basic and major dental expenses.

Some PPO plans have a deductible that has to be met and all have a yearly maximum.

ppo dental plans


Lower fees – PPO plans have a negotiated fee schedule that is lower than regular dental fees. If you have to pay a percentage of a basic procedure like a filling or a major procedure like a crown your out of pocket expense will be lower.

More providers to choose from. Some plans include dental specialists like orthodontists, oral surgeons, and periodontists.

Your dentist does not get paid until you have treatment done. Unlike DHMOs (dental health maintenance organizations) that pay the dentist a small amount each month even if you never receive dental care, PPO plans pay the dentist only after dental care is provided.


You  have to choose from a preferred provider list to receive the maximum benefit from your plan. If you choose to go out of network, a PPO plan will not pay as much and your cost will be higher.

Because PPO plans are so popular, dentists who accept this type of insurance may be busier, making it more difficult to get an appointment.

PPO plans are not all the same

They vary in the amount dentists are paid for each procedure. If you purchase one that doesn't pay the dentist well,  there will be fewer dentists to choose from.

Ask your dentist for advice when choosing a plan.

As with any dental plan, be sure to carefully evaluate your dental needs and expenses. Once you decide that a PPO dental plan is a good choice, additional research may be required to find just the right dentist.

Don't pick the first dentist on the list or the one closest to you. Make a good choice and avoid the hassle of changing dentists later.

Next ~ How to maximize your benefits

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