Updated: 1/4/2020

How soon can I use my discount dental plan? You can use your discount dental plan immediately! 

One of the many great benefits of discount dental plans is the ability to use your plan as soon as you get it.

With dental insurance, there is often a period of time that must pass before its members can use their plan, or at least capitalize on the full benefits. As a result, patients are often unable to get the affordable treatment they need in a timely manner. You may be forced to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs at the dentist if you need immediate treatment.

Enter discount dental plans. Whether you use a discount dental plan by itself or while you wait for your dental insurance benefits to kick in, this type of plan can help reduce out-of-pocket dental costs.

Why Is It So Easy? Why Can I Use My Dental Plan Immediately?

Discount dental plans are not insurance, so they work differently. Some of the immediate benefits include:

  • Faster processing
  • Quicker updating of our member list
  • Member ID number sent via email
  • Pre-approved discounted rates from our in-network dentists
  • Discounted rates for treatment are paid by our members to their dentist at the time of their dental visits, so there is no need to file for reimbursement with us

All of the benefits listed above make discount dental plans a faster option than other alternatives. Just submit your application to us, wait for your payment to go through and then you’ll be added to our member list. Once that list is updated, dentists in our network can verify who is a member and who is not so they know who is eligible to receive discounts..

Our in-network dentists have already agreed to offer discounts to our members. Anyone who has a 1Dental ID number  (which is emailed on the day you purchase a Careington Care 500 plan) can use the plan right away.

Why Do Dental Insurance Plans Have Waiting Periods?

Dental insurance providers often agree to take on a portion of your dental treatment cost. If there were no waiting periods on certain treatment, people might abuse this benefit. Dental insurance providers implement waiting periods to minimize this abuse. Waiting periods prevent people from just signing up for a plan when they have a lot of dental procedures they need to get done all at once.

Additionally, since dental insurance providers agree to pay a portion of your dental cost (granted, you’re also paying a lot monthly that contributes to this), they need time to process the dental bills sent from your dentist or filed by you so they can issue you a reimbursement. Processing these dental bills takes additional time.

We don’t have to process dental bills for reimbursement. Again, dentists agree to offer a discounted rate to our members. Our members pay that discounted price at the time of their visit. No reimbursements are necessary. You’re already getting the savings you want and need!

Will There Be Any Waiting Involved with a Discount Dental Plan?

If you purchase our Dental Access plan (powered by the Aetna Dental Access network), there will be some waiting, but it’s minimal. You’ll need your ID card with this particular discount plan, which will be delivered to you in 7-10 business days.

Something else to keep in mind is that dentists in high demand may have waiting lists for appointments with them. There are some dentists, especially popular dentists in urban areas, that fill up fast. When you call to make an appointment, you may need to wait a week or two before you can visit, sometimes longer.

If you need immediate assistance, make a list of dentists near you and call each of them to see what their wait time is for visits. They might have cancellations come up, so if you’re flexible you might be able to get into the dentist sooner than you think.

Did You Say I Can Use Both Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans at the Same Time?

As mentioned in the introduction, many people have both a dental insurance plan and a discount dental plan. While you cannot use these plans at the same dental visit, you can alternate their uses. For example, while you’re waiting for your dental insurance benefits to kick in, you can use your discount dental plan to lessen any immediate treatment you need that is not yet covered.

Furthermore, when you reach your annual maximum on your dental insurance plan, you can begin using your discount dental plan for discounts on dental work. This is a great way to continue to reduce dental costs.


Have more questions about your discount dental plan? Check out our other blog posts in our FAQ series or email us at editor@1dental.com.