There are many types of dental and medical insurance plans that patients might seek. This information will be discussed in multiple sections.
DMO – HMO – Dental Health Maintenance Organization – Dental Insurance Plan
This is the lowest type of dental health insurance plan because it usually is a capitation plan. This type of plan is commonly found with union dental plans. After a patient picks a dentist on the DMO plan the insurance company then pays the dentist a pre-arranged monthly rate regardless of the amount of work performed on the patient. This is called capitation. This pre-arranged rate can be as low as $10 per month. This is usually found in high volume practices where the focus is on providing minimal diagnosis and treatment.
How much dentistry can a dental office really provide if they are only receiving $10 per month or $120 per year per patient from the dental insurance plan. Very little. I have read that it costs $15 just to cover the cost of disinfection and sterilization of a treatment room between patients.
Patients will also find that they will have very limited treatment time with the dentist and perhaps little or no time for discussion. This can increase fears in phobic patients. Dental cleaning visits will typically be for twenty minutes instead of one hour in our office. A visit with an orthodontist will typically be for 5-10 minutes instead of one hour in our office.
Ironically, I suggest that these practices that charge the lowest fees are in fact most concerned with money and not dentistry. It is not an unreasonable assumption that those dentists who take the most pride in their work will not belong to DMOs or HMOs. I think they should be avoided.
–Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
The Center for Special Dentistry
The Center For Special Dentistry is NOT a member of any dental insurance plan network.