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Survey From Dental Marketing Resource Reveals Dental Insurance Opinions

Posted on July 16, 2012 (TWD) uncovered strong opinions among the doctors who responded to a recent survey. A 70% majority of the practicing dentists who participated think that the US dental insurance system is as broken as the medical insurance system.

Comments from the majority of dentists ranged from thoughts that insurance is a "curse on the profession"; to observations that dental insurance is really little more than a marketing strategy to get patients into the office; to criticism that most plans pay too little —such as a $1,000 yearly limit—to cover anything but the most superficial dental treatments.

"It’s conventional wisdom that the American healthcare system is somewhat broken—and most dentists think that dental insurance is at least as broken as medical insurance," says Jim Du Molin, editor of and founder of dental marketing leader Internet Dental Alliance, Inc. (IDA). "So it's not really a surprise to find that dentists think the system is not meeting the needs of most Americans."

With such overwhelming agreement among the majority of dentists, the survey also revealed some interesting insights among the 30% minority. There were a wide variety of reasons given for not agreeing with the statement of a broken system.

One dentist volunteered that his practice relied on patients who have dental coverage, and commented that without insurance many people would not be able to have any dental treatment at all. Another dentist commented that the state of dental insurance impacts the profession far less than medical insurance affects medical doctors: MDs would be out of business if they refused to accept patients with insurance plans, but most dental patients are accustomed to paying for their own treatments.

This sentiment is validated by the results of a different but related TWD survey. When asked if they had stopped taking dental insurance altogether, 55% said they had either completely or mostly dropped it. However, one third of the respondents said the dropping insurance was not financially feasible for them. Dentists will need to weigh the risk of losing patients with the potential of an increased bottom line resulting from not dealing with insurance companies.