There are many different dental insurance plans available from HMO¹ to PPO². The dental insurance plan that you choose will depend on what is most important to you. The main difference between these two dental insurance programs is similar to traditional health insurance. HMO requires you to pick a primary dentist and to also get referrals. PPO means that you do not need referrals. You are also not limited to one primary dentist.
Traditional health insurance DOES NOT include Dental Insurance coverage as part of the core benefits. Many companies offer their own dental insurance coverage to bundle everything together. Even in this instance, the dental insurance will be a separate plan and a separate cost. It is wise to compare plans benefits, co payments and monthly premiums to make sure you are getting the best dental insurance coverage available.
Many of the Medicare plans include a dental insurance type program. Some will at the least cover certain types of procedures such as cleanings, x-rays and oral examinations. There have been Medicare plans known to actually give you a full blown dental insurance plan at no additional cost ( Ask me which one!)
¹HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Designed to give you lower and more predictable costs as compared to other types of plans. You are limited to a primary care doctor to give you referrals to specialists.
²PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Flexibility to pick the doctor of your choice without the need of a referral. Typically cost more because of this added freedom.