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Why Do I Need Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance is an important tool in protecting your overall health and the health of your family. Brushing and flossing regularly will help you keep a cleaner mouth, but only a dentist and dental hygienists have the tools and ability to fully clean your teeth.

Without regular cleanings, bacteria built up in your mouth can lead to decay, cavities, and eventually tooth loss! Regular visits to the dentist are essential to not only prevent these problems, but also catch any problems that do exist before they cost you your smile.

Even a simple trip to the dentist costs money, however, and with a family or more serious issues, the costs can quickly multiply. That’s where dental insurance comes into play. A dental insurance plan from Guardian can help cover the cost of basic dental services as well as most costly procedures.

The Guardian Life Insurance Company has been protecting our members for over 155 years, but as a Guardian member, you’re getting more than just dental protection. You’re getting access to:

1. Large National Network

With over 114,000 providers at more than 319,000 locations nationwide*, Guardian members have access to one of the largest preferred provider networks. With a larger network, it’s more likely you’ll be able to save money with your current dentist or find a new one close to your home or place of work.

2. Save Up to 35%

On average, our dental insurance products save members 35% off standard rates. Depending on the plan you choose, preventive care such as checkups and cleanings may cost you little or nothing at all, and savings on more advanced procedures like root canals or crowns are covered as well.

3. More Choices

No matter what plan you have, you’re covered. If you’re looking for greater value, you might want to consider one of our DHMO plans (available in select states). If you prefer freedom and flexibility, you may choose to go with a PPO plan. DHMO plans typically cost less, but require you to see the in-​network dentist you selected. With a PPO plan, you can see any dentist, but you save up to 35% when you stay in-​network.

*Source: Guardian, March 2016 Reporting

PPO vs. DHMO: What’s the Difference?

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans

PPO plans allow members to take advantage of the entire Guardian network of providers and, if necessary, dentists outside it. Members with PPO plans pay a monthly premium and their plan covers a percentage of their dental costs after a deductible is met.

A PPO plan gives you the ability to visit any dentist—with no referrals needed for specialists—but you’ll see the most savings when you visit a dentist in-network. These plans also have an annual maximum for what they will cover each year.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) Plans

With a DHMO plan, you have to choose one dentist (or dental office) as your provider. Should the need to see a specialist arise, your primary dentist will refer you, though specialty services may need to be pre-authorized by Guardian.

With a DHMO plan, you have no annual maximum and no deductible and instead pay a copayment, based on the dental service you received. These plans can be very affordable for both individuals and families because many diagnostic and preventive services often have no copayment. If you go to another dentist, however, you could be responsible for paying the entire bill yourself, so choosing the right dentist is important.

Higher monthly premiums
Lower monthly premiums
Choice of dentists
Freedom to visit any dentist, but save more with in-​network dentists
Must see a selected in-​network dentist for benefits to apply (there is no out-of-network coverage). If an in-network dentist is not selected, we will select one for you at time of enrollment
Payment for care
Pay an annual deductible and the plan pays a percentage of your costs once it’s met
You pay a set co-​pay at each visit, so you know exactly what it will cost
Referrals for specialists
Not Required
Annual maximum
Limited to how much the plan will cover each year
No annual maximum


In short: DHMO plans typically cost less, but require you to see the in-network dentist you select. PPO plans allow you the freedom to see any dentist, with greater savings when you stay in-network.

Don’t ignore your teeth! Take care of them at home, find a provider you trust to help you look out for and prevent any possible complications, and purchase dental insurance to help cover the costs. As a Guardian member, you’ll have access to our large network of dentists and comprehensive coverage, no matter which option you choose.

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