In recent years, traditional dental insurance has decreased in popularity among individuals, families, and employers. The reason is simple. There is virtually no way for you to come out ahead with such insurance.

Obviously, no company can stay in business very long by paying you $100 or more in benefits, while you pay the dental insurance company $100 or less in premium. In fact, when factoring in operating costs such as salaries, rent, utilities, and other office expenses, an insurance company can only stay in business by paying out far less in dental benefits than it receives in premium. Discount plans have real advantages over this type of business arrangement.

Here are 6 powerful advantages of discount dental plans.

1. Lower premiums. While traditional dental insurance can be very expensive, a discount plan can be had for only $7 to $12 per month for an individual, and often less than $20 per month for an entire family. While many discount dental plans require that you pay for the entire year up-front, a few discount plans allow you to join and pay on a more affordable monthly basis.

2. No waiting periods for benefits. With a discount dental plan, existing dental conditions are covered immediately. No traditional dental insurance company can afford to do this. Typically, dental insurance requires a one year waiting period before major dental services such as crowns or dentures are covered.

3. No annual limits. Discount plans typically have no annual limits on benefits. On the other hand, all dental insurance policies contain a strict annual limit on benefits. This is an important tool that dental insurance companies use to ensure that they pay out less in benefits than they receive in premium.

4. Cosmetic dentistry is covered. Most dental insurance companies do not cover cosmetic dentistry, which is considered an elective service and not required for good oral health. Discount plans contain no such restrictions. Discount plans do not distinguish between cosmetic dentistry and other types of dental services.

5. No paperwork hassles. Unlike traditional dental insurance, when you use a discount dental plan, there are no claim forms to file. This makes things easier for both the dental patient and the dental office.

6. Everyone in your household can be covered on the same dental plan. Typically, you are not limited to immediate family members with a discount plan. Anyone living in your household may qualify for the same plan, and your monthly premium doesn’t go up beyond the single family rate. Household members might include a grandparent, a grandchild, an uncle or aunt, or even an unrelated person living within your household.

If you think insurance is the way to go, then it may be time to rethink everything you’ve ever held true about dental care. Go with a discount plan that actually saves you money. Let the insurance company make a profit on someone else.