Research shows that patients who have a benefit plan are more likely to seek dental care and accept treatment plans. For a growing practice that does not participate in a commercial dental plan, an in-office dental plan (sometimes called a dental membership savings plan or direct primary care agreement) may be a viable option to improve patient engagement and retention.
Under such a plan, the patient pays the doctor or dental office a fixed amount of money on a monthly or annual basis. In return, the patient generally receives preventive services at no charge, with other procedures offered at a discounted fee.
The ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs has developed a toolkit to help dental practices evaluate whether an in-office dental plan option is right for them. The toolkit contains a document that addresses common legal considerations and implementation steps, and includes checklists, a list of regulations by state, and a sample letter to introduce the program to patients. The toolkit also contains a calculator in Excel spreadsheet format to help predict the financial impact of adopting an in-office dental plan.
In-Office Dental Plans (complete document) [PDF]
States with Direct Primary Care Agreement Legislation [PDF]
General Contract Considerations [PDF]
Checklist and Considerations [PDF]
Marketing/Promotional Example Letter [PDF]
In-Office Dental Plan Calculator [Excel spreadsheet]