Many people believe that selecting traditional dental insurance plans is to pay for it themselves, in effect having personal or individual dental plans. However, this is not the case. The best dental plans are actually those that can be gotten via employer-sponsored dental plans.If you purchase individual dental insurance, chances are you will have to satisfy deductibles or waiting periods prior to having any major or even minor work done that the insurance company deems restorative. Thus you may find that you should look into what’s known as discount dental plans.Discount dental plans are usually more affordable than individual plans, and most do not have waiting periods nor complicated or strange coverage procedures that must be adhered to. However, in essence they are not really insurance either, not in the strict sense of the word.Instead of a monthly insurance premium, you will have a club membership. This membership will be less expensive than what you might pay for traditional dental insurance. Coverage is similar for dental work, and often they even perform cosmetic procedures, unlike standard indemnity dental insurance plans.The pros of such memberships is that they are extremely affordable, the service is often more extensive, and you can receive immediate coverage. The cons are that you are taking a bigger financial risk, and you may have more financial responsibility. With these membership plans there is not total coverage, thus if you need an extraordinary procedure, it may mean large out-of-pocket expenses. Even lower cost services such as cleaning, will still mean that part of the cost will be your responsibility.As mentioned one of the big advantages of these types of plans is the fact that they are effective as soon as you join. Whereas insurance dental plans often have waiting periods of 6 to 18 months for major procedures, even major procedures can be performed at a discount immediately. Also, the greater majority of dental discount plans even come with money-back guarantees.Indemnity dental insurance plans will have the client or employer pay a monthly premium. Then when a procedure is needed, the insurance company reimburses the dentist for the service. Keep in mind that this is not total coverage either. Many insurance companies pay 50% of the dental fee if it’s a covered procedure, but the remainder is ultimately your responsibility. Usually you will get to have the dentist of your choice and there will be a dollar amount limit set by the insurance company. Often there is a high deductible involved except for preventative dental services.Dental HMOs will cost a bit less than indemnity insurance, but you will have to select a dentist from their providers. These will be referred to a Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) or capitation plans. Preferred Provider Organizations are another type of dental insurance, also very similar to DHMOs. All of these require you to go to the dentist that is on their list, otherwise if you go out of the preferred provider list, chances are that you will bear the brunt of the costs involved in any procedures.