An individual chooses the best dental plan by determining which services are included, how much out-of-pocket expense he's willing to pay, and how much flexibility a specific type of plan offers, according to About.com. To narrow down options, the person can visit a dentist to determine his current dental health.
The three types of service commonly included in dental plans are emergency care, complex care and preventative/routine care, notes About.com. Emergency care is reserved for damaged teeth, accident treatment and extraction. Complex care includes bridges, dentures and orthodontia. A majority of dental plans only cover half the cost of complex care procedures. Preventative/routine care includes X-rays, check-ups and fillings as well as some oral surgery.
A majority of dental plans are managed-care plans in which policyholders choose a dentist who is a member of a preferred provider organization, states About.com. Dental plans that include a dental health management organization have a specific coverage limit no matter how complex the necessary dental care might be. A freedom-of-choice plan gives policyholders the ability to visit any dentist.
The out-of-pocket costs associated with dental plans relate to the cost of procedures not covered by the plan and premiums, according to About.com. A person in good dental health may be more comfortable with the lower premiums that come with an HMO plan, while a person in need of more complex procedures may prefer the high premiums of a freedom-of-choice plan.