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Discount dental plans are gaining new ground

Dentist Direct, LLC, a Salt Lake City-based dental insurer, is rolling out a product targeted specifically to the uninsured dental market-and more specifically, the uninsured senior dental market. The state-licensed product, Dentist Direct Access, offers a network of providers who've agreed to preset reduced fees covering most services. Indeed, experts say, discount plans may be entering a new phase of integration with more traditional dental plans. In fact, major insurers have already started to offer discount plans, something few would have foreseen just a few years ago, says Cathye Smithwick, RDH, MA, principal and dental practice leader in Mercer Health & Benefits' San Jose, CA, office.