A tooth surrounded by piles of coins to represent dental insurance

DHMO vs. PPO Dental Insurance

November 18, 2020 11:10 pm Published by

Having dental insurance can be a great way to cover or reduce the costs of many treatments. At Ballston Dental Care, we’re in-network with many insurance providers. If you’re new to dental insurance, you may have questions about the differences between certain plans. For example, what’s the difference between DHMO and PPO insurance?


DHMO plans are similar to regular HMO health insurance plans. With a DHMO plan, you’re getting lower-cost coverage that focuses on preventive care. You’re encouraged to keep up with biannual dental visits and checkups. Out-of-pocket costs are clearly defined. If you choose this type of plan, you need to choose from a list of in-network dentists. If you need treatment from a specialist, your primary care dentist submits a referral.

The benefits of DHMO insurance include lower premiums than PPO, no deductible, and set copayments. On the downside, you won’t be covered for out-of-network dental care and you may have some restrictions on the number of covered visits and treatments.


PPO dental plans give you more flexibility when choosing your dentist, but there are higher out-of-pocket costs. You aren’t required to choose a primary care dentist, so you can switch in-network dentists or see a specialist without a referral. Depending on the plan, you may get partial reimbursement if you get treatment from an out-of-network dentist.

The main difference between DHMO and PPO is that PPO gives you more flexibility. On the other hand, PPO comes with higher premiums and possibly higher copayments. Most plans also involve a deductible and an annual limit on coverage.

Flexible Payment Plans at Ballston Dental Care

If you don’t have dental insurance or have costs that insurance won’t cover, we offer CareCredit financing. This third-party financing works like a credit card, so you can split your dental costs into affordable monthly payments. In certain situations, we also offer in-house financing.

Dr. Matney aims to provide quality dental care to every patient, no matter what their budget is. Please contact our Arlington office with any questions about our payment options!

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