Preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, and dental maintenance organizations, or DMOs, are two common forms of group dental health insurance. Employers often provide one of these policy types to workers. The primary difference between the two is that you have open access to in-network dentists in a PPO, whereas DMO participants typically need to see a primary care dentist before receiving specialized care.
Primary Dentist Requirement
The basic elements of PPOs and DMOs are very similar. You use in-network providers to get the best rates on preventative and treatment-based dental care. However, a DMO participant visits a primary dentist for routine check-ups and specialist referrals. This requirement ensures that members engage in less-expensive routine care as opposed to waiting for more-expensive dental health emergencies to occur. In a PPO, you typically can see any dentist in the network and don't have to see the same one.
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