Why proprietary dental networks have higher standards

When comparing dental benefits companies, do you understand the differences between proprietary and leased dental networks? It’s an important distinction to make, because a proprietary dental network is likely to provide you and your employees with higher standards through direct relations with its network and greater plan satisfaction.

With a proprietary dental network, the dental benefits provider contracts directly with their network of dentists. While under a leased dental network, a dental benefits company will lease their network of dentists, or a portion of it, from a third-party provider to gain access to its dentists.

1. Proprietary networks provide consistent credentialing.

When a dental network is proprietary, the benefits company can recruit and credential dentists directly and make sure standards are maintained on a regular basis.

In a leased network, the dental benefits provider may have limited oversight on credentialing of the dentists. As a result, the dentists in their network may not be held to the same credentialing standards.1

2. Clear communication leads to plan satisfaction.

In a proprietary network, the company and the dentists have more frequent and direct communication. In a leased network, there is often no direct contact between the dental benefits provider and the leased dentists.

Because fees paid by dental benefits companies may be different, it can be more difficult for a dental office to accurately estimate how much your employees would pay for treatment. And it may also be more challenging to determine whether or not they are in-network. These problems can lead to dissatisfaction with the plan, especially if employees are asked to pay more than the estimate. 

You and your employees can enjoy the advantages of a proprietary network while still having a great deal of choice. That’s because Delta Dental manages the largest proprietary network of dentists in the country with 3 out of 4 dentists participating nationwide.



1 https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2018-archive/june/ppo-leasing-networks-can-lead-to-confusion-consternation

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