Aetna Dental Access Savings Plan | Dental Plan Review

Aetna Dental Access Savings Plan | Dental Plan Review

 Alex Westerhoff
Written by Alex Westerhoff 🔬 Evidence Based
Aetna Dental Access Savings Plan | Dental Plan Review

If you’re planning on joining a dental savings plan, it’s worthwhile to consider “brand name” options that your dentist will recognize. Such as the Aetna Dental Access program.

Aetna Dental Access isn’t dental insurance, even though you probably recognize Aetna as a dental insurance name. This program is run by the same reputable company, but it’s a dental savings plan instead of traditional insurance coverage. As such, Aetna Dental Access also works differently than conventional insurance policies when it comes to your oral health care. Instead of having to commit to a membership program with a specific dentist, you use your Aetna discount plan card at any participating dentist’s office (there are over 226,000 of them in the Aetna Dental Access Network) to get instant savings on your treatment.

Plan Highlights

The thing that’s great about this dental savings plan is that it’s easy to use, you save money on everything (including braces and specialty services), and you don’t have to process any insurance claims or guess what your insurance is going to cover or not cover. The plan is NOT insurance, so you don't have to deal with insurance!

With this program:

  • Save 10-60% on most treatments
  • Pay your discounted rate at the time of service
  • No limits or waiting periods
  • Everyone is covered
  • Search tools help you locate a dentist and compare prices

Cons (What I Dislike)

Dental savings plans aren’t right for everyone. Especially if you already have a dentist you love, but they don’t accept the Aetna Dental Access plan.

  • You still have to pay for checkups (although it’s at a discounted rate)
  • It takes 24-72 hours after joining before you can use your plan

Who is the Aetna Dental Access Dental Savings Plan For? 

Aetna dental savings plans are perfect for anyone without dental insurance coverage. Whether you’re hoping to save on an upcoming smile makeover, you have a family, or you need specialized care like periodontal therapy and oral surgery, you can sign up for this program. It applies to practically everyone, and you know it will impact just about every dental service that’s offered.

And if you don’t have great coverage on prescriptions, vision, or hearing care, you can choose to add those to your membership as well!

Key features 

The Aetna Dental Access plan is a fairly versatile discount card you take with you wherever you want to go and use at any participating dentist’s office. Instead of having to check and “estimate” your insurance coverage, the dentist takes a flat, fixed percentage off of the treatment you’re having completed. Just about everything applies, with few exceptions.

You get:

  • Coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions
  • No limits to how much you spend or save every year
  • Immediate savings at every appointment
  • Easy to understand benefits
  • Pricing tool and comparison resources on the Aetna website

Aetna Dental Access Benefits 

If you’re comparing the specifics of different dental savings plans, here’s what the Aetna Dental Access program covers…

Dental Benefits 

With this specific Aetna plan, you get:

  • 50-60% discounts on basic or preventative care like checkups, exams, and X-rays.
  • 40-60% off restorative treatments (fillings and sometimes crowns)
  • 37-42% off braces for anyone in your family Braces (Save 37% to 42%)
  • 59-85% discount on cosmetic treatments like whitening, bonding, veneers, and more.
  • 30-55% off dentures, partial dentures, and bridges.
  • 50-65% off oral surgery procedures, including tooth extractions and wisdom tooth removal.

Additional Benefits

You have the option of additional discounts for an additional fee. Some Aetna savings plans also let you save on eye exams, hearing aids, and prescription drugs. This one usually doesn’t, so just be sure to keep that in mind if you’re comparing multiple savings programs. 

How Much Is Aetna Dental Access Dental Savings Plan?

Is it worth buying a membership to the Aetna Dental Access savings plan? Depending on how well you keep up with your checkups, possible needs you have coming up (like braces or your college kid’s wisdom tooth removal), and if you’re planning on having work completed yourself, this dental savings plan can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars just in one year without dental insurance.

This specific plan is location-based, so the exact membership can fluctuate depending on which state or zip code you’re in. The average membership is $134 a year for individuals and $190 a year for families. So, if you’re a family of four, that’s just under $50 a year per person. There’s also a $20 processing fee for first-time members.

If you schedule two checkups and cleanings a year for you and your family, the Aetna Dental Access plan basically pays for itself.

Savings on Common Dental Procedure

Whenever you bring your dental savings plan card to a participating dentist’s office, you save on your bill each time you check out. Simply let them know you’re part of the Aetna dental discount plan. Remember, you usually have to join 2-4 days before your appointment for your membership to kick in.

Dental Services*Price Without Plan**Price With PlanPotential Savings 
Routine 6-Month Check-Up$59.00 $26.00 54%
Adult Teeth Cleaning$105.00 $48.00 54%
Child Teeth Cleaning $76.00 $35.00 54%
Single Crown$1,300.00 $750.00 42%
Root Canal Treatment$979.00 $379.0061%
Full Upper Denture$1,987.00 $860.00 57%
Simple Tooth Extraction$219.00 $75.00 66%
Impacted Wisdom Tooth$475.00 $147.00 69%

* Price without a plan is estimated pricing.

** Discounted Fees / Price With Plan Fees are listed for visits to a participating general dentist. Members will be charged the provider's Aetna Dental AccessSM contracted fees. Charges may vary from the sample fee schedule above. Consult with your provider prior to beginning any treatment. Lab fees may be additional.

As long as you provide your card at a participating location, you’ll get to save on: 

Basic And Preventive Dental Care

These are your routine six-month checkups. Honestly, you can’t afford to skip these visits because if you do, your chances of gum disease and tooth decay skyrocket. Depending on your oral health history and age, your dentist may also recommend things like dental sealants, fluoride treatments, etc.

Most people with healthy mouths need an exam, cleaning, and oral cancer screening twice a year. But if you’ve had gum disease in the past you might need a maintenance cleaning every 3-4 months.

Restorative Dental Procedures 

Restorative dentistry includes treatments used to repair or restore damaged teeth. Such as dental fillings for cavities, crowns on structurally damaged teeth, and even root canal therapy for abscesses. The earlier restorations are placed, the more tooth structure there is that you can preserve. Earlier treatments are more conservative and thereby more affordable. With a dental savings plan, you don’t have to guess about what is or isn’t covered, either.


Look, braces can be expensive for anybody, even with great dental insurance. Using a dental savings plan takes a flat amount off of your orthodontic fees even if you’re getting braces for a second time (because there’s no “lifetime maximum” like what you see with conventional insurance. Double-check with your orthodontist to make sure the discount applies to the type of braces you want.

Cosmetic Dentistry

One of the best reasons to get a dental savings plan—aside from using it for basic checkups—is the fact that you get discounts on things that traditional dental insurance doesn’t cover. Like cosmetic work. Since cosmetic dentistry is considered an “elective” service, insurance won’t touch it with a 10-foot-pole. Want a smile makeover? Tough. But with the Aetna Dental Access plan, you still get a discount on your smile enhancement. So go ahead and whiten your teeth, get veneers, or plan that total smile makeover, knowing it’s even more affordable than you thought was possible.

Dentures and Bridges

If you have missing teeth, it can be difficult to justify paying for dental work or even getting dental insurance, especially if all you need is dentures. But with affordable dental savings plans, you can get new “plates”, partials, or fixed bridges to fill in your missing teeth in an affordable manner. These treatments are usually frustrating with dental insurance because of all the guesswork involved, but Aetna Dental Access makes it as simple as possible.

Oral Surgery (Tooth Extraction)

Oral surgery is one of those crossover services that dental insurance sometimes won’t cover because it’s “too medical,” but medical insurance won’t cover it because it’s dental in nature. This can be extremely frustrating for families needing IV sedation for wisdom tooth removal, cyst removal, PRP and PRF therapy, biopsies, or a sinus lift for dental implants. Fortunately, they’re all included under the Aetna Dental Access plan as long as you see a participating oral surgeon.

Is Aetna Dental Access Plan Good?

Is the Aetna Dental Access savings plan good? Absolutely. Especially if you know it’s accepted by a dentist near you. Since Aetna is such a reputable company, you know you’re getting great service on your regular oral care needs. Today a lot of patients (and even dentist’s offices) are getting away from traditional dental insurance, so a dental savings plan is the next best—if not better—alternative.

A dental savings plan also allows opportunities to consider add-on benefits for prescription drugs, eyeglasses and eye exams, and hearing services. Anyone can use the discount card, so it doesn’t matter “how bad off” your smile is. Since there are no waiting periods or criteria around pre-existing conditions, this option will literally save you money from day one.

Somewhere around 260,000 dental practice locations accept Aetna dental savings plans. And on average, most people save 15-50% off every single dental visit. You can use your card over and over again or just twice a year for your checkups.

Since your plan is available through Aetna, you get access to convenient customer service and online tools to compare costs in your area. That way, if you have a treatment plan from one dentist, you can plug in the procedures and see what other dentists are charging without ever stepping foot in a second dental practice. All 200k+ dentists nationwide are included!

Bundle Aetna Dental Access + 500 SERIES Careington  

Since the Aetna Dental Access plan doesn’t automatically include add-ons for prescription, vision, or hearing discounts, you have a great opportunity to add the 500 series Careington option as a bonus. This add-on plan features the highest level of savings at dental and specialty practices with added savings on eyewear and prescriptions. Participating locations include reputable places like Sam’s Club, Costco, Publix, Target, Kroger, Winn Dixie, CVS, Ride Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, JCPenney Optical, and many, many others. And it’s the same price! Learn more about the preferred plan here!

Aetna Dental Savings Plan vs. Competitors 

With the Aetna dental savings plan, you get a reputable company with flat discounts accepted at thousands of locations nationwide. As opposed to independent membership programs that are only accepted by specific dentists. With Aetna Dental Access, it doesn’t matter where you’re at (you could be on vacation and need an emergency dentist), and you have several choices to pick from. And with the pricing tool, you have the inside scoop you need to save more on dental care. Smaller competitors don’t offer that.

Related: Best Dental Discount Plans

Savings PlanIndividual Plan Cost Family Plan CostPotential Savings 
Aetna Dental Access$134.95/year$189.95/year15% to 50%
Aetna Vital Dental Savings$149.95/year$194.95/year15% to 50%
Aetna Vital Dental Savings Plus Rx$164.95/year$199.95/year10% to 60%
Cigna Dental Savings$164.95/year$199.95/year10% to 60%
iDental Discount Plan $134.95/year$189.95/year10% to 50%
Careington Dental Discount Plans$164.95/year$199.95/year10% to 60%
Dentegra Smile Savings$134.95/year$189.95/year15% to 50%
DenteMax Discount Dental Plan$164.95/year$199.95/year10% to 40%
 Alex Westerhoff
Written by Alex Westerhoff Alex Westerhoff has been writing about dental health financing and business (among other topics) for more than 7 years.
Last updated onDecember 7, 2023Here is our process

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