Frequently asked questions from 1Dental members

How 1Dental plans work

Dentists who join these networks agree to give lower prices to members. In exchange, they can spend less time marketing their practice and more time caring for their patients.

It’s a win-win for both dentists and patients. Think of your dental plan like a Costco membership. Your membership gets unlimited savings at any of the dentists nationwide who are part of your plan.

For more details, check out our guide on how to use your plan.

We frequently hear from members of both plans that their dental bills are cut roughly in half overall.

Exact savings depend on the plan and the work being done. Here are the key differences:

General Dentistry

Although both plans offer strong savings, Careington 500 saves more on average at the general dentist than Dental Access does.

Specialist Work

Careington 500 saves a flat 20%, while Dental Access savings range from 15-50%. Specialists include endodontists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, prosthodontists, periodontists, and pediatric dentists. We frequently recommend using a specialist in the Aetna Dental Access Network if one is available near you.

Number of Dentists

While both plans have tens of thousands of dentists nationwide, the Aetna Dental Access network is larger than the Careington Care 500 network. Careington 500 is usually a great choice for large metro areas, while Dental Access may offer a wider selection in rural areas.

If you need to switch plans for any reason, we can help you switch for free or add the other plan to your membership at a heavily discounted rate.

No. Honestly, we believe dental insurance is a lot more complicated. It might have a 6-month waiting period for one procedure, a 1-year waiting period for another, a limit of 2 cleanings a year, an annual limit of $1,500 that they’ll cover in total, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what it does and does not cover. Dental offices often have to call, file paperwork, and still wait weeks or even months for reimbursement. Rates can go up depending on your region of the country, age, perceived risk, pre-existing conditions, and all sorts of other factors.

1Dental is a whole different concept. These are called dental savings plans or dental discount plans, not dental insurance plans. They work more like a Costco membership. Dentists undergo an approval process to join the networks. Once approved, they’re listed on our website and are under contract to give discounted rates to members. Often, the savings are similar to or even better than what people save with individually-purchased insurance policies (especially when you factor in the membership price, which is a lot lower than most insurance premiums), but there are no waiting periods, annual limits, exclusions of pre-existing conditions, or deductibles you have to meet. We think it’s a better system overall for both dentists and patients.

Yes. Here are some of the most common ways our members use 1Dental with dental insurance:

  • Using dental insurance for free cleanings and using 1Dental for more expensive work like crowns
  • Having their 1Dental plan pick up once their dental insurance has maxed out (usually at $1,000-$1,500 per year)
  • Using 1Dental during their insurance policy’s waiting period (often 6-24 months for major procedures)
  • Using 1Dental for procedures that dental insurance excludes (for example, adult braces, implants, and cosmetic dentistry)

Not all dental offices will allow you to keep two plans on file. We would suggest checking to make sure that your dental office is in-network with both plans and also asking the office how using both will benefit you.

If you’re unsure, please give us a call at 855-329-6305 or email us at so we can discuss your specific situation.

Yes! Whether you’re a licensed broker, a health blogger or just love sharing about 1Dental savings — get paid to sign others up as a side gig or an add-on to your benefit portfolio. You can sell to individuals or multiply your earnings by signing up businesses and organizations. We’ll provide you with your own personalized website, sales materials, and a dedicated team to help you succeed. Learn how to start selling

Visiting the dentist

Right away! Careington Care 500 shows your member ID right after signing up. While Dental Access does not show your member ID immediately, your dental office can call us at 855-329-6305 to verify your plan membership.

Click here to go to our dentist search engine.

If you can’t find your dentist in either the Careington Care 500 or Aetna Dental Access Network on our site, you can invite them to join.

You pay the dentist the discounted price at the time of your appointment, so there’s no need to file anything or wait for reimbursement. You and your dentist can decide how you’d like to pay the remainder (for example: by debit card, HSA, or payment plan — depending on the dental office and which types of payment they accept).

The dentist should call our office at 855-329-6305 during business hours (7am-5pm CST) to verify your membership. Especially if you have both Careington Care 500 and the Aetna Dental Access Network, the dentist needs to speak to a person. Careington’s automated system will only electronically verify one plan. Additionally, you can show your dentist the cards on the app to verify your membership in both plans.

Absolutely. Just make sure the dentist takes your plan.

Between checking the information on our website and talking to your dentist, you can get a good idea of what you’ll pay. Careington Care 500 gives exact prices of most procedures for your zip code, while Dental Access provides estimates.

Careington 500

If you already have a list of the treatments you need, just look them up on the list of procedures and prices. Even if you haven’t been to the dentist yet, you can still get a ballpark idea of what to expect. Don’t see your procedure on the list, or need to see a specialist? As long as your provider is in-network, you still get 20% off.

Dental Access

You can view estimates online, but your dentist will have more exact pricing for your treatment. You will save 15-50% on every official dental procedure at a participating provider, including procedures you do not see listed.

Careington 500

General Dentist: If you are going to a participating dentist and have the correct zip code entered on the procedure price list, the prices should match up exactly. Please make sure you are matching the procedures by ADA code and not just by name (ADA codes are 4 digits long and will look like “0120” or “D0120” on your treatment plan). Remember, we are here to help you get the most out of your plan! Please call us at 855-329-6305 if you need any assistance.

Specialists: Participating specialists such as oral surgeons, endodontists, and orthodontists have different pricing than what you see on the full price list, which is for general dentistry. With the Careington Care 500 plan, you will receive a flat 20% discount at participating specialists. Please note that even at your general dentist’s office, you may still be referred to a specialist within that office.

Dental Access

Dentists contract with the Aetna Dental Access Network individually, so while we provide estimates online for some of the more common procedures to give you a good idea of the savings, very rarely will the prices match up exactly. Each office has access to the entire Aetna fee schedule (price list) that they’ve contracted with, and your plan entitles you to all the discounted rates listed on that fee schedule at both participating dentists and specialists. As always, if there are any questions, please call us at 855-329-6305 and we’ll be happy to help.

As often as you like! You could go to the dentist for a cleaning every day and get the same savings (though once every 6 months is fine for most people ) .

This also applies to deep cleanings and periodontal maintenance for periodontal disease, which often need to be performed quarterly.

Bottom line: Our plans have no limits on any dental work, including cleanings.

Managing your membership

It’s easy, fast, and free! 1Dental members sometimes need to switch between Care 500 and Dental Access when they move to a new area or wish to see a certain dentist. Just call, email, or chat with our customer care team to let them know you need to switch, which only takes 1-2 business days to take effect. Or, instead of switching, we can help you add both plans to your membership at a heavily discounted rate!

There’s no reason not to add the entire household to your 1Dental plan — the second member is half price, and once you get to three, everyone else is free!

Simply let our customer care team know who you’d like to add, and we’ll be happy to make that change for you. You can contact us through the 1Dental app, chat, email (, or phone at 855-329-6305. Please allow 1-2 business days for changes to be reflected on your account.

We recommend downloading the app so you always have easy access to your account and our customer care team:

The 1Dental app makes it easy for you to send messages to our customer care team any time. You can make changes to your account like updating your payment and contact information.

Otherwise, you can email us at or call us at 855-329-6305.

Anyone living in your household can be included. You can also include parents, college students, or other family members if you are financially responsible for them.

If you run into any issues with your plan, we’ll do everything we can to make it right. We can help you switch plans, find a dentist, or update members on your plan.

But if 1Dental just isn’t a good fit for you, we’ll give you a full plan refund within the first 30 days of signing up, minus your setup fee.

If you’re too far into your first year for a refund, we can set your plan to cancel at the end of the year. Your plan is set to renew automatically, but just let us know if you want to change this setting.

Our Customer Care team will be glad to help if you need to cancel or make changes to your plan: 855-329-6305

View our detailed refund policy here.

About 1Dental

1Dental has been around since 1997. You can read our story here.

Careington, our partner company that administers the Care 500 and Aetna Dental Access networks, was founded in 1979 by two dentists. They wanted to create a better way to connect dentists with patients and provide everyone with access to more affordable dental care. Today, Careington networks serve millions of Americans nationwide.

Our CEO got his start selling dental insurance and quickly realized that Careington’s plans were often a more cost-effective solution for his clients. This was right around the time the internet started booming, and so 1Dental was born in 1997 to market and sell Careington dental plans. Careington administers the dental plan networks, while 1Dental serves as a sales, marketing, and customer service website.

We’ve enjoyed a close partnership over the years, including annual events like taking BBQ to the Careington office and hosting pickleball matches at ours. We share a common goal of making dental care more accessible and affordable for Americans nationwide.