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You can get dental insurance from Cigna, one of the companies that offers this. They offer many different plans to suit your wants and budget. You can choose between Cigna Dental DHMO vs PPO plans: the Dental Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) plan and the Preferred Provider Organisation (PPO) plan. Each is made to fit the cost, service, and freedom needs of a different group.

Dental health is integral to overall well-being, affecting the mouth and systemic health. Regular dental visits can prevent severe health issues like infections, heart disease, and diabetes. Having dental insurance ensures that individuals can afford routine checkups, cleanings, and necessary treatments without financial strain.

Types of Cigna Dental Plans

Cigna Dental DHMO

Cigna Dental DHMO plan members must choose a primary care dentist from the Cigna network. This is because it is a managed care plan. Preventive care is emphasized in this plan, and you’ll pay less out of pocket for covered treatments.

Cigna Dental PPO

The Cigna Dental PPO plan provides more flexibility, allowing members to visit any dentist, although choosing a dentist within the network will lower out-of-pocket costs. This plan is ideal for those who prefer a wider selection of providers and do not want to be restricted to a primary care dentist.

Understanding Cigna Dental DHMO

What is a DHMO Plan?

Members of a Dental Health Maintenance Organisation (DHMO) plan must choose a primary care doctor to care for all their dental needs. You need a recommendation for specialist services, and most insurance plans only cover a network of dentists.

How DHMO Plans Work

DHMO plans are paid for ahead of time. Members pay a set monthly fee and get full dental care with very few out-of-pocket costs for covered services. Most of the time, preventive care is paid in full, but some treatments have set co-pays.

Benefits of Cigna Dental DHMO

  • Lower Costs: DHMO plans typically have lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs than PPO plans.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Many preventive services are covered at no additional cost.
  • No Deductibles: Most DHMO plans do not have deductibles, making accessing care without upfront costs easier.

Limitations of Cigna Dental DHMO

  • Network Restrictions: Members must use dentists within the Cigna network, limiting provider choices.
  • Referral Requirements: Specialist services require referrals from the primary care dentist.
  • Less Flexibility: The structured nature of the plan can be restrictive for those seeking more autonomy in their dental care.

Understanding Cigna Dental PPO

What is a PPO Plan?

A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan offers more flexibility. It allows members to see any dentist but incentivizes using in-network providers through lower out-of-pocket costs.

How PPO Plans Work

Members pay a monthly premium for the plan and can choose any dentist. While seeing an in-network dentist reduces costs, out-of-network care is still partially covered. PPO plans often include deductibles and coinsurance.

Benefits of Cigna Dental PPO

  • Greater Flexibility: Members can visit any dentist without needing referrals.
  • Extensive Network: Cigna’s PPO network is broad, offering many choices within the network.
  • Out-of-Network Coverage: Members can still receive coverage for out-of-network services at a higher cost.

Limitations of Cigna Dental PPO

  • Higher Costs: Premiums, deductibles, and co-pays are higher than those in DHMO plans.
  • Complex Billing: Members may need to handle more paperwork and varying out-of-pocket costs.

Cigna Dental DHMO vs PPO: A Detailed Comparison

Network and Provider Access

  • DHMO: Limited to a network of dentists; members must choose a primary care dentist.
  • PPO: Offers a wide range of dentists in and out of network; no need for referrals.

Cost and Pricing Structure

  • DHMO: Lower premiums and minimal out-of-pocket costs with fixed co-pays.
  • PPO: Higher premiums and variable out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and coinsurance.

Coverage and Benefits

  • DHMO: Strong coverage for preventive care with lower costs for basic and major services.
  • PPO: Comprehensive coverage with the flexibility to choose providers; higher costs for greater freedom.

Flexibility and Restrictions

  • DHMO: More restrictive with required primary care dentist and referrals for specialists.
  • PPO: Greater flexibility with the ability to see any dentist, though in-network providers are more cost-effective.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

  • DHMO: Lower out-of-pocket expenses overall.
  • PPO: Potentially higher out-of-pocket costs, especially for out-of-network care.

Cigna Dental DHMO vs PPO Price

Average Costs of DHMO Plans

DHMO plans generally have lower monthly premiums, ranging from $20 to $40. Co-pays for services like cleanings, fillings, and extractions are minimal or nonexistent.

Average Costs of PPO Plans

PPO plans usually have higher monthly fees, ranging from $40 to $70. Members also have to pay coinsurance for services and expenses, which ranges from $50 to $100 a year.

Factors Influencing Plan Prices

  • Geographic Location: Prices can change depending on where you live and how much it costs.
  • Age and Health: Older individuals or those with specific health issues might face higher premiums.
  • Plan Features: The extent of coverage and network size also impact pricing.

Cigna Dental DHMO vs. PPO Cost Analysis


  • DHMO: Lower premiums; ideal for budget-conscious individuals.
  • PPO: Higher premiums; suitable for those valuing flexibility.


  • DHMO: Generally, no deductibles.
  • PPO: Typically requires an annual deductible before coverage kicks in.

Co-pays and Coinsurance

  • DHMO: Fixed co-pays for services; minimal out-of-pocket costs.
  • PPO: Variable coinsurance; members pay a percentage of the service cost.

Annual Maximums and Out-of-Pocket Limits

  • DHMO: Often, there are no annual maximums on coverage.
  • PPO: Annual maximums typically range from $1,000 to $2,000, after which the member pays all costs.

Best Cigna Dental Plan for Different Needs

Individual Plans

For single individuals, choosing between DHMO and PPO depends on budget and flexibility preferences. DHMO plans are cost-effective, while PPO plans offer more provider options.

Family Plans

Families may benefit more from PPO plans due to the broader network and flexible provider options, accommodating various dental needs and preferences.

Senior Plans

Seniors might prefer DHMO plans for their lower costs and comprehensive preventive care, crucial for maintaining oral health in older age.

Plans for Orthodontic Needs

For those needing orthodontic care, PPO plans often provide better coverage options and access to a wider range of orthodontists.

Customer Experiences and Reviews

Positive Experiences with DHMO

Many customers appreciate the affordability and simplicity of DHMO plans. The low out-of-pocket costs and straightforward co-pay structure make it easy to manage dental expenses.

Positive Experiences with PPO

Customers often praise the flexibility and extensive network of PPO plans. Seeing any dentist and receiving out-of-network coverage is a significant advantage for those who move frequently or have specific dentist preferences.

Common Complaints and Issues

Some common issues include the limited provider choices with DHMO plans and the higher costs associated with PPO plans. Customers also report occasional difficulties with billing and claims processing.

FAQs About Cigna Dental Plans

What is the difference between a PPO and a DHMO?

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization):

  • Flexibility: Allows you to visit any dentist, with incentives to use in-network providers for lower costs.
  • Coverage: Includes both in-network and out-of-network coverage, though out-of-network services will generally cost more.
  • Costs: Typically, premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are higher than DHMO plans.
  • Referrals: No need for referrals to see specialists.

DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization):

  • Network: Requires you to select a primary care dentist from a limited network of providers.
  • Coverage: Covers services only when provided by in-network dentists. Out-of-network services are generally not covered.
  • Costs: Lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, with set co-pays for various services.
  • Referrals: Referrals from your primary care dentist are required to see specialists.

Is DHMO worth it?

Advantages of DHMO:

  • Lower Costs: DHMO plans typically have lower premiums and minimal out-of-pocket expenses, making them cost-effective for routine dental care.
  • Predictable Expenses: Fixed co-pays for services help manage and predict dental expenses.
  • Preventive Care Focus: Many preventive services, such as cleanings and exams, are covered at little to no cost.


  • Network Restrictions: You are limited to a specific network of dentists, which can be inconvenient if your preferred dentist is not included.
  • Referrals Needed: You need referrals to see specialists, which can add extra steps to getting care.
  • Less Flexibility: The plan is more structured, which might not suit those who prefer more freedom in choosing their dental providers.

DHMO plans can benefit those prioritizing lower costs and those comfortable with a more restricted network and referral requirements.

What is a Cigna DHMO?

A Cigna DHMO, or Dental Health Maintenance Organisation, is a type of dental insurance that focuses on preventative care and provides full coverage through a network of contracted doctors. Some important features are:

  • Primary Care Dentist: Members must choose a primary care dentist from the Cigna network to coordinate their dental care.
  • Cost-Effective: Lower premiums and predictable out-of-pocket costs, with fixed co-pays for dental services.
  • Network-Only Coverage: Coverage is limited to in-network dentists’ services, except in emergencies.
  • Referrals for Specialists: Specialist care requires referrals from the primary care dentist.

Cigna DHMO plans are designed to make dental care affordable and straightforward, particularly for preventive and routine services.

Why is DHMO cheaper?

Lower Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Costs: DHMO plans typically have lower monthly premiums than PPO plans. Out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays for services, are also generally lower and more predictable.

Network Control: By restricting coverage to a specific network of dentists, DHMO plans can negotiate lower rates with providers. This controlled network helps keep costs down for the insurance company and members.

Preventive Care Emphasis: DHMO plans to focus on preventive care, which helps catch dental issues early and reduces the need for expensive treatments later. This emphasis on prevention helps keep overall costs lower.

Simplified Administration: The requirement to use in-network dentists and the need for referrals streamline administrative processes, reducing costs associated with managing the plan.

These factors make DHMO plans affordable for individuals and families seeking comprehensive dental coverage.


Choosing between Cigna Dental DHMO and PPO plans depends on your needs and preferences. DHMO plans offer cost-effective and predictable dental care with lower premiums and fixed co-pays but come with network restrictions and referral requirements. On the other hand, PPO plans provide greater flexibility and a broader network of providers, though at a higher cost. Evaluating your budget, preferred level of flexibility, and dental care needs will help you decide which plan is best for you.

For personalized assistance and to get free quotes, visit today!

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Johnathan Reynolds
About Johnathan Reynolds

Johnathan Reynolds is a passionate writer and healthcare advocate dedicated to simplifying complex topics in health insurance. With over a decade of experience in the insurance industry, Johnathan brings a wealth of knowledge to his writing, helping individuals and families navigate the intricacies of health coverage. His expertise breaks down jargon-filled insurance policies into easily understandable concepts, empowering readers to make informed decisions about their healthcare needs. Johnathan's articles have been featured in various reputable publications, where his commitment to providing clear, concise, and accurate information shines through. Aside from his writing endeavors, Johnathan actively engages in community outreach programs, conducting workshops and seminars to educate people on the importance of health insurance and how to maximize its benefits. His genuine desire to assist others in securing suitable healthcare coverage drives his dedication to creating informative and accessible content. Johnathan holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics, which has honed his analytical skills and allows him to offer a unique perspective on the financial aspects of health insurance. His passion for continuous learning in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape ensures that his readers receive up-to-date and relevant information. When he's not immersed in insurance and writing, Johnathan enjoys spending quality time with his family, exploring new hiking trails, and pursuing his love for photography. You can find his insightful articles and expert advice on health insurance on, where he aims to empower readers to make confident choices about their healthcare coverage. Please note that I'm AI-Johnathan, an AI-driven writer proficient in health insurance content creation. Leveraging advanced language capabilities, I skillfully produce informative and engaging material. Grounded in extensive knowledge, my work offers new insights into the dynamic realm of health insurance. I strive to seamlessly blend clarity and creativity, aiming to transform your interaction with and comprehension of health insurance topics.

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