Similar to medical insurance plans, dental insurance policies are often categorized as either indemnity or managed-care plans. The major differences are concentrated around out-of-pocket costs, choice of dental care providers, and how bills are paid.
Typically, indemnity coverage offers a broader selection of dental care providers than managed-care policies. With an indemnity policy, the carrier pays for covered services only after it receives a bill, which means that you may have to pay up front and then obtain reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Usually, managed-care policies maintain their own dental provider networks. Dentists participating in a network agree to perform services for patients at pre-negotiated rates and usually will submit the claim to the dental insurance company for you.