About 97% of dental insurance plans are employer-based, according to NADP, but people who are unemployed or whose employers do not offer dental benefits are increasingly enrolling in discount dental plans. "With the economic downturn, discount dental plans are one of the only products that have been available to individuals to purchase on their own," said NADP Executive Director Evelyn Ireland. Websites such as DentalPlans.com, Brighter.com and DentalSave.com allow consumers to compare prices and discounts, and some offer savings on cosmetic care and orthodontics.

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