The California Department of Managed Health Care has put its new discount dental plan licensing system into operation.

Officials at the DMHC have awarded the state’s first discount dental plan license to First Dental Health, a unit of the Word & Brown Companies that provides dental discount network programs for employer groups that lack dental insurance.

Word & Brown sells dental coverage and offers the discount dental program through its CaliforniaChoice programs. The CaliforniaChoice programs give California employers the ability to choose from a menu of many different health insurers, health plan designs and ancillary benefits options.

The First Dental discount program has been operating as The Dental Club.

Now that the program has the discount plan license, First Dental will be changing the program name to New Dental Choice, Word & Brown says.