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Health Insurance Basics

How Does Dental Insurance Work?

December 07, 2017
What is Covered?

Although dental plans generally cover preventive maintenance like regular checkups and cleanings, you may have to pay a percentage of costs. Plans typically cover most expenses related to cavity fillings and may cover a portion of annual X-rays, crowns, root canals and other treatments, according to the National Association of Dental Plans.

What is Not Covered?

Non-covered services generally include cosmetic surgery and cosmetic procedures like tooth whitening or composite (tooth-colored) fillings. Depending on the plan, orthodontic treatments, dentures and dental implants may not be covered.

The Cost Difference

Having a dental plan can save you money. If you have coverage, you will pay less for services. For example, a routine cleaning that is $124 without dental coverage could be included at no charge or for a reduced fee if you do have coverage. Or, if you crack a tooth and need a crown, it can cost over $2,000 per tooth without coverage. Benefits will vary depending on your plan.

How Dental Insurance Coverage Works

Dental coverage can sometimes be added to a health plan, or it can be a stand-alone policy. Most plans cover preventive care, like cleanings and check-ups, immediately. Many types of dental coverage have a deductible for other types of care, such as fillings or root canals. Once you meet your deductible, you will pay a co-pay for care.

What You Need

Think about you and your family’s needs when choosing a plan. Will your child need braces? Do you have a history of dental problems? Are you anticipating any major dental work? Choosing the right dental insurance coverage can help maintain good health and save you money.