Dental Blog / Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

Enrolling in a dental insurance plan would add an additional cost to your monthly budget. So, is it worth it?

The simple answer is: yes, with the right plan, the benefits will outweigh the costs. More importantly, you'll be able to take care of your teeth and gums without having to worry about expensive bills just to see the dentist.

Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons why dental insurance is worth the cost. 

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

The great thing about dental insurance is that it can cover so much of the care that you need to maintain a perfect smile. Of course, coverage will vary from full coverage dental plans to more limited plans, but you can generally expect that you’ll receive support for the following:

  • Preventive care, which may include exams, cleanings, and x-rays, might be covered 100%.

  • Basic procedures, which may include things like fillings, gum treatments, and extractions, might be covered anywhere from 70-80%.

  • Major procedures, which may include things like root canals, dentures, bridges, crowns, and implants, might be covered from as low as 10% to as high as 50%.

  • Some plans also provide coverage for orthodontics, like braces.

As you can see, much of the routine care that you need is covered when you have the right dental insurance. And expensive procedures that can restore your smile may also be covered, at least to a certain degree, to help you save a lot of money.  

Note: Different insurance providers will place various treatments into different categories. For example, a root canal might be considered a major service by one provider, while another might classify it as a basic procedure. Also, the amount of coverage that’s offered for each category of care won’t be the same from one provider to the next. So be sure to read the fine print before deciding which plan is right for you and your family. 

The Costs to Consider as You Shop for Dental Insurance

If you’ve been to the dentist without insurance and had to pay out of pocket, you know how badly those bills can sting. 

Depending on your location and the dental professional you use, a simple visit for a checkup, x-rays, and cleaning could end up costing you hundreds of dollars. More advanced procedures are even more expensive. A root canal might cost you around $1,000, while dental implants could cost thousands. Ouch! 

As you shop for and compare dental insurance, keep those costs in mind to calculate just how much you can potentially save with the appropriate coverage. 

Even with insurance, though, there will be out-of-pocket costs to consider, such as:

  • The percentage that you’ll be responsible for in every category of care (for example, if your insurance will cover 70% of the cost of a basic procedure, you’ll be responsible for the remaining 30%)

  • The monthly premium to keep your insurance plan active

  • The deductible that needs to be met before coverage kicks in

  • The copay and co-insurance that might be applied to each visit

  • The annual maximum that the insurer will pay out (for example, if the annual max is $2,000, you’ll be responsible for paying anything that your dentist charges beyond that amount over the course of a year)

What About Discount Plans?

In addition to regular dental insurance, there are discount dental plans that are worth considering. These might help you save quite a bit of money too, but they work a little differently. Put simply, you pay an annual fee to get discounted rates from providers within a network. 

Like regular dental plans, these can vary in terms of how much they cost and how much coverage they provide for various services, so take your time as you browse your options. 

Should I Get Dental Insurance?

Don’t sacrifice your oral health because of the high costs of dental care, especially if you’re prone to tooth and gum problems. Instead, search for affordable insurance on the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can compare plans that are available in your area. Need some more help deciding? Check out our dental insurance guide for what else to consider when choosing the best dental insurance for you.