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Individual Dental Insurance Plans

Dental insurance can be a great investment for both your finances and your health. That's because dental insurance plans primarily cover preventative care, which leads to better oral health and less expensive (and less painful!) procedures.

This page:

  Describes what dental insurance should cover

  Lists the main dental insurance coverage options on the market

  Gets you instant dental insurance quotes online

warning This page deals strictly with full-coverage dental insurance plans, not discount programs. If you are not interested in a full-coverage dental plan at this time, you can learn more about discount dental plans here.

Compare dental insurance plans and get instant quotes:

The search for the best coverage at the lowest price starts with comparing as many plans as possible from providers in your area.

Use our fast and free comparison service to get quotes from major insurers in your state:

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Dental insurance basics

Dental insurance works like most other types of medical coverage. You pay a monthly premium for coverage, and the policy pays for all or most of your related costs. The more expensive the policy, the more extensive the coverage.

While some health plans will cover dental care, many do not. If this applies to you, or if you carry an individual health policy, you may need an individual dental insurance policy to guarantee yourself adequate care.

A good dental insurance plan should cover all or almost all of any basic dental procedure you may need, like office visits and cleaning. Care beyond that may or may not be fully covered by a dental insurance policy. Generally, as procedures become more and more expensive (and intrusive), a dental insurance policy will be less and less likely to offer coverage cover for them.

The popularity of dental insurance has been on the rise over the past few decades. And as dental plans have become more widespread, different coverage options have developed.

Traditional dental insurance vs. Managed dental care

The most basic dental insurance plan works on a fee-for-service (often referred to as "indemnity") basis. You pay a monthly premium for coverage, and your insurer will pay for all or most of your necessary dental care, no matter where or from whom you choose to receive care.

A newer option is managed dental insurance, which works a lot like managed health care. A managed dental insurance plan covers most of the same service as an indemnity policy would, but premiums are usually lower and freedom of choice in dentists is restricted.

Most managed dental insurance plans work under a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), which means that policyholders must choose a primary dentist from a company provided list of approved dentists. To maintain full coverage for all procedures, any specialist you see will have to be approved by this primary dentist.

Basically all individual dental insurance, both fee-for-service (indemnity) and managed care policies, will impose a 6- to 18-month waiting period for most or all procedures, which means services won't be covered until after you've owned your policy for that long. (This is a compelling reason in favor of buying dental insurance before you know you need it. Like now, for instance.)

Getting dental insurance quotes

Conveniently enough, you're already online, and that's pretty much the best place to shop for dental insurance quotes. Quotes are almost instantaneous and you can compare dental insurance policies and prices side-by-side.

We like eHealthInsurance because they partner with dental insurance companies who offer both dental insurance policy types, and their dental insurance quotes take about 15 seconds to complete (really!).

You'll even get each dental insurance company's financial rating, a detailed break-down of what's covered, and a dentist directory. eHealthInsurance also offers discount dental plans, a less comprehensive form of coverage.

Keep in mind that no dental insurance quotes are final until the application is fully completed, so make sure you finish the process to lock in your quote. But you're under no obligation to buy a policy until you decide it's right for you. (No commitment until you sign on the dotted line!)

Check out eHealthInsurance now for fast and easy dental insurance quotes within seconds. Your mouth and your wallet will thank you!

The other option: Dental plans offer discounts on dental services, rather than full insurance coverage. They're less expensive, and there's no waiting period on services, but they mean more financial risk.

Next: Learn more about discount dental plans and discount cards..


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This internet site provides information of a general nature for educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. We make no guarantees as to the validity of the information presented. Your particular facts and circumstances, and changes in the law, must be considered when applying insurance law. You should always consult with a competent insurance professional licensed in your state with respect to your particular situation.