How Much Does Private Dental Insurance Cost?

Man having teeth examined by dentist

Most people know that healthy teeth and gums are essential for good overall health. They try to brush and floss their teeth daily. But often, they put off scheduling regular dental checkups because of the cost. However, dental insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. So, how much does private dental insurance cost? Review these answers to find out.

Types of dental plans

The main costs to understand are the monthly premiums for dental insurance coverage and how much the insurance pays toward dental procedures.

Most companies offer employer-sponsored dental benefits. They pay a portion of the monthly premium, with employees covering the rest. The premium is based on the type of plan chosen.

Dental plans range from basic coverage that provides benefits toward the most common procedures to more generous options that can include coverage for orthodontia for braces, teeth whitening and dental implants. Dental plans come with an annual maximum benefit for dental expenses ranging from $500 to $1,500 or more. All dental insurance plans usually pay most, if not all, of the cost for an annual or bi-annual preventive dental exam and professional teeth cleaning. If the plan offers a dental network of participating providers, you can save even more by seeing an in-network dentist.

Typically, dental insurance premiums are a fraction of the cost paid for regular health insurance. And dental insurance provides peace of mind for employees, so they don’t have to pay the entire cost for dental care and procedures out of pocket.

Some companies don’t have employer-sponsored dental insurance. Instead, they offer suggestions for an individual dental plan that can be purchased online directly from an insurance carrier. When making recommendations, employers should choose insurance carriers with a good reputation and a history of stability. With individual dental, employees are responsible for covering the total cost of the monthly premium and working with the insurance carrier.

The benefits you need

The best way to know the type of dental plan you need is by assessing your oral health. Do you typically see the dentist once, or twice, a year for an exam and professional cleaning? What is the condition of your teeth and gums? Do you have chipped or loose teeth or several with large fillings or crowns? Are your gums sore and inflamed?

Gathering this information can help you determine the type of dental plan you need. If you usually need only one or two fillings a year, a plan with basic coverage could be the best option. However, if you need extensive dental work, a plan with more generous benefits would better fit your needs. Every dental plan is designed differently. Learn more about dental coverage options.

Procedure expenses

When reviewing dental plan options, check the plan features. Look for information about copays and deductibles. A copay is a specific amount you pay each time you visit the dentist. And a deductible is the set amount you pay for dental procedures before insurance is applied.

It’s important to know the amount the plan will pay for dental procedures, such as fillings, crowns and root canals. If the plan includes access to a dental provider network, review the coverage amounts for in-network and out-of-network dentists. In-network dentists agree to accept discounted fees for covered procedures, which saves you money. With out-of-network dentists, insurance usually pays a lesser amount, leaving you with higher out-of-pocket costs.

As we all know, prevention is the key to staying healthy. So dental insurance plans usually cover most, if not all, of preventive checkups and professional cleanings once or twice a year. Scheduling these appointments is a good way to maintain healthy teeth and gums and control dental costs. During the exam, the dentist will check for oral health problems and signs of medical conditions. Catching these problems early can help lessen the amount you have to spend on advanced dental and medical care.