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How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?

Last Updated: February 01, 2022

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Typical costs: #

The cost of a dental insurance plan depends on the kind of insurance, deductible, what's covered, and other factors. An average cost is $25-$60 per month. Delta dental insurance is a major dental insurance provider. A typical plan with them costs $200-$500 a year and includes the following: two yearly exams, x-rays once a year to every three years, annual fluoride treatment for kids under twelve and a 20% out of pocket cost for spacers, fillings and basic extractions. For anything else, the insurance covers 50%.

What's included: #

  • Indemnity Plan: this kind of dental insurance lets the customer select their own dentist. Under this kind of plan a patient pays a flat fee for a visit to the dentist and has a yearly dollar limit on spending as well as coverage limits on some procedures.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): under a PPO dental insurance plan a certain group of dentists are approved for care at a discount.
  • Direct Reimbursement: this kind of dental insurance is provided through an employer who reimburses employees for dental work.

Additional costs: #

  • Many kinds of plans, including indemnity dental insurance plans, require a co-payment on certain kinds of services.
  • Most plans don't cover composite fillings (versus an amalgam filling), or only reimburse up to the cost of an amalgam.
  • Cosmetic dental procedures are not covered by insurance.

Discounts: #

  • Visit a local dentistry school which will usually provide discounted services in exchange for practicing on you.
  • There are several options for affordable dental insurance. A discount plan costs as little as $5/month. However, beware of such plans because many dentists don't honor them and if they do it will be for a 10% discount at most.
  • A fee for service discount plan costs about $10/month. With this kind of plan you pay a set, reduced price for services.
  • Paying cash for a dental procedure (with no insurance) can often get you a 10% discount.

Shopping for dental insurance: #

  • Because there are so many different kinds of dental insurance coverage it is important to consider your needs. Specifically, pay attention to what's called Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) fees. UCR fees describe the typical costs of dental procedures. For example, if the UCR for a cleaning is $100 and yours costs $150, the difference will have to be paid out of pocket.
  • Dental insurance helper is an online resource that provides information for prospective dental insurance purchasers.