Is dental insurance worth the cost?

Huffman Family Dentistry

Buying insurance is a no-brainer. You usually save money with medical insurance in the short and long time. If you pay a high monthly premium, you pay a lower deductible, and in the reverse. Dental insurance works differently. Buying a dental policy has a lot of pros and cons, from an insurance marketplace or your employee. Dental insurance doesn’t save you money in some cases, even with dental care.

What is the cost of dental insurance?
Americans pay around $360 annually, or $15 to $50 a month, for dental insurance. Costs vary depending on the state. Most dental plans have a maximum yearly benefit or coverage limit. This limit can fall between a thousand dollars and two thousand dollars. Dental insurance cuts off your coverage when your bills get to the annual limit. You will have to pay out of pocket for any additional costs.

You can find some good dental plans on the internet. Ehealth is a great place to start. Plans start $8 or less per most. This is a good resource for finding the best dental deal for yourself.

What is covered in a monthly dental premium?
The usual plan supplies a coverage level that is known as 100/80/50 coverage.
Preventative care contains cleanings, the exams, and x-rays you get at the average dental checkup. This is covered 100 percent. It is recommended by dentists that you get a cleaning twice a year. The basic procedures include extractions, fillings, and periodontal work. Seventy to eighty percent of basic procedures are covered. With the major procedures, 50 percent or less is covered. They include bridges, crowns, implants, root canals, etc.

What types of dental insurance plans are available.

Indemnity or fee for service plans
With this plan you are allowed to select a dental provider and your plan will pay you a percentage of the provider’s fee. The pros of this plan are that these plans allow you to select from a wide variety of providers and the deductible might be lower than some other plans. Annual maximum coverage might be higher. The cons of this plan are that the premiums are higher than other plans. You will be paying some of the services costs upfront. This plan is best if you want to see a particular provider or you suspect you might need cost or major procedures.

Preferred provider organization plans

With this plan, you will pay lower fees in a certain network of preferred providers. The pros are the network pays more than an indemnity or HMO plan. You don’t have to see preferred providers, but you will save money if you do. The cons with PPO plans are that you will have to pay more if you choose a provider out of the network and some procedures might not get covered or have a waiting period before coverage is started. This plan is for those who do not immediately need major work.

Health maintenance organization plan

You have to see a dental provider in the insurance network with an HMO. The pros are that preventative services will be 100 percent covered and you have to bay a co-pay of basic procedures. The cons of HMO plans are that major or restorative procedures have 50 percent less coverage or none at all and you will not have a huge selection of providers. This plan is best for those who don’t expect to need any major dental procedures in the future.


Whether dental insurance is safe depends on several factors. It depends on your current dental health and the plan you select. Having insurance can help you cover the high price that comes with extensive procedures. But you will still pay some out of pocket expenses. A dental insurer can give you a safety net when upwind up needing some extensive procedures. Read more here about what education is needed to become a dentist.

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