While not included in most health insurance plans, dental care is a key component of your overall health. The good news is that dental insurance may be more affordable than you think. You can find a plan individually, or your employer may pay for all or part of your dental coverage as part of your benefits package. Dental insurance typically covers routine cleanings as well as more serious procedures like fillings and crowns.
The best dental insurance plans come with affordable monthly premiums, great coverage, and high customer satisfaction. While some dental insurance plans have a waiting period before you can receive full coverage, others allow you to start taking advantage of benefits right away. Here are some of the best options for dental insurance on the market.
The 5 Best Dental Insurance Providers of 2021
Best for Family Plans : UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance
We chose UnitedHealthOne dental insurance for its affordable, accessible family dental plans. UnitedHealthOne offers 10 different dental plans and comes highly rated by AM Best.
10 different plan options
Affordable monthly premiums
May have a waiting period for some services
Poor coverage for orthodontics
Dental coverage through UnitedHealthOne is available in both individual and employer plans.
Golden Rule Insurance Company, which underwrites many of UnitedHealthOne's individual insurance products, is rated "A (Excellent)" from AM Best, and its rating indicates the financial strength and stability of UnitedHealthOne's products.
Six of United's most popular dental plans are listed below with the noted benefits:
- Dental Primary: There is a $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider and no copay for preventive care. Fifty percent of basic services are covered after the deductible in the first year, then 65% in year two, and then 80% in the next year and onward. Major services are not covered. An annual maximum of $1,000 per person applies.
- Dental Primary Plus: The policy has a $50 per person deductible for basic services. There is 100% coverage for preventive care. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible in year one, then 65%, and finally 80% coverage for basic services. Major services are not covered. A $1,000 annual maximum applies.
- Dental Essential: This policy has a $50 per person deductible for basic services when using a network provider. Preventive services initially are covered at 80% before increasing to 90% and then 100%. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible. This later increases to 65% and then 80%. Major services are not covered. Your benefits will be capped at $1,000 annually.
- Dental Essential Preferred: There is a $50 per person deductible for basic services and a $50 per person deductible for major services when using a network provider. Initially, there is 80% coverage for preventive care before increasing to 90% and later 100%. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible in the first year before increasing to 65% and then 80%. Major services are covered at 15% after the deductible. This later increases to 50% and then 60%. A $1,000 annual maximum per person applies.
- Dental Premier Choice: A $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a network provider applies to the policy. There is no copay for preventive care. There is 50% coverage for basic services after the deductible. This increases to 65% and 80% after years one and two respectively. Major services are covered at 10% after the deductible before increasing to 40% and then 50%. The policy has a $1,500 annual maximum.
- Dental Premier Elite: The policy has a $50 combined per person deductible for basic and major services with a non-network provider. There is no copay for preventive care. Initially, the policy covers basic services at 50% after the deductible, but this increases to 65% and then 80%. There is 15% coverage for major services to start before coverages increase to 50% and then 60%. The annual maximum of this policy is $2,000.
Read the full UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance review.
Best for Families on a Budget : Delta Dental Insurance
Delta Dental is our top pick for families on a budget, thanks to its affordable plans for the whole family. Also, Delta Dental offers an HMO dental plan with no deductibles or annual maximums, making it easier for you to afford the coverage you need.
HMO plan with no deductibles or annual maximums
Not all procedures are covered depending on your plan
Some plans have a waiting period
Delta Dental is the largest provider of dental benefits in the United States and has a network of more than 155,000 practicing dentists nationwide.
Delta Dental has an "A (Excellent)" rating from AM Best, which affirmed the financial strength rating and the issuer credit ratings for the company.
Delta Dental offers individual and group plans as well as plans through the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplace. Delta Dental offers plans designed to help families on a budget.
The following is an overview of two Delta Dental insurance plans:
- DeltaCare USA: This plan is prepaid on an annual basis and has, among other benefits, no deductible or annual dollar maximums; no copayments or low copayments for most diagnostic and preventive services; coverage for more than 300 procedures, including additional cleanings, bleaching, and tooth whitening; and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions or missing teeth. As an enrollee, you would need to choose a primary care dentist from the preferred provider network.
- Delta Dental PPO: This is the company's preferred-provider option program. Enrollees have access to a network of dentists who accept reduced fees for covered services. Covered services are paid based on a percentage of the dentist's fee. You'll pay a percentage and the insurance will pay the remaining portion. The amount paid by the insurance varies with the plan you select. Enrollees may be responsible for a deductible, as well as charges for non-covered services and amounts over the annual maximum.
Read the full Delta Dental review.
Best for Discounts : Humana Dental Insurance
If you’re looking for discounts on your dental insurance policy, then Humana is a great option. The insurer regularly offers discounted fees when you use an in-network provider.
No waiting period on some plans
Discounts from in-network providers
Higher premiums on many plans
High co-insurance rates
As one of the largest dental insurers in the United States, Humana offers dental insurance plans for individuals and groups. According to the company's website, enrollees may save 10% to 60% depending on their plan, when they get dental services from a dentist in a dental network.
The dental plans listed below are available with the noted benefits:
- Dental Loyalty Plus: Ability to choose any network or non-network dentist. Full coverage of preventive services. One-time deductible. No waiting period. $1,000 annual benefit maximum in the first year, $1,250 in the second year, and $1,500 in the third year and beyond. The coinsurance rates depend on the procedure, and your portion decreases after the first and second years with the plan.
- Dental Preventative Value: Full coverage of preventive services after the deductible. Major services not covered. Some basic services are covered at 50% after the deductible. The deductible is $50 per individual and $150 lifetime. There are no waiting periods and no benefit limits.
- Bright Plus PPO: There is a deductible of $50 for individuals and $150 for families. The annual maximum is $1,250. Preventive care is covered at 100%. Most other services are not covered except for fillings and simple extractions which are covered at 60% after the deductible.
- Dental Savings Plus: It's a savings program and not regular insurance. Save 20% to 40% on preventive services. Discounted fees with in-network providers for basic and major services. No copays. No deductibles. No waiting period. No limit on the number of services that can be used each year. Discounts for orthodontics up to 20%. Discounts for prescriptions averaging 37%.
- Complete Dental: The plan has 100% coverage for preventive services. It has 80% coverage after the deductible (some limits apply) for basic services and 50% coverage after the deductible (some limits apply) for major services. There is no waiting period for preventive care, and the waiting period for basic and major services is waived with proof of prior dental insurance.
Read the full Humana Dental Insurance review.
Best for Nationwide Coverage : Cigna Dental Insurance
Cigna Dental is a great choice for patients who travel a lot as it provides a nationwide network at affordable rates.
Large dental provider network
Not all plans available in every state
Higher costs for some procedures
Cigna offers three different dental plan options through its network of more than 93,000 dentists. If you often travel, Cigna’s dental network spreads nationwide offering access to dental care while away from home.
Cigna has an "A (Excellent)" rating from AM Best, meaning the company has solid financial strength.
The following are Cigna Dental's individual insurance plans:
- Cigna Dental 1500: $0 for in-network preventive services. Up to $1,500 covered per year after deductible and coinsurance for restorative services. $50 deductible for individuals and $150 deductible for families. Up to $1,000 covered for orthodontia.
- Cigna Dental 1000: $0 for in-network preventive services. Up to $1,000 covered per year after deductible and coinsurance for restorative services. $50 deductible for individuals and $150 deductible for families. No coverage for orthodontia.
- Cigna Dental Preventive: $0 for in-network preventive services. No coverage for restorative services. No deductibles for individuals or for families. No coverage for orthodontia.
Read the full Cigna dental insurance review.
Best for Rewards Programs : Ameritas Dental Insurance
Ameritas is our top pick for a dental insurance plan with a rewards program. Enrollees can increase their annual maximum benefit by making annual visits to the dentist.
Ability to earn rewards and increase the maximum benefit
Preventive services are 100% covered
Limited orthodontic coverage
Ameritas is well known in the insurance industry as a top provider of dental insurance. Ameritas also offers a Dental Rewards program, whereby enrollees can increase their annual maximum benefit to help pay for more expensive procedures in the future by visiting a dental provider each year and submitting a claim.
The company has an “A (Excellent)" rating with AM Best and an “A+ (Strong)” rating with Standard & Poor's.
Here are some features that come standard with all Ameritas dental plans:
- Preventive services are 100% covered with new network providers.
- Network providers charge 25% to 50% less than their regular rates.
- Enrollees can visit any out-of-network dentists.
- All plans include the Dental Rewards program.
- Enrollees can save on prescriptions at more than 60,000 participating network pharmacies.
Dental care is an important part of your health, which makes it important to have a quality dental insurance plan. The best dental insurance plans offer short waiting periods, low monthly premiums, and generous coverage for both routine care and more serious procedures. Our top pick for dental insurance is UnitedHealthOne.
UnitedHealthOne offers competitively priced dental insurance plans for the whole family. Patients can choose from 10 different dental plans with varying levels of coverage. Plus, UnitedHealthOne received an A rating in financial stability from AM Best, meaning it will be able to cover the cost whenever you file a claim.
Compare the Best Dental Insurance Providers
|Company||Plans||Providers In-Network||Coverage Limit||Waiting Period||States Available|
Best for Family Plans
|10||100,000||$1,000 to $3,000||Varies||43|
Best for Families on a Budget
|5||155,000||$500 to $2,500||Varies||50|
Best for Discounts
|3+||270,000||$1,000 to Unlimited||Varies||48|
Best for Nationwide Coverage
|3||93,000||$1,000 to $1,500||Varies||49|
Best for Rewards Programs
|3||Unknown||$750 to $2,500||Varies||50|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Dental Insurance Cover?
Dental insurance typically covers teeth cleanings, preventive care, crowns, and fillings. Some dental insurance also covers a portion of orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. Dental insurance typically does not cover cosmetic dental procedures or teeth whitening.
How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?
Deductibles may be as low as $50, but the number of services covered per year may have a cap, such as $1,000 or $1,500. Also, you may be required to stay within a network or risk paying more for out-of-network providers.
If your employer offers dental insurance coverage as part of its benefits package, it’s generally cheaper than purchasing it on your own. Like health insurance, you pay a monthly premium and need to meet a deductible before the insurance provider pays for your services.
Is Dental Insurance Worth the Cost?
Dental insurance usually covers only a portion of the procedures and preventive care you require. For annual checkups and cleanings and nothing more, you may be better off paying out of pocket. However, as with health insurance, your savings can be substantial if you need an unexpected procedure such as a root canal.
We considered several factors when compiling this list of dental insurance providers. We looked for companies that offered several different plan options to choose from. We also selected insurance companies with high financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings. Finally, we looked for plans with low costs and excellent coverage options for both preventive care and major procedures.