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Best Dental Insurance

The cost of any dental procedure can be expensive. Even if you only go in for annual checkups or emergency visits, as a family you may still end up paying a large amount of money out of pocket if you don’t have a dental insurance plan. One thing that many people do not realize is that dental insurance plans are actually quite affordable. You can find both individual and family plans suitable for any type of budget.

Quicklook: Best Dental Insurance

What is dental insurance?

Dental insurance will pay for a predetermined portion of the costs associated with dental care for yourself and/or your family members. This can include preventative care such as annual checkup visits, minor dental care such as fillings, and some major dental care such as extractions or root canals.

Some dental plans may not cover cosmetic dental procedures such as whitening or veneers. If you ever require dental surgery for an urgent issue such as wisdom tooth removal, you may have a co-pay amount to pay prior to the procedure. You will need to learn about the specific coverage options before you decide on a plan to ensure that it’s right for you. This will help you to avoid any surprises with additional costs and fees.

Average cost of dental insurance for a single person

The average cost of a dental insurance plan will vary based on the company that you choose to purchase insurance from, as well as your specific coverage needs. Many people wonder if dental insurance is worth the cost. When you consider the cost of routine dental visits and emergency care,  it’s important to strongly consider having a dental insurance plan.

Most dental insurance plans are described as 100-80-50 policies. That means they pay for 100% of the cost of preventative care, 80% for services such as fillings and root canals, and 50% for major procedures like crowns and bridges.

The average cost for an individual to have a dental insurance plan is around $350 per year, which is less than the cost for some minor procedures. In 2013, the average American without dental insurance paid an average of $544 for out-of-pocket dental expenses.

Average cost of dental insurance for a family

The overall cost for a family dental insurance plan is an important factor, but it’s not the only thing to consider. You also need to look at how important it is for you and your family to visit a dentist as needed. The annual cost of coverage in recent years for a family dental plan ranges from $240 up to $420 based on the company and the type of coverage received.

What does dental insurance cover?

The procedures that your family’s dental insurance plan will cover depend on the company that you choose to purchase a policy from. Therefore, you should always discuss coverage options before you sign any paperwork and ask questions if you have concerns.

Most dental insurance plans cover basic care such as annual checkups, fillings, cleaning, extractions, crowns, and bridges. If you require dental surgery, such as a wisdom tooth extraction, the coverage amount may vary. Keep in mind that cosmetic services such as whitening are usually not covered by dental insurance plans. And if you are interested in getting dentures or veneers in the near future, you will need to find out what is covered and what isn’t from your insurance provider.

What does dental insurance not cover?

Dental insurance plans will not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, there are some policies that may restrict coverage for individuals who have missing teeth. Remember that some dental plans will not cover 100% of all procedures so if you need to have emergency care, you may end up paying a large co-pay out of pocket.

It is important to keep in mind that no two dental insurance companies are the same. Therefore, before you make a commitment to a policy for yourself or your family, you should find out exactly what kind of coverage each company you are interested in provides.. This information could be one of your deciding factors, so be sure to discuss the coverage details with your insurance provider.

Want to see if dental insurance is worth the cost for the coverage? Check our guide to see if dental insurance is worth it.

Best dental insurance companies

There are several dental insurance companies that offer exceptional benefits at a great price. It’s important to take the time to research a good company that is affordable and offers all the benefits that you need. To save you some time, we have researched the top three dental insurance companies for individuals and families.

Delta Dental

Delta Dental is one of the most popular dental insurance providers in the country with more than 74 million enrollees. Delta offers coverage with more dentists than any other company. You can enjoy fewer out-of-pocket costs with a Delta Dental plan and a much simpler process. There is no ID card required to receive services from your dentist, and there are no claim forms to file for your procedures. Since Delta Dental pays its dentists directly, you are only responsible for your share of the payment.

Plans available through Delta Dental

Delta Dental offers a variety of great dental benefit plans for individuals, families and large or small businesses.  Delta supports current military personnel and veterans, as well as federal employees. and also administer a host of Medicare Advantage plans to help those who qualify save on their dental care costs.

Delta Dental plan basics

Delta Dental offers several benefit plans, and each one has different features, overall cost and co-pay. Those who have Delta Dental PPO or Delta Dental Premier can visit any licensed dentist. However, enrollees who visit dentists in the company’s network will save the most money. Those who have a DeltaCare USA plan select a dentist within the network for primary care. That dentist will refer you to a specialist as needed.

The average cost of procedures

Based on the Delta Dental Cost Estimator tool, the average cost for an annual checkup for a teen is between $238 and $283. Regular cleanings would cost between $88 and $100, and an emergency visit could cost between $220 and $295.

MetLife Dental

MetLife is a well-known industry leader that also specializes in providing quality dental insurance. MetLife’s benefit plans can help you and your family or your employees maintain good oral health as you also reduce what you pay out-of-pocket. MetLife offers several plans available for you to choose from, which allow you to receive routine care and emergency services as needed from a participating dentist.

MetLife Preferred Dentist Program

MetLife Dental offers a Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO plan, which features the MetLife Preferred Dentist Program. This program allows you to save money on all your dental services. You have the option to choose from various general dentists in your area as well as specialists. You also have lower out-of-pocket costs when you choose to receive services from an in-network provider, plus, you have the freedom to use any dentist that you wish.

Will MetLife dental provide coverage for emergency care?

All dental providers that are within the network provide their patients with access to 24/7 emergency dental care. If you are unable to reach your participating provider, you can receive emergency services from any licensed dental provider. What is determined as “emergency care” should be defined in your insurance policy. Or you can ask an agent what the company considers emergency services before you purchase a policy.

Does MetLife dental offer coverage for individuals and families?

Along with the dental insurance coverage that the company offers to both small and large businesses, MetLife Dental also offers plans for individuals and families through its MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans. This is dental coverage that you can purchase on your own and take with you from one job to the next. So, if you happen to resign from your current job that you have a MetLife Dental plan through, you won’t experience a loss of coverage when you begin another job.

Guardian Dental

Guardian offers dental insurance plans for individuals, employees or groups. The company offers easy solutions for getting high-quality and affordable dental insurance that you can depend on. The company has several plans available and a large national network with comprehensive dental coverage at an affordable price. Guardian offers PPO and DHMO plans; you can check out the website to find out which are available in your state.

Guardian Dental Insurance offers simple and hassle-free insurance options. You can search for a provider and pay for your bill online. There are never any claims forms to fill out, and its customer service is superior quality. Guardian pays its claims in less than two days, and it’s very easy to enroll.

Why choose Guardian Dental?

Guardian Dental offers a large national network with more than 114,000 providers at over 319,000 locations. When you are dealing with such a large network, you are more likely to save money on both dental costs and travel costs, since you can find a provider in your local area.

On average, most people who have a dental insurance plan through Guardian can save as much as 35%, depending on the plan they choose. Preventative care and cleanings may not cost you anything at all, and you will receive savings on advanced procedures such as crowns, fillings, or root canals.

Guardian Dental offers more choices than most other companies. No matter what plan you have with the company, you are covered for most dental services. If you are looking for an affordable dental plan, you may want to go with a DHMO insurance policy that is only offered in select states. If you are willing to pay a little extra for more freedom to choose your own dentist, a PPO plan would be right for you. DHMO plans often cost much less, but they will require you to see an in-network provider. When you choose a PPO plan, you can see any dentist that you wish, for a price.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right dental plan for yourself, your family, or your company is imperative if you’d like to have access to quality dental services whenever.

Some providers may offer extras such as no out-of-pocket costs for preventative services or allow you to add on vision coverage for an additional fee. The precise benefits and extras that you can receive from a dental insurance provider will differ from one company to another, so if you have a question or concern, be sure to ask your insurance agent before you take out a policy.

Remember that some plans allow you to see your current provider while others will have you choose from dentists within the network. While you may save more money by going to an in-network dentist, if you must drive far from home or that facility doesn’t offer the services you need, you really aren’t saving much over time. Always make sure you understand what your policy covers so you know you are getting the best possible deal.