Best Affordable Full Coverage Dental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 1, 2024

Did you know most of our readers prefer for their dental insurance needs?

If you want to maintain a healthy smile,  it is crucial that you regularly see a dentist. With full-coverage dental insurance, you can avoid accumulating hundreds or thousands of dollars in dental bills. However, the cost of dental insurance can be prohibitive for some people. 

Quick Look: The Best Full Coverage Dental Insurance

8 Best Affordable Full-Coverage Dental Insurance

Compare providers to find affordable dental insurance. Here are some of our favorite providers for full-coverage dental insurance.

Going through full-coverage dental insurance options can be overwhelming – here’s a shortlist of the best.

1. Best for Care Coordination: Smart Health Dental

Smart Health Dental has a network of over 200,000 dentists with flexible plans to suit your family’s requirements.


  • Discount card available
  • No waiting periods
  • Care coordinator supports dentist, lowest price search and appointment booking


  • Customer support limited to business hours
  • No online signup

2. Best for Those Not Locked Into a Primary Dentist: Cigna

Cigna is one of the leading medical insurance providers in the U.S., with a network of more than 93,000 dentists in almost 300,000 locations. It has dental plans starting at an average of $19 per month. 


  • No need for a primary dentist
  • No referral for a specialist visit required
  • Network of 93,000 dentists


  • Limited plan options compared to others on this list
  • Coverage wait for orthodontics or restorative services can be longer than 12 months
  • Annual maximums are capped at $1,000 for most plans

3. Best for Paying a Lifetime Deductible: Spirit

Spirit is one of the most affordable providers of dental insurance and there are plans with up to $5,000 in annual coverage. You can also have a $100 lifetime deductible with most plans. 


  • Low waiting times
  • Highly affordable
  • Lifetime deductible with most plans


  • Poor filling coverage on most plans
  • Some plans don’t consider x-rays preventative
  • Some plans consider fillings a major procedure

4. Best for Employers and Business Owners: MetLife

MetLife allows customers to search its dental network by zip code, specialty and language to find the perfect fit. MetLife does offer individual plans, but it is a good option for businesses looking to give employees extra coverage and benefits. 


  • Option to choose in- or out-of-network providers
  • Various types of available plans including veterans, employer-provided, individual and federal
  • Fixed fee structure to avoid pricing confusion.


  • Has a greater focus on group plans
  • Difficult to get a price online
  • Customer support is spotty with some customers reporting frustrating issues 

5. Best for Membership Perks: Aetna

Aetna offers access to a wide provider network and you can benefit from some great membership perks and benefits, including discounts on wellness and digital tools. 


  • Easy to enroll online 
  • No deductibles on some plans
  • Option to switch plans


  • No adult orthodontics coverage
  • Major work waiting periods are longer than average
  • Minimal details online for comparison shopping

6. Best for No Waiting Period: Ameritas

Ameritas offers dental plans across 46 states and Washington D.C., with more than 5.7 million customers. 


  • Has plans with no wait periods
  • Relatively low premiums
  • Loyal customers can be rewarded with tiered benefits


  • Low coverage caps on first-year plans
  • Limited treatments considered preventative
  • Some customer support issues 

7. Best for Cosmetic Dentistry: Careington

Careington has a focus on discount dental coverage, providing savings of up to 60% for policyholders. 


  • Cosmetic services included in some plans
  • Cover starts at only $9 per month
  • No wait periods


  • Out-of-pocket costs may still be significant
  • Limited coverage for orthodontics
  • Not available in all states

8. Best for Nationwide Coverage: Delta Dental

Delta Dental is the largest dental insurer in the U.S. and together with its independent dental insurance company partners, its network has more than 150,000 participating dentists across the nation. 


  • Extensive coverage across all states, U.S. Territories and Puerto Rico
  • Discounted plans available with the option to choose dentists with reduced fees
  • Choice of various plans 


  • Limited orthodontic care coverage
  • Many plans have a cap of $1,000
  • Limited cost-sharing options for some areas

What Is Full-Coverage Dental Insurance?

Full-coverage dental insurance or comprehensive dental plans are designed to cover basic and major dental services along with preventative dental care. Depending on your plan, it may cover annual checkups and cleaning along with services such as root canals and crowns. 

Do You Need Full-Coverage Dental Insurance?

While basic dental plans cover checkups, cleanings and a few basic dental procedures such as cavity fillings, a full-coverage plan offers far more, often with lower out-of-pocket costs. This can include preventative procedures like sealants or fluoride treatments in full or with a small copay. This means that you can enjoy a more well-rounded dental treatment plan for any issues. 

Types of Dental Coverage

Full-coverage dental insurance is an umbrella term. Dental coverage plan types include: 

1. Indemnity Plans

Indemnity plans reimburse you for your dental care expenses less any copay or deductible. This means that you’ll need to pay for your treatment and wait for your insurer to pay you back. 

2. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

PPO insurance involves a network of dentists who agree to provide their services at a certain cost for policyholders. This means that you can enjoy discounts when you use the contracted dentists, but plans typically allow you to choose an out-of-network dentist with a reduced coverage level. 

3. Table or Schedule of Allowances

This type of insurance lets you know in advance how much your plan covers for each service. 

4. Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)

EPOs involve a network of participating dentists offering reduced fees for policyholders. 

5. Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMOs)/Capitation Plans

With this type of insurance, a network of dentists receives a fee each month for their patient’s care. For this fee, the dentists provide their services at a reduced cost for the patients. Typically you need to stay in the network for this coverage. 

6. Direct Reimbursement (DR)

These are self-funded plans where your employer pays for your dental treatment rather than paying insurance company premiums. 

7. Point of Service

POS policyholders can see out-of-network providers, but they can save money on their dental treatments by staying within the insurer network. 

8. Discount or Referral

This allows you to benefit from discounted fees for services or access to specialists offering reduced rates. 

Average Cost of Full-Coverage Dental Insurance 

The prices for full-coverage dental insurance vary according to where you live, whether you purchase a family or individual plan, which dental insurance provider you choose and if you have preexisting conditions. 

The average premiums for a 27-year-old non-smoker could be $11 to $60 per month, while a 59-year-old living in the same area could pay $25 to $50+ per month. 

The average deductible is approximately $50, and the maximum benefit is typically $1,000 to $3,000 per year. 

What to Look for in a Full-Coverage Dental Insurance Provider

As with any other type of insurance, you’ll find differences among full-coverage dental insurance providers. Here are some things to consider when making your decision. 


The premium is the amount you need to pay to purchase the policy. This is a good starting point to compare policies. However, you should remember that not every policy is alike and some may offer more for a slightly higher cost. 


The deductible is the amount you need to pay to begin your dental treatment. 

Copay or Coinsurance

Copay is the shared cost of the dental treatment that is not fully covered under your policy. However, often policyholders can receive treatment at a discounted rate. Coinsurance is similar, but instead of a dollar amount, you pay a set percentage of the treatment cost after your deductible.

Annual Limit or Maximum Allowance

Dental insurance has an annual limit, which means that after the cost of the treatment plan exceeds your maximum, you will need to pay the excess amount. 

How to Enroll in Full-Coverage Dental Insurance

Having dental benefits through your employer is the easiest way to enroll in dental insurance. Groups tend to get far lower rates compared to individuals and employers can tailor the plans to offer a more complete set of benefits. 

If you don’t have access to an employee plan, you will need to buy directly from an insurance provider. As with other types of insurance, compare the options to check the value offered from the premium. When you find a policy that meets your requirements, you can purchase it from the insurer and you’ll receive policy information detailing how to find dentists in your network. 

The Value of  Full-Coverage Dental Insurance

Full-coverage dental insurance offers more comprehensive coverage compared to basic dental insurance. Dental insurance provides the reassurance of knowing you won’t need to break the bank to pay for potentially expensive dental treatments. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does full-coverage dental insurance include a deductible?


Typically, you will still have to pay a deductible with your full-coverage dental insurance, but this is typically an average of $50 per year.


Are there waiting periods associated with affordable full-coverage dental insurance?


Yes, typically the waiting period for basic services is six months; for more specialized services the wait may be 12 months.


Does full-coverage dental insurance cover cosmetic dentistry procedures?


Typically cosmetic procedures are not included in full-coverage dental insurance, but check your policy for specifics from policy to policy.

Dental Insurance Methodology

To determine the best dental insurance providers, we pored through all United States carriers. We winnowed the list by only including companies that have a wide coverage area and product offering. To further break down the list to the true best dental insurance providers, we gave weight to carriers that offer discounts, are available in all states and have multiple payment plan options.

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About Ashley Hart

Ashley Hart is a personal finance writer passionate about helping people feel empowered to take control of their finances. She has more than eight years of writing experience, focused on insurance.