Best Cheap Missouri Dental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: July 22, 2021

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Dental insurance is a type of protection that covers a portion of the costs of your dental and oral care bills. Dental insurance is not included in Affordable Care Act (ACA) approved plans, so if you want coverage for your smile, you’ll need to choose an independent dental insurance plan — complete with its own terms and deductible. But which company carries the best dental insurance in Missouri?

Here’s a crash course on everything you need to know about dental insurance. We’ll show you what most plans do and don’t cover, the types of plans you can choose from and the average cost of insurance. Finally, we’ll introduce you to 5 of our favorite dental insurance providers to get you started on the road to better oral health. 

The Best Dental Insurance in Missouri:

Types of Dental Coverage

You may see a number of different plan types from a single company when you compare insurance plans. Understanding the difference between the most popular plan types can help you balance your benefits and keep costs low. There are 2 main types of dental insurance plans that you can choose from. They are:

  • Dental health maintenance organizations (DHMOs): DHMOs work like a health insurance HMO. You’ll receive a list of in-network dental service providers who accept your insurance when you sign up with a DHMO. You’ll need to see a dental service provider within your network if you want to use your benefits. DHMOs are more affordable than alternatives but give you the least amount of freedom to choose which service providers you see.
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): PPOs allow you to see any dental service provider you like, regardless of whether or not they’re in your plan’s network. You may get an additional discount on services if you choose to see an in-network provider. PPOs cost more than DHMOs, but they give you more freedom to choose which dentists and oral service providers you want to patronize.

You might occasionally see a dental insurance provider that offers a very low-cost “benefit” or “discount” plan. These plans aren’t actually a form of insurance because they don’t cover any percentage of your treatment costs. Instead, they offer you a discount on services if you visit a particular dentist or group of dentists. For the sake of this article, we won’t consider benefit plans in our ratings. 

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

You probably already know that the ACA dictates that every insurance plan needs to cover ten “essential benefits” if you’ve shopped for dental insurance in the past. There is no similar schedule of benefits for dental insurance plans.

Plan providers have the freedom to pick and choose which services they want to cover. This means that the actual benefits you’ll have on each individual plan can vary wildly, depending on the plan provider you choose.

The most common dental insurance benefits schedule is the “100-80-50” schedule. This means that your insurance will cover the following:

  • 100% of preventive care costs: Preventive care includes regularly scheduled treatments that help you avoid dental decay and illness. Some examples of preventive care include cleanings, X-rays and exams.
  • 80% of basic service costs: Basic services are regular, routine oral corrections. Some examples of basic services include fillings, root canals and crowns.
  • 50% of major service costs: Major services are rare and invasive treatments used to correct a large oral health issue. Dentures, most types of oral surgeries and tooth extractions are usually all considered to be major services.

Remember that your dental insurance plan isn’t guaranteed to follow the 100-80-50 structure. This is simply the most common benefits schedule you’ll see. Consult with your individual plan policy to see exactly what you’re covered for. 

What Does Dental Insurance Not Cover? 

No matter which type of plan you choose, there are a few services that your insurance provider won’t cover. These excluded services often include:

  • Orthodontics: Orthodontia (including braces, retainers and headgear) are often deemed medically necessary by dental professionals. Regardless, most dental insurance plans still exclude orthodontic work from coverage. Let’s say your plan does include orthodontic coverage. It will usually only extend to children under the age of 18.
  • Preexisting conditions: Unlike health insurance plans, dental insurance plans don’t need to extend coverage for preexisting conditions. Let’s say you already have a long-standing oral health issue when you sign up for your plan. Expect your insurance provider to limit your benefits.
  • Cosmetic treatments: No dental insurance plan will cover purely cosmetic treatments (like tooth whitening).

This is not a comprehensive list of everything that might be excluded from your dental insurance plan. Consult with your individual plan to learn more about your benefits. 

Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Missouri

The average cost of dental insurance in Missouri is similar to the rest of the United States. You can expect to pay around $30 to $40 per month on average for your coverage.  

What to Look for in a Dental Provider

Not every dental insurance plan is equally effective in protecting your smile. Here are a few key features you should look for when you compare dental insurance plans.

  • Low deductibles: A plan deductible is the amount of money that you need to spend on your own dental care costs before your insurance starts footing the bill. Look for a plan with a reasonable deductible that you can afford before you enroll.
  • High maximums: Most dental insurance plans include yearly maximums on the dollar amount of cash benefits you can claim. Let’s say your maximum is too low. You may hit it and pay for the rest of your dental care costs out of pocket. Look for a plan with a high yearly maximum to get the most out of your insurance.
  • Coverage for the services you need: The best dental insurance plans provide a robust schedule of benefits. Make sure you read and understand your policy’s terms before you enroll. Choose a plan with a large number of included coverages. 

Best Dental Insurance Providers in Missouri

Now that you understand how dental insurance in Missouri works, let’s take a look at some of the best insurance providers you can work with to get covered. 

Delta Dental Insurance
Best For
  • Cleaning + exams

1. Delta Dental: Best Overall

Delta Dental is a nonprofit dental insurance provider that offers four plan choices for Missouri residents from just $18 a month. Deductibles are low (they start at $50 annually) and plans provide up to $1,000 worth of coverage each year for individuals. Let’s say you own a small business.

Delta Dental can also help you and your employees get coverage, no matter your budget. Delta Dental is our top choice for dental insurance in Missouri, with its comprehensive number of plans, affordable prices and availability for individuals, families and businesses. 

Humana Medicare Advantage
Best For
  • Medicare Advantage Plans

2. Humana: Cheapest Dental Insurance in MO

Looking for PPO coverage but can’t justify breaking the bank just to see your dentist? Consider a plan from Humana. Humana had some of the most affordable dental insurance rates for PPO plans in Missouri in our review — beginning at just $19 a month.

Its PPO plans also include no maximum benefit limit and no waiting period, so you can start getting the services you need as soon as you enroll. 

Guardian Dental Insurance
Best For
  • Young adults and families with children and teens
securely through Guardian Dental Insurance's website

3. Guardian Direct: Best for New Residents

Moving to Missouri from out-of-state and looking for new coverage to go along with you? Finding a new plan is simple with Guardian Direct. In addition to its plan finder, you can also enter your zip code and see a complete list of dentists in your area that accepts Guardian Direct.

Guardian Direct also shows you which dentists accept each plan offering so you can tailor your choice to your family’s needs. Its plans are also exceptionally affordable and PPO coverage is available from as little as $21 per month. 

Physicians Mutual Health
securely through Physicians Mutual Health's website

4. Physicians Mutual: Best for no Deductible Plans

A high deductible can mean that you end up paying more for your dental insurance than your plan is worth. Let’s say you’re looking for a simple way to make sure that you’re not overpaying for insurance. Get a quote from Physicians Mutual.

All of Physicians Mutual’s plans are offered with $0 deductibles and they have 3 plan tiers to choose from. Coverage available in Missouri from just $25 and Physicians Mutual is also a particularly affordable choice for both individuals and families. 

Cigna Medicare Advantage
Best For
  • Easy access to benefits
securely through Cigna Medicare Advantage's website

5. Cigna: Best for Reliable Customer Service

It can be comforting to know that your insurance provider has a reliable customer service team if it’s your first time enrolling in a dental insurance plan. Cigna is one of the only dental insurance providers in Missouri that offers 24/7 around-the-clock customer service to answer your policy questions.

This means that if you’re in an accident or you need emergency treatment, you won’t need to scramble through your paperwork to find a dentist in your network. Cigna’s plans are also available from just $30 a month for individuals, which makes it a reliable and affordable option. 

Show Off Your Smile in the Show-Me State

Dental insurance can help you lower your oral health care costs, stay up-to-date with your treatments and keep you feeling confident in your smile. However, it’s important to remember that not every dental insurance plan is equal in terms of coverage and value.

Don’t be afraid to take plenty of time to explore your coverage options before you choose a plan. Collecting at least five quotes from competing providers helps ensure that you aren’t overpaying for your coverage — no matter where you live. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers

Q
How does dental insurance work?
A

A dental insurance plan charges a premium in exchange for covered benefits. Unlike health insurance plans, dental insurance plans usually have a cap on benefits, which means your plan may stop providing coverage once you reach the annual cap, often between 1k and 3K. Like other types of healthcare insurance, dental insurance focuses coverage on essential services, like cleanings, fillings, etc. Many plans don’t cover braces or elective cosmetic procedures. Get the cheapest premium here.

Q
Is dental coverage part of health insurance?
A

Some health insurance plans bundle dental coverage as well but, in many cases, dental insurance is a separate plan. Healthcare plans that are ACA-compliant are required to offer dental coverage to children but there is no requirement that adults have dental insurance coverage. Choosing a separate dental insurance plan can be a cost-saving step and helps make dental health costs more predictable. Check out our best providers for the cheapest rate.

Q
What kinds of dental insurance are available?
A

Your choices for dental insurance plans are similar to health insurance choices. You can choose from a dental HMO, which helps to keep premium costs low by keeping services within controlled network. Dental PPOs give more freedom to choose your dentist and care but cost more than HMO plans. A third option is called a dental indemnity plan, which pays a fixed amount or percentage for covered services. Compare quotes from our top providers for the best price.

Explore More: BEST CHEAP MISSOURI MEDICARE

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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