Best Maryland Dental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 4, 2022

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

From flashing a smile to chewing a meal, maintaining healthy teeth is a crucial aspect of our overall health. That’s why it may come as a surprise to learn that dental benefits aren’t included under most health insurance plans. You’ll need to buy an independent dental insurance plan if you want assistance paying for the cost of things like root canals and dental office visits. But how can you tell which is best for you?

We’ve done thorough research on Maryland dental insurance. We’ll go over dental insurance plan choices and what’s usually covered and excluded. Finally, we’ll introduce you to a few of our favorite insurance providers working out of the Old Line State. 

Quick Look: The Best Maryland Dental Insurance

The Best Maryland Dental Insurance

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how dental insurance in Maryland works, let’s take a closer look at some of our favorite plan options.  

1. Delta Dental

Delta Dental is a nonprofit dental insurance provider that offers affordable plan choices in Maryland. You can choose an individual plan just for yourself, a family plan for you, your spouse and your children or even a business plan for your employees.

PPO plans are available from Delta Dental from just $19 per month in most parts of Maryland and all plans include 100% coverage for preventive care. Delta Dental is a strong contender for the title of best dental insurance in Maryland with its affordable insurance choices and plan options. 

2. Humana

Do you live on a tight budget? If so, buying dental insurance can still be worth the expense if you choose one of the most affordable dental insurance plans. Humana offers very low-cost dental plan options for Maryland residents. PPO coverage is available from just $17 a month.

Let’s say you choose an in-network dental provider. You may be able to save up to an additional 28% on your care costs. Humana also offers very low-cost dental discount plans for just $7 a month. You should definitely make sure to get a quote from Humana if you’re looking for the lowest-cost insurance. 

3. UnitedHealthcare

Dental insurance companies that offer plenty of plan choices are more likely to have a plan that fits your needs. When it comes to having the most options to choose from, UnitedHealthcare takes home top marks. In most areas of Maryland, their company offers a whopping 10 different plan tiers each with their own level of coverage.

Their most affordable plan is available from just under $20 a month, while their most comprehensive plan is just over $43 a month. This allows you to balance costs and benefits, ensuring that your budget is in-check and you have the coverage you need. 

4. Physicians Mutual

Choosing a plan with a high deductible can leave you paying more than your insurance coverage is worth. Physicians Mutual makes things simple with a range of 3 no-deductible plans. Plans are available from just $25 a month, and you can get a quote in as little as 30 seconds.

Each plan also includes coverage for more than 350 of the most common dental procedures and no lifetime or annual maximum benefit limit. If you’re looking for a way to get insurance coverage without doing the math to see how much you’ll save, Physicians Mutual is an excellent choice. 

5. Guardian Direct

One thing you won’t have to deal with when you pick a dental insurance plan from Guardian Direct is finding a new dentist.

It’s a convenient dental search tool that allows you to see a list of dentists in your area by entering your ZIP code, as well as which Guardian Direct insurance plans they accept. Sit down, sign up for dental insurance from just $21 a month and choose a new dentist’s office from the comfort of your home in as little as 15 minutes! 

Types of Dental Coverage

The first thing you’ll need to research when you choose a dental insurance plan is your plan type. You’ll usually see multiple plan types available at different price points. The specific options you’ll have access to depend on the company whose dental plans you’re looking at.

There are 3 main types of offerings you’ll usually see:

  • Dental health maintenance organizations (DHMOs): Dental health maintenance organizations (sometimes called “HMOs”) are the most limited type of dental insurance plan. Your insurance representative will send you a list of dental offices that accept your insurance. You need to pick a primary service provider from your list. If you don’t see a dentist in your network, you can’t use your benefits. DHMOs can be a more affordable option if you’re tight on cash — just make sure your dentist is in your network.
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): PPOs offer policyholders a bit more freedom at an increased cost. You can typically save on your treatment or premium if you do see an in-network dentist and you can use your plan at any provider. A PPO plan might be right for you if you already have a dentist that you want to keep seeing and you don’t mind paying a little extra for your care.
  • Discount or benefit plans: Discount plans (sometimes also called “benefit plans” or referral plans”) are the cheapest type of plan offered by dental insurance companies. They’re not actually insurance because the companies who offer these plans don’t pay for any percentage of your dental care. Instead, signing onto a dental benefit plan gives you access to percentage discounts on each service listed if you see a particular dentist. 

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Most dental insurance plans include coverage for 3 types of dental treatments: 

  • Preventive care is a class of treatment intended to help you avoid oral health problems. Your biannual dental checkups are an example of preventive care. 
  • Regular services are routine treatments that help correct common dental health issues. Simple tooth extractions and cavity fillings are usually classified as regular services. 
  • Major services are rare and often invasive treatments that correct very large dental health issues. Bridges and crowns are usually classified as major services. 

The percentage of your care cost that your dental insurance provider covers depends on your plan. When you look at plan choices, you may see your benefits listed as a list of three numbers. These numbers describe what percent of your dental care costs your insurance company will pay for after you reach your deductible. Most companies list these percentages in order of preventive-regular-major. For example, if you have a “100-80-50” plan, it means that your dental insurance provider will cover 100% of the costs of preventive care, 80% of the cost of regular services and 50% of the cost of major services. 

What Does Dental Insurance not Cover? 

Whether you buy the most affordable plan you can find or the best dental insurance in your area, your plan won’t cover everything. Keep an eye out for these common exclusions when you choose an insurance provider.

  • Cosmetic services: No matter how expensive your dental insurance plan is, it won’t cover treatments that your dentist deems non-medically necessary. If you’re looking forward to whitening your teeth or getting veneers with your insurance benefits, know that these services won’t be covered.  
  • Orthodontia: Braces and retainers usually aren’t solely cosmetic treatments. For example, you might need orthodontics to correct your overbite and to make chewing easier. Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans exclude orthodontics from treatment — whether they’re medically necessary or not.
  • Select denied services: Dental insurance providers aren’t under the same restrictions as health insurance providers. There isn’t a set list of essential benefits that your dental insurance must include coverage for. This means that your insurance provider might exclude coverage. For example, many dental insurance plans don’t include coverage for sealants, despite the fact that they’re an effective form of preventive care against cavities. Make sure your read your plan’s inclusions and conditions before you sign on the dotted line. 

Average Cost of Dental Insurance in Maryland

You know firsthand just how expensive taking care of your health can be if you’ve ever had to shop for an independent health insurance plan. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn that dental insurance is much more affordable than health insurance. As a resident of Maryland, expect to pay between $30 and $45 per month for your coverage. 

What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Provider

Every dental insurance plan isn’t equally as affordable or effective at preserving your dental health. Before you select a plan, make sure you look at these key factors.

  • Your plan’s deductible is the amount of money you need to spend on your dental care before your plan will start paying out. For example, let’s say your insurance plan has a $500 deductible. This means that you can’t use your benefits until you spend $500 of your own money on treatment. Look for a plan with a low deductible that you can reasonably afford.
  • The plan’s included services can cover your own individual list of included services and benefits. It’s possible to find 10 different insurance companies with 10 different “basic plans” and 10 different benefit lists. Read through each plan’s list of inclusions and exclusions to avoid an expensive surprise.
  • Your annual benefit limit includes how much money you can claim in services. If you hit your maximum for the year, you’ll be responsible for 100% of your dental insurance costs after that point. Look for a plan with a high annual maximum — dental bills can be expensive. 

Great Dental Insurance Doesn’t have to be Hard to Find

Comparing dental insurance plans can be annoying. You might even be tempted to choose the first plan you see and throw caution to the wind. However, the best way to make sure that your family has the best balance of affordability and coverage is to make sure you get at least a few quotes from different companies.

It’s never been easier to get a quote for dental insurance — you can typically see your options in under a minute. Be sure to compare at least 5 dental insurance options before you make your final decision. Your teeth will thank you! 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does dental insurance pay for dentures?


Yes, dental insurance will pay for dentures up a point. Ask your dental office how much coverage you have and reach out to your carrier for additional assistance.


Does dental insurance always come with vision coverage?


No. Some dental insurance policies have vision coverage included, but most do not. These coverages are not part of your health insurance, and you will buy them separately.

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 Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.