Best Supplemental Dental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 1, 2024

A dental insurance policy offers coverage for routine checkups and basic treatments. While this policy is useful for many people, some consumers need a policy that offers more coverage. Supplemental dental insurance is a more expensive plan that covers orthodontics, restorative services, dental cosmetics and other costly procedures. 

Quick Look: Best Supplemental Dental Insurance

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Best Supplemental Dental Insurance Providers

You can choose from several supplemental dental insurance plans. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare premiums. These five insurers are some of the best choices available.

1. Best for Customization: is a staple in the industry that has served over 1 million policyholders since 1999. The insurer has a network of over 140,000 dental providers. That’s more than 70% of dental practices across the United States. The insurer has several savings plans available.


  • A vast choice of over 25 dental savings plans
  • Plans activate in 1 to 3 business days
  • No annual limits on how much you can save


  • Cosmetic dentistry is rarely covered
  • Monthly premiums tend to be higher

2. Best for No Age Restrictions: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare has several insurance plans that do not have age restrictions. Consumers can customize their plans to cover routine procedures and more advanced procedures. Plans also include fluoride treatments for people who are under 16 on the plan. You won’t have to submit claim forms since the insurer directly pays in-network dentists.


  • Some plans have no age restrictions
  • No need to file claims for in-network services
  • No waiting period for preventive care


  • Plan availability varies for each state
  • Additional premiums may apply depending on your plan

3. Best for Affordable Plans: Cigna

Cigna has some of the most affordable dental insurance plans available that start as low as $20 per month. Over 17 million customers use Cigna for their insurance and benefit from low deductibles. Some plans have no deductibles while others have deductibles that range from $50 to $100.


  • Affordable premiums
  • Low deductibles
  • Plans are available nationwide


  • Low $1,500 coverage limit
  • Long waiting period
  • Dental implants are not covered

4. Best for No Waiting Periods: Smart Health Dental

Smart Health Dental is designed to make dental care accessible for as many people as possible. There’s a discount plan along with two regular insurance plans that give you access to a network of over 200,000 providers.

Basic coverage handles preventative care, or you can step up to a more expensive plan that covers more extensive work. If you rarely need dental care, you may choose to go with the discount card.

Care coordinators can help you make wise decisions, make appointments and choose providers. Plus, you can reach out to the customer service team at any time for additional details.


  • You can choose from plans and discount cards to save money
  • The network is so extensive that you can easily find a provider near you
  • The platform has no waiting periods


  • You may not be able to find a provider in your area, or you preferred provider may not be in the network

5. Best for Small Businesses: Delta Dental

Delta Dental offers plans for individuals, families, small businesses and retirees. The company has a large network of dentists nationwide and offers personalized service. The company’s website makes it easy to find dentists based on their specialty and lets you filter by each plan’s network. Delta Dental also makes it easy to calculate the total cost of a treatment based on your zip code.


  • Plans for individuals, families, small businesses and retirees
  • A large network of dentists nationwide
  • The company makes it easy to compare each of its plans


  • Not available in all 50 U.S. states
  • Long waiting period that is six months for basic care and 12 months for other procedures

What is Supplemental Dental Insurance? 

Supplemental dental insurance is a policy that offers more coverage than a primary dental insurance policy. This policy gives you extra protection and is often a necessary product since most health insurance policies do not have dental insurance. You will likely need to get this policy as a separate policy from your employer’s health insurance plan.

How Does Supplemental Dental Insurance Work? 

Supplemental dental insurance addresses gaps in a primary dental insurance plan. The supplemental policy covers additional types of procedures, and you can customize your plan based on your needs. It can also pay the remaining expenses if a primary dental insurance plan falls short. If a primary dental insurance plan covers 50% of an expense, a supplemental dental insurance plan can address the rest of the expense. 

For instance, if a dental procedure covered by both plans costs $2,000, your primary dental insurance may only cover $1,000. The supplemental dental insurance policy can cover some or all of the remaining $1,000. Your out-of-pocket costs will go down if you have supplemental dental insurance.

Types of Dental Coverage

You can choose from several types of dental coverage. These are the available options to consider.


Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have more rules but are more affordable. These dental insurance policies have lower premiums but require that you use a primary care physician. You must work with professionals who are within the insurer’s network for the policy to receive coverage. The only exception is a significant medical emergency.


Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are more expensive but have fewer strings attached. You will have a higher monthly premium but can work with any physician. You can work with physicians who are outside of the network but may face higher costs. You will have to file a claim to get reimbursed if you use a PPO plan. HMOs do not require that you file claims since they only let you use in-network providers.

Dental Discount Plans

Dental discount plans are annual memberships that either have an annual or a monthly fee. You will then receive discounts on dental services and reduce how much you pay out-of-pocket. You have to let the provider know that you have a dental discount plan so you receive the lower rate. 

A dental discount plan only applies to dentists and professionals within the network. You should browse what each plan offers and where the providers are located before deciding if it is right for you. The discounts and services have to justify no copay.

Dental Indemnity Plans

These insurance policies offer coverage for various procedures but have different payout methods. The insurer will determine the usual fee for the performed service and pay accordingly. Sometimes, this reimbursement can be considerably below the cost of the service provided.

Dental Indemnity Plans do not have any networks, so you can work with any dentist who you prefer. You have to contend with monthly premiums and a deductible, just like HMO and PPO plans. Each plan has different coverage, but these are some of the common expenses covered in dental indemnity plans:

  • Annual exams
  • X-rays
  • Root canal
  • Crown
  • Fillings
  • Annual teeth cleaning

Is Supplemental Dental Insurance Worth It?

Supplemental dental insurance will increase your monthly expenses because of the premiums. However, this policy can reduce your dentist bills and require less out-of-pocket cash. While these policies can end up as net losses after the premiums, it’s important to consider that the monthly expense is consistent.

Without a supplemental dental insurance plan, you can end up with a sudden jump in monthly expenses when you or a member of your family needs a dentist’s services. Some procedures can cost thousands of dollars which can be difficult to come up with in a few days. The strength of supplemental dental insurance is that it makes dental expenses more manageable at the moment. It’s easier to pay $20 to $100 per month for an insurance policy than it is to get an extra $10,000 for a dental procedure.

Average Cost of Supplemental Dental Insurance 

The cost of supplemental depends on your location, the type of coverage you want and other factors. According to Humana, the average premium is $20 to $50 per month for an individual and $50 to $150 per month for a family.

How to Compare Supplemental Dental Insurance

Comparing supplemental dental insurance policies can help you determine the right policy for you. Shopping around can help you save money and get better coverage. These are some of the factors to consider when reviewing plans.

Group Coverage

Some insurers offer lower premiums if a group of people are enrolled in the same plan. Insurers can offer lower premiums for these plans since their risk is spread across several policyholders.

In-Network Providers 

Some insurers require that you work with in-network providers to receive coverage. Review the list of providers to see if any of them are nearby and check their online reviews. A policy with good coverage but providers who aren’t right for you can result in friction.

Services Covered

Supplemental dental insurance plans offer more coverage than primary plans. However, you should make sure it covers the procedures you need. Some insurers let you customize your plan so you don’t have excessive coverage for things that you don’t need.

How to Get Supplemental Dental Insurance 

You will first need primary dental insurance to get supplemental dental insurance. You can reach out to your insurance company and inquire about a supplemental dental insurance policy and compare rates from other insurance companies

While it’s easy to stick with the insurer you have been using, it may be a good idea to cast a wider net and see what terms and conditions you can find. You can request free quotes from many supplemental dental insurers and learn more about their coverage, deductibles and other details. 

Get the Right Supplemental Dental Insurance

A good supplemental dental insurance policy can keep your costs low and offer financial relief when you receive dental services. Many insurers let you customize these plans so they align with your needs. The right plan can save you a lot of money in the long run, but make sure you read the contract so you know the important details.

Frequently Asked Questions 


Does supplemental dental insurance cover pre-existing conditions?


A supplemental dental insurance policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.


Can I purchase supplemental dental insurance without having primary dental insurance?


You must have primary dental insurance to purchase supplemental dental insurance.


Are there waiting periods for coverage with supplemental dental insurance?


There are waiting periods for coverage with supplemental dental insurance. Waiting periods vary for each insurer but can last as long as 6 to 12 months.

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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Melinda Sineriz

About Melinda Sineriz

Melinda specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards.