Simple answers to the best questions about dental insurance


Get answers to the most asked questions about dental plans

So you’re thinking about dental insurance? Well you’re not alone. The need for dental services has never been greater, and the cost of dental care has become more expensive each year. Dental insurance remains one of the best methods to help finance the cost of vital dental services like routine exams, root canals, crowns, and dental implants. We’re going to take a look at some of the top dental questions most people ask. Let’s get started.

Why do I need dental insurance?
What do dental plans pay for?
How do dental plans work?
What are different types of dental plans?
How do dental networks work?
Where can I find dental plans?
How much does dental insurance cost?
Need more dental questions answered?

Why do I need dental insurance?

This is a great place to start. Why? I suppose the first question could be, “Why do you need to see the dentist?” Most people agree that it’s important to visit the dentist in order to take care of your teeth. But what most people find is that the cost of dental care has become expensive. Even the cost of routine exams and basic dental tests can run into the hundreds of dollars. Then if the dentist recommends a treatment such as a filling, extraction, or major service, the costs can quickly jump into thousands of dollars.

The reality is that most people don’t keep a chunk of change lying around for unexpected dental treatments. This is where dental insurance can step in, to help members be able to receive the dental services they need with a combination of network benefits and insurance payments. We’ll explore dental plans in a little more detail.

What does dental insurance pay for?

So you may ask, “Ok, what do most dental plans pay for?” In short, most dental plans pay for the common types of dental services that the majority of patients need. Most dental insurance plans will breakdown into three main categories: preventive services, basic services, and major services. Most dental treatments will fall into one of these categories.

For example, routine exams and x-rays are usually considered preventive. Common basic services can be fillings, sealants, and other minor procedures. Major services can include root canals, crowns, dentures, and even dental implants.

On the flip side, many dental plans don’t include any benefits for cosmetic procedures like tooth whitening or bleaching. Fortunately, the majority of dental procedures you might need are covered by most dental plans.

How do common dental insurance plans work?

Let’s say you get a common PPO dental insurance plan. With PPO plans, you can generally choose any dentist you’d like to see. Then the plan will help pay for any dental procedures you incur, according to the plan’s benefits.

Some plans can cover your routine exams at 100%. For other dental services, there’s usually a coinsurance split, where the plan may pay 80% and the member pays the other 20% of costs. For major services, it’s common for plans to only pay up to 50% of the costs, leaving the other half to the patient.

After the benefit payments, another important item to consider is the plan’s maximum benefit. Plans can pay anywhere from $1000 up to even $3000 a year per member. This will be the maximum amount of benefits in any one year the plan will pay out. Some plans may also have a yearly deductible of around $50. These are the main features to consider for most common PPO plans.

What are the different types of dental plans?

There are many different types of dental plans, but you can first breakdown plans into two main categories: discount dental plans and dental insurance plans. We’ve mainly been describing dental insurance plans that have an annual benefit max and make benefit payments to a dentist’s office.

With discount dental plans, they work a bit different. Discount plans do not make an actual payment to the dental provider. They only provide a discounted rate per procedure if you see an In Network dentist. The good thing is that these discounts can be from 30-50% or more of retail costs.

On the flip side, dental insurance plans can include PPO plans, Indemnity plans, or HMO type plans. PPO plans allow you to see any dentist, but you get more value by staying In Network. Indemnity plans make a larger payment for Out of Network dentists, while HMO plans are generally In Network only plans. But the most common type of plans are PPO dental plans.

How do dental networks work?

Most dental plans will include a dental network of participating dental providers. These providers can include general dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, endodontists, oral surgeons, and other specialty providers. In Network providers agree to accept a plan’s lower negotiated rates in order to see a plan’s patients. This means savings for patients who see In Network dentists.

As mentioned before, PPO dental plans allow members to see Out of Network dentists too. These dentist can generally charge retail rates and are not subject to any In Network pricing. But most dentist will file claims for patients regardless of network participation.

Where can I find dental insurance options?

There are a variety of places to find quality dental plans. For those who work full time jobs, it’s common for many companies to offer dental insurance as an employee benefit.

However, not all companies offer dental or the coverage options may be lacking at some employers. This is where the private market for dental plans for individuals, families, and seniors comes in. There are many online options to find plans such as It mainly comes down to finding the right resource for plan options to meet your dental needs.

How much will a dental plan cost?

The cost of a dental plan can vary depending on several factors. First of all is your geographic location. There are certain parts of the country where the cost of living is higher than others. This also relates to the cost of dental plans because rates are based on the charges that most dentists make in a specific area.

There are also various plan factors that can effect cost. Generally plans that offer higher levels of benefits such as orthodontic care or higher benefit maximums will cost more than entry level dental plans. Fortunately, it’s easy to compare dental plans by cost and benefits to be able to find the best solution for your situation. At EasyDentalQuotes, just enter your zip code to see rates for plans in your area.

Answers to more questions

Well we’ve covered some of the most common questions about dental insurance. If you’ve still got questions, we’ve got additional resources to check out concerning all things dental. In the meantime, the most important thing is to be able to get access to the dental care that you need. At EasyDentalQuotes, we help make dental insurance easy.

Try our “Easy One Step” dental quotes


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