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The best dental insurance company overall is Cigna, which is available in all 50 states, has a dental coverage limit of up to $1,500, and offers three low-deductible plans. Other top dental insurance companies cover the costs of preventive dental care while softening the blow on major procedures that can be pricier like crowns, bridges, and fillings.
To help you compare the best dental insurance plans, we created our list of the best dental insurance companies by examining more than 20 companies across several key categories including network size, maximum annual benefits, premiums, and waiting periods, as well as financial stability ratings from Standard & Poor's and AM Best.
Best Dental Insurance Companies for October 2023
Best Overall : Cigna
- Policy types: 3 low-deductible plans
- Coverage limit: Up to $1,500
- Deductible: $0-$150
- States available: 50
We chose Cigna as the best overall dental insurance due to its broad network of more than 89,000 dentists at 300,000 locations and diversity of plans that can fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Some plans include restorative and orthodontic coverage
Network of 89,000 dentists at 300,000 locations nationwide
Waiting periods of six to 12 months for major services
Dental implants and cosmetic procedures not covered
Cigna is a global health care service company with high marks for financial strength, including an A rating from both AM Best and Standard & Poor's. Its dental plans work within a nationwide network of more than 89,000 dentists at more than 300,000 locations, and it offers phone support 24/7 every day of the year. Cigna's dental insurance for individuals comes with no copays and no deductibles for preventive care with in-network dentists.
Cigna’s dental preferred provider organization (DPPO) plans are available to consumers of all ages, and pricing is offered on a per-person, per-month basis. Cigna also lets customers choose a level of care based on their needs, with some plans offering orthodontic care and restorative care at a higher price point.
While the cost for Cigna dental insurance can vary depending on where you live, these quotes can help you get an idea of general pricing for the monthly premiums and more:
|Plan?||Pricing per person, per month||Preventative care covered?||Restorative care covered?||Orthodontic care covered?||Deductible|
|Cigna Dental 1500||Starting at $39||Yes||Up to $1,500 per year||$1,000 lifetime||$50 for individuals and $150 for families|
|Cigna Dental 1000||Starting at $33||Yes||Up to $1,000 per year||No||$50 for individuals and $150 for families|
|Cigna Dental Preventative||Starting at $19||Yes||No||No||None|
Runner-Up, Best Overall : Renaissance Dental
- Policy types: 4
- Coverage limit: $1,000 to $1,600
- Deductible: $0-$150
- States available: 50
Renaissance Dental does not cover orthodontics like Cigna, but it gets the runner-up spot due to the fact it has a comparable network of 300,000+ dental locations and an excellent reputation for customer service.
Some plans cover preventive care at 100%
300,000 dental offices nationwide
Free online quote
No plans cover orthodontic care
Coverage for basic and major services is limited
Renaissance Dental works with a network of 300,000 dental offices nationwide, and in-network dentists who use this insurance will file paperwork and claims on your behalf. This company's customer service is known for its quality, and it has several different plans for individuals and families that offer varying levels of insurance coverage and inclusions to meet consumers' needs.
Renaissance Dental has an A+ rating from AM Best, so you can feel confident in this company’s financial strength. It also makes it easy to get a free quote online no matter where you live, so shopping around to compare plans is simple and convenient.
Some Renaissance Dental plans cover preventive care at 100%, but some waiting periods apply for restorative care and major services. Three of the plans offered by Renaissance have annual maximum benefits of $1,000. The Essentials Plan has no deductible. Plan II and Plan III have a $50 deductible for individuals and a $150 deductible for families.
Best for No Waiting Periods : Spirit Dental
- Policy types: 8
- Coverage limit: $750 to $5,000 after 3 years
- Deductible: One-time deductible of $100
- States available: 50
We chose Spirit Dental because its plans don’t require any waiting periods and you pay a $100 deductible only once instead of every calendar year.
100% coverage for at least two cleanings and exams annually
No waiting periods
$100 lifetime deductible
Annual coverage maximums can be as low as $750
Plans vary widely on annual maximums and costs?
Spirit Dental offers dental insurance plans with no waiting periods and annual maximum benefit amounts that increase after you’ve had your plan for a few years. It guarantees acceptance for everyone, and you even can get coverage for major dental services and dental implants.
Spirit Dental is offered through Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., which has an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s and an A rating from AM Best for financial strength. Spirit’s partnership with Ameritas also means this company works with one of the largest networks of dentists worldwide. Currently, you can choose from 111,500 dental providers at 428,000 access points nationwide.
Along with having no waiting periods, Spirit Dental charges a one-time $100 deductible, compared to the annual deductibles most coverage providers charge. Spirit offers several dental insurance plans for individuals, featuring preventive coverage, three cleanings per calendar year, orthodontics for kids, and no waiting periods, with up to a $5,000 annual maximum benefit after you’ve been a customer for three years.
Spirit offers a variety of plans and the amount you’ll pay for coverage can vary depending on where you live. Below is an overview of a few of Spirit's plans for individuals, based on a sample quote we got for someone looking for individual coverage in New Jersey. Availability and selection may differ by state.
|Plan?||Preventative care covered?||Basic and major care covered?||Annual maximum benefit|
|Preventative Plus||100%||50% first year basic and
25% first year major
|$750 year one, $1,000 year two and three|
|Flex||100%||50% first year basic and
25% first year major
|$1,000 year one, $2,000 year two and three|
|Core||100%||50% first year basic, 25% first year basic; up to 80% and 50%, respectively, by year three||$1,200|
|Senior Preferred||100%||65% first year basic, 100% in year two and three; major care at 25% year one, and 100% years two and three||$1,500 year one, $3,000 year two and three|
|Pinnacle||100%||50% first year basic, up to 80% by year three; major care at 25% year one, and 30% and 60% in years two and three||$1,200 year one, $2,500 in year two, and $5,000 in year three|
Best Value : Humana Dental Insurance
- Policy types: 8
- Coverage limit: $1,000 to unlimited
- Deductible: $0-$150
- States available: 49
We chose Humana as the best value due to its low starting rates for basic plans, the fact that preventive services are covered at 100%, and because some plans have a one-time deductible.
Plans include preventive care at 100% coverage
Humana works with more than 335,000 dentist locations nationwide
Annual maximum benefits can be as low as $1,000
Some plans have long waiting periods for basic/major services
Humana offers PPO and DHMO? plans at varying price points that can make sense for consumers with unique dental care needs. The company currently has an A rating from AM Best, which means it is fairly solid in terms of financial strength.
You can select from more than 335,000 dentists across the United States, but you should note that plans, coverage amounts, and specifics for each policy can vary widely depending on where you live. Regardless of these differences, what sets Humana apart is its pricing and plan options, and most plans come with 100% coverage for preventive care.
Some dental insurance plans from Humana feature a lifetime deductible, usually $50 for individuals and $150 for families, while other plans charge an annual deductible. Maximum benefit amounts for this coverage can range from $1,000 to unlimited, depending on the policy you choose. Waiting periods also can apply, including a six-month waiting time for basic services and up to 12 months for major services.
Below is an overview of some of Humana's plans.
|Plan?||Preventative care covered?||Basic and major care covered?||Deductible||Annual maximum benefit|
|Dental Preventive Value PPO||100%||Basic care at 50%; no coverage for major services||$50 for individuals and $150 for families||Unlimited|
|Dental Loyalty Plus PPO||100%||Basic services at 40%, 55%, and 70% in years one, two, and three; major services at 20%, 30%, and 50% in years one, two, and three||$150 for individuals and $450 for families||$1,000 per person in year one, $1,250 in year two, and $1,500 in year three|
|Complete Dental PPO||100%||Basic care at 80%; major services at 50%||$50 for individuals and $150 for families||$1,250 per individual in year one and $1,500 in year two|
Best for Families : UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance
- Policy types: 8
- Coverage limit: $1,000 to $3,000
- Deductible: $50 per person
- States available: 50
UnitedHealthOne is our pick as the best for families thanks to its winning combination of preventive care and orthodontia coverage that can save families a lot of money.
Broad network of dentists are available
All plans include 100% preventive care
Some plans cover orthodontics
Annual maximum benefit amounts can be as low as $1,000/person
Waiting periods may apply for major services
UnitedHealthOne offers dental insurance plans with no age limit and preventive care covered with no deductibles or waiting periods. It is part of the UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 500 company. Policies may be underwritten by the Golden Rule Insurance Company, which underwrites UnitedHealth Group plans. The group has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial strength.
Dental insurance plans, including coverage amounts and other details, can vary widely with UnitedHealthOne depending on where you live. However, this company does make it easy to get a free quote online without any medical underwriting.
Some plans from UnitedHealthOne require a waiting period for basic care and major services, or coverage amounts might be lower in the initial years of the policy, although details can vary based on where you live. Some higher-tiered plans offer orthodontic coverage, but lower-tier plans may not cover major services like braces, crowns, and bridgework. Annual maximum dental benefits for some plans can be as low as $1,000.
Here is an overview of a few of United's plans.
|?Plan||Preventative care covered?||Basic and major services covered?||Deductible||Annual maximum benefit|
|Primary||100%||Basic services at 50%, then 65%, and finally 80%; no coverage for major services||$50 per person||$1,000 per person|
|Primary Plus||100%||Basic services at 50% in year one, 65% in year two, and 80% in year three; major services not covered||$50 per person||$1,000 per person|
|Premier Choice||100%||Basic services at 50% in year one, 65% in year two, and 80% in year three; major services at 10% in year one, 40% in year two, and 50% in year three||$50 per person||$1,500 per person|
|Premier Max||100%||Basic services at 50% after 4-month waiting period, 65% in year two, and 80% in year three; major services at 50% after 12-month waiting period, 60% in year three||$50 per person||$3,000 per person|
Best for Seniors : Physicians Mutual
- Policy types: 4
- Coverage limit: Unlimited
- Deductible: $0
- States available: 50
We chose Physicians Mutual for seniors since there are no annual or lifetime limits on the coverage, including benefits to help pay for dentures, and it offers specialized pricing for a senior's budget.
No waiting period for preventive care or basic procedures
No annual or lifetime limits on benefits
12-month waiting period for major work
Limits on how much it pays per procedure
Physicians Mutual dental insurance can be trusted for its financial strength since the company has an A rating from AM Best. This provider also has plans that can be particularly good for seniors since they include coverage for up to 350 procedures, including crowns and dentures.
Physicians Mutual dental insurance doesn’t have any deductibles and coverage for preventive care such as cleanings starts right away. A waiting period of three months applies to basic care like fillings and extractions, and a 12-month waiting period applies to major services like crowns and root canals.
Physicians Mutual policies come with no annual or lifetime benefit limits on your coverage, and you can choose your dentist from its network of more than 500,000 provider locations.
Physicians Mutual offers four basic dental insurance plans.
- Economy: Starts at $30.10 per month
- Standard: Starts at $37.80 per month
- Preferred: Starts at $46.75 per month
- Premier: Starts at $56.50 per month
With each of these options, you’ll be reimbursed for preventive care, basic care, and major services at a set cost based on the plan you select. Economy plans reimburse at a lower rate, whereas Premier plans reimburse at the highest rate.
Best for Orthodontics : Delta Dental
- Policy types: 5
- Coverage limit: $1,000 to unlimited?
- Deductible: Depends on location
- States available: 50
Delta Dental has several dental insurance plans that include orthodontic care for both children and adults, whereas most other providers don't have multiple, affordable orthodontia choices.
Some plans include orthodontic care
No out-of-pocket cost for preventive care on most plans
Large network of providers
Annual maximum benefit amounts are low
Orthodontic care covered at only 50%
Delta Dental belongs to one of the nation’s largest dental provider networks, which makes it easy to choose from more than 155,000 dentists in its networks. Delta Dental also boasts an A+ (Excellent) rating from AM Best—a testament to the financial strength of the company.
While plan details vary from state to state, Delta Dental offers several different types of dental insurance plans, including options with no deductible or annual maximum. Preventive care, like cleanings and X-rays, is covered at 100%.
Pricing and plan options vary between states. Head to Delta Dental's website to see what they offer in your locality.
There are many options when it comes to dental insurance companies. Most companies, like Renaissance Dental and Delta Dental, provide plans that cover 100% of preventive care, while others like Spirit Dental offer plans with no waiting periods. But overall, the best dental insurance company is Cigna.
Cigna has a broad network of more than 89,000 dentists available at more than 300,000 locations nationwide, and all of its dental insurance covers preventive care with no deductibles or copays. Plus, with Cigna, customers can choose a level of care that is based on what they actually need, with some plans offering orthodontic and restorative care for a higher price.
Compare the Best Dental Insurance Companies
|Company||Coverage Limit||Dentist Locations In-Network||Plans||Deductible|
|Cigna Best Overall||Up to $1,500||300,000||3||$50 individuals; $150 families; $0 preventative plan?|
|Renaissance Dental Runner Up, Best Overall||$1,000 to $1,600||300,000||4||$50 for individuals or families?|
|Spirit Dental Best for No Waiting Periods||$750 to $5,000 after 3 years||428,000||8||One-time $100 deductible?|
|Humana Dental Insurance Best Value||$1,000 to unlimited||335,000||8||$50 for individuals; $150 for families|
|UnitedHealthOne Dental Insurance Best for Families||$1,000 to $3,000||100,000||8||$50 per person|
|Physicians Mutual Best for Seniors||Unlimited?||500,000||4||None|
|Delta Dental Best for Orthodontics||$1,000 to unlimited||155,000||5||$50 for PPO plans|
What Is Dental Insurance and How Does It Work?
Dental insurance is a policy that you pay for to cover costs related to work on your teeth. When you go to the dentist for teeth cleanings, a filling, or maybe braces, your dental insurance will help pay for it. Different dental insurance plans offer various coverage. Some may cover one annual cleaning while others may cover two annual cleanings. Some dental plans do not cover certain procedures.
Most dental plans cover 100% of preventative care, such as teeth cleanings, 80% for basic procedures, and 50% for major procedures.
After signing up for a dental insurance plan, look for participating dentists and professionals in your network to begin using the benefits offered through your policy.
How to Get Dental Insurance
You can get dental insurance through your employer's benefits or you can find a plan and pay for an individual dental insurance plan on your own via the HealthCare Marketplace. If you are married, you may be able to get dental insurance through your partner's plan. And, if you are under a certain age, you may be covered by your parent's dental insurance.
Ways to Buy Dental Insurance
There are three primary ways to pay for dental insurance:
- Through your employer: If you receive dental insurance as a health benefit through your employer, you will likely pay for it directly out of your paycheck.
- Via the health care marketplace: You can visit HealthCare.gov to find dental insurance, as well as health and vision insurance. Some plans may be subsidized based on your income or financial situation. Just know: You may not be able to buy dental insurance without first buying a health plan.
- Directly through the insurance company: If you find a dental insurance company that fits your needs and budget, you can sign up and pay for your benefits directly with the company.
Main Types of Dental Insurance Plans
Dental insurance plans may be part of your health insurance plan or can be separate plans of their own. According to the American Dental Association, there are several types of dental plans, including Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (DHMOs), indemnity plans, direct reimbursement plans, and table or schedule of allowance plans. The three main types of dental insurance plans are indemnity, PPO, and DHMO plans.
Indemnity Dental Insurance Plans (Also Called Fee-for-Service Plan)
An indemnity dental insurance plan is sometimes called a fee-for-service plan. Once you meet your deductible, your plan will pay for a portion of your dental care and services.
PPO Dental Insurance Plans
A dental PPO insurance plan is a common type of dental plan. PPO stands for preferred provider organization and these plans can be on the pricier side because of the wider network coverage and the flexibility they afford customers.
Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) Insurance Plans
An HMO dental insurance plan (or DHMO) is often cheaper than the other types of plans, but that's because of the restrictions. You may have to live within the area where the dental health maintenance organization (HMO) dental plan is offered. You may also have to stay within the network to receive any coverage.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans offer access to dental services at discounted rates that can be up to 60% less than regular prices with other plans, often for older adults. Contact your insurance company to see if it has a plan, or look for a dental discount plan that is separate from your health insurance and offers you coverage that fits your needs.
Make sure you understand how your plan works when it comes to in-network and out-of-network dental care.
What To Look for in a Dental Insurance Plan
When looking for a dental insurance plan, make sure you consider the following:
- Coverage: How much does your plan pay for when it comes to common procedures like cleanings or x-rays?
- Network of providers: How many dentists are in the network?
- Premiums and fees: What are the annual or monthly premiums you'll need to pay for this dental insurance plan? How much is the deductible? Are there any other out-of-pocket costs or hidden fees? Will you need to pay coinsurance for procedures?
Average Costs of Common Dental Procedures
The cost for dental procedures may vary by dental insurance plan, but most plans pay 100% for routine care, 50% for more complex procedures, like a filling, root canal, or crown. We looked at the American Dental Association's 2020 survey of dental fees to determine what the average costs were nationwide for some well-known dental procedures. Here's what you may pay with and without dental insurance for these common dental procedures if dental insurance covers 100% for routine procedures, 80% for minor procedures, and 50% of major procedures:
|Dental Procedure||Average Cost Without Dental Insurance||Average Cost With Dental Insurance?|
|X-Ray (Complete Series)||$143?||$0?|
What Does Dental Insurance Typically Cover and Not Cover?
Most dental insurance plans cover preventive care like cleanings and X-rays at 100%, and coverage for basic services like fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions, but it’s usually limited to a percentage of the cost (e.g., 50%). Plans that cover major services tend to cost more and limit the payout to around 50%. Dental insurance doesn't normally cover cosmetic procedures and pre-existing conditions, and some plans leave out major services like implants and orthodontic care.
Dental insurance typically does not cover the costs of cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening. Pre-existing conditions like missing teeth and some major procedures or services like braces or orthodontics work may not be covered, but it will depend on the health insurance plan you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Paying for Dental Insurance Worth It?
Only you can decide if paying for dental insurance is worth it, but it helps to run some basic cost analysis to determine how much you would pay for dental insurance premiums, copayments, and deductibles per calendar year versus how much you’ve actually paid for dental care in previous years.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening, Implants, or Braces?
Teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic procedure and may not be covered by your dental insurance plan. Additionally, some plans do not cover major services like implants or braces, the latter of which is often considered orthodontic care.
What Are the Expected Costs of Dental Insurance?
The cost of dental insurance varies widely depending on where you live, your age, and the plan you select. However, it may be possible to find a plan that costs less than $20 per month for an individual, depending on your state and county.
Less expensive dental insurance plans tend to cover only a small percentage of services and come with low annual health benefit limits. More robust plans can easily cost $40 to $60 per month for an individual, although you’ll get more coverage, higher annual benefit amounts, and more included services in return. Overall, it'll all come down to how much your dental care costs.
How Much Does Most Dental Insurance Cover?
When it comes to dental insurance, most?dental plans follow a similar structure: 100-80-50. This means that coverage includes 100% of preventative care, such as teeth cleanings, 80% of basic procedures, and 50% of major procedures. However, some plans may choose not to cover certain procedures, so it's always important to check with your insurance company.
How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?
The amount you pay for dental insurance will depend on the type of coverage you need, how many people are on the plan with you, where you live, and more. Most people pay between $20 and $150 per month, depending on if they are signed up for an individual dental plan or a family dental plan.
Which Dental Insurance Has the Largest Network?
Delta Dental has the largest number of dentists in its network (155,000), but there are other dental insurance companies with a larger number of locations where you can access dental care. For example, Spirit Dental has 111,500 dental providers in its network and you can access them at 428,000 locations nationwide.
What Is the Most Common Form of Dental Insurance?
The most common form of dental insurance is the PPO plan. PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization and gives you access to a network of dentists and providers. Other common forms of dental insurance include DHMO, Dental Discount Plans, and Managed Fee-for-Service Plans.
How Much Is a Dental Cleaning Without Insurance?
The average cost of a teeth cleaning is $73 for a child and $98 for an adult, according to the American Dental Association's 2020 survey of dental fees.
To find the best dental insurance companies, we looked at more than 20 dental insurance plans to come up with a ranking of the best providers. We looked for dental plans with the broadest networks of dentists available, reasonable annual benefit maximums, and the potential for low premiums. While many of the dental plans on our list come with waiting periods, we tried to select insurance companies that don’t have cumbersome waiting periods that make using dental coverage difficult.
We also looked for dental insurance companies with strong ratings in terms of their financial strength, mostly by comparing ratings from Standard & Poor’s and AM Best.