Updated on February 9, 2024
6 min read

Supplemental Dental Insurance Plans

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What is Supplemental Dental Insurance?

Supplemental dental insurance is a plan that fills any gaps in your existing dental insurance coverage. 

You may need a supplemental dental insurance plan if your: 

  • Employer doesn’t offer dental insurance
  • Current dental insurance plan doesn’t cover everything you need

Technically, all dental insurance plans are supplemental. Medical insurance policies typically don’t include dental care, so you or your employer must purchase a separate one.

However, you may need additional supplemental dental coverage if your existing dental plan has limited benefits.

Who Qualifies for Supplemental Dental Insurance?

You may qualify for supplemental dental insurance under several circumstances, including when:

Your Employer Doesn’t Offer Dental Coverage

Employers that offer health benefits don’t always include coverage for dental or vision needs. Yours may only provide a medical policy.

If you don’t receive dental insurance through your employer, you qualify for supplemental dental insurance. You may be able to purchase dental insurance through Obamacare or directly from a provider. 

You’re on Medicare

Traditional Medicare typically doesn’t provide dental coverage, with a limited number of exceptions.1 Many people on Medicare will purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, a supplement to Medicare offered by private insurance companies.

Some Medicare Advantage plans include insurance coverage for dental care, but many don’t. Check your plan to see what’s covered and whether treatment will incur an additional fee.

If you’re on Medicare and your plan doesn’t cover dental care, you qualify for supplemental dental insurance.

Your Primary Dental Policy Has Gaps in Coverage

You may receive a dental insurance policy through your employer, Medicare, or Obamacare. However, some dental plans have limited benefits, or their yearly maximum may not be sufficient for you or your family.

If you have a dental policy with gaps in coverage, you can purchase supplemental dental insurance. For instance, some plans don’t cover major orthodontic work or pre-existing conditions. They may also only cover a certain number of dental procedures per year.

However, you’ll need to be careful when making claims to your additional policy. Some providers may deny claims if they believe the primary plan could have covered them.

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How Does Supplemental Dental Insurance Work?

There are two types of supplemental insurance plans: managed care and indemnity plans. 

Managed care plans have contracts with dental care providers and facilities. This creates a network that members can access.2 There are different types of networks varying in flexibility and pricing.

Indemnity plans let you access any provider. The insurance company pays a portion of your bill once they receive it.3 You’ll typically have a deductible to meet before they start paying.

Ultimately, you’ll have access to more providers with an indemnity plan. However, managed care plans are often cheaper and involve less paperwork. 

Both types may have waiting periods or certain amounts of time before you can access benefits.

How to Get Supplemental Dental Insurance 

You can get supplemental dental coverage through Medicare Advantage, Obamacare, or directly from a private insurance provider.

You can select a Medicare Advantage plan using their plan finder if you’re on Medicare. To purchase dental insurance through Obamacare, you’ll have to use the marketplace. However, there are restrictions on when you can enroll.

To purchase a plan directly from a private company, you can usually sign up through their website. You’ll typically be able to purchase these plans at any time throughout the year.

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Best Supplemental Dental Insurance Plans

Our top supplemental dental plans are:

Medicare Advantage

You can purchase a supplemental dental insurance plan through Medicare Advantage if you’re on Medicare.

Medicare Advantage partners with private insurance companies across the nation. Each one provides different benefits and plans. Browse the options and choose a provider who covers your needs and is widely accepted in your area.

Delta Dental

Delta Dental is a private insurer that specializes in dental coverage. The best part about Delta Dental is they provide orthodontic coverage for both children and adults. This can include major procedures.

You can find a variety of available plans from Delta Dental. Many include a high annual maximum and 100% coverage of preventive care.


Humana is a major insurance company that provides both medical and dental plans. You can purchase a dental insurance plan, Medicare Advantage plan, or optional supplemental benefits for extra coverage.

The advantages of a Humana dental plan include:

  • No waiting period for many plans
  • Low deductibles
  • Wide network of dentists

UnitedHealthcare Dental

UnitedHealthcare offers both medical and dental plans across the nation. They are an excellent option for family coverage, with no waiting periods or age limits.

With your UnitedHealthcare dental insurance, you may discover additional benefits, including vision benefits and a nurse hotline.

Are Dental Savings Plans Supplemental Insurance?

No, dental savings plans are not supplemental insurance. However, they can be a great alternative to dental insurance benefits.

Dental savings plans, also known as discount dental plans, allow you to access dental treatment at a discounted price. 

You pay a yearly or monthly fee in exchange for a discount on dental services in a network of providers. The discount usually falls between 10 and 60 percent off. 

A dental savings plan can be an excellent supplement if you already have a dental insurance plan. It won’t interfere with your coverage since you don’t make insurance claims. Instead, you’ll get a discount on services not covered under your insurance policy.

Is Supplemental Dental Insurance Worth It?

Yes, a supplemental dental plan is a smart idea if you don’t have dental coverage. Studies show that your oral health is directly linked to your overall health, so taking care of your mouth is essential.4

Supplemental dental plans often cost less than health insurance. They provide at least primary preventative care. With the different options available, you can find a plan that meets your budget and needs.

Having access to dental care can help prevent and treat oral health conditions that interfere the most with your quality of life, including:5

  • Cavities and tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Severe tooth loss

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you see your dentist regularly in addition to practicing at-home oral hygiene.6

Get the dental care you need at a price you can afford. Find your DentalPlans savings now.


Supplemental dental insurance is a policy that covers dental care or fills the gaps in your primary dental plan. You may need additional dental insurance if you’re on Medicare, don’t receive a dental policy from your employer, or have limited benefits through your dental plan.

You can purchase supplemental dental policies through Medicare Advantage, Obamacare, or directly from a private insurance provider. Alternatively, you can buy a dental savings plan to get a discount on dental services.

Dental insurance is essential for providing access to regular dental care. Oral health is connected to general health, so consider a supplemental dental insurance plan if you need it.

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Last updated on February 9, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 9, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Your Medicare coverage choices.” Medicare.gov, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2023.
  2. Managed Care.” MedlinePlus.gov, National Library of Medicine, 2023.
  3. How Indemnity Plans Work.” Connecticut State Office of the Healthcare Advocate, CT.gov, 2023.
  4. Oral health.” World Health Organization, 2023. 
  5. Oral Health Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2021.
  6. Home Oral Care.” American Dental Association, 2022.
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