Updated on April 26, 2024
12 min read

The 5 Best Dental Insurances in New York

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The best dental insurance plans contribute to paying for basic and complex dental services. 

Many people purchase dental insurance to cover preventive care costs. However, some plans also cover more invasive and expensive procedures such as root canals, crowns, dentures, and sometimes orthodontic treatments. 

We’ve put together a list of the best dental insurance plans you can find in New York. You usually have to purchase dental insurance independent of health insurance, which doesn’t cover dental services. 

Dental insurance providers allow you to tailor coverage to your needs, including your monthly budget for healthcare costs. 

5 Best Dental Insurance Plans in New York

Individual rates for the best dental insurance plans in New York vary depending on your situation.  

Based on our research, here are the five best dental insurance plans available in New York in 2024: 

1. Delta Dental

You can choose between two dental preferred provider organization (PPO) plans, a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO), or a discount plan for Delta Dental coverage: 

  • Delta Dental PPO — This basic plan covers 100% of preventive services with no waiting period. With a $50 deductible and an annual maximum of $1,000, this plan works well if you only visit the dentist for routine cleanings. 
  • Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier — Choose this dental insurance plan for the $1,500 lifetime maximum and up to 50% coverage for orthodontic treatments. You won’t pay anything for preventive services, but basic services are covered up to 50%. 
  • DeltaCare USA — This DHMO plan has no deductible or annual maximum. You pay fixed prices for various dental work, from preventive care to major dental procedures. 
  • Delta Dental Patient Direct — Delta Dental’s discounted plan works well for people who don’t want to worry about submitting insurance claims but still want a discounted rate. You must choose providers from the approved network for coverage. 

Delta Dental commands a vast network of providers and typically doesn’t require a waiting period for preventive care. Most basic work, such as fillings, can be done after a 6-month waiting period, while major work often requires a 12-month waiting period.

Many prefer Delta Dental because it offers a wide range of insurance plans for various budgets and needs. However, it only covers a portion of orthodontic care costs, which can be a small percentage considering the total cost of these treatments. 

2. DentaQuest

New Yorkers who want to pay less for preventive services receive the following with all DentaQuest Personal Dental Plans: 

  • Two dental exams
  • Two annual cleanings
  • No waiting period 

DentaQuest also offers 4 DHMO plans and 5 PPO plans, including orthodontic care for children and adults. The 4 PPO plans include:   

  • Personal Dental Preventive Plan — Basic preventive services come with no annual limits. However, this plan doesn’t cover any other services more extensive than basic cleanings.  
  • Personal Dental Plan Basic — With a $1,000 annual limit and up to 50% coverage for basic dental services, this plan comes with a $50 individual or $150 family deductible. 
  • Personal Dental Plan Plus — Choose this top-tier plan for 100% coverage on preventive care for less than $15 per month. This plan also includes up to 50% coverage for basic services and 30% for major services. The annual maximum is $1,250, but this plan doesn’t cover orthodontic care. 
  • Personal Dental Plan Comprehensive — DentaQuest offers two levels to this plan: the 1500 and 2000, which represent the annual maximums. The 1500 plan has no waiting period and 80% coverage for basic dental work. Both plans come with a $50 individual or $150 family deductible. 

With DentaQuest PPO plans, major dental work can require a waiting period of up to 18 months. DentaQuest doesn’t provide out-of-network coverage.  

3. Guardian Direct

Select a DHMO or one of the 4 PPO plans offered by Guardian Direct. 

The Guardian Managed DentalGuard DHMO plan requires you to visit an in-network dentist for the following dental benefits:

  • Affordable premiums
  • No deductibles
  • No annual limits
  • No waiting period
  • Fixed copays 

Guardian Direct is available in all 50 states. Here are the basic features of the 4 PPO plans:  

  • Advantage Starter — Enjoy 100% coverage for preventive care services. Basic services are covered up to 50% with a 6-month waiting period. Deductibles start at $50 but can be waived for preventive services performed at in-network dentist offices. The annual maximum increases each year.  
  • Advantage Core — This plan builds on the Starter plan to include 50% coverage for major dental services.
  • Advantage Achiever — Up to 50% coverage for orthodontic care or braces sets this plan apart. It also features a $1,000 first-year annual maximum, 70% coverage for basic dental work, and a 12-month waiting period for major work. 
  • Advantage Diamond — This top-tier Guardian Direct plan ups the annual maximum to $1,500 and includes similar features to the Achiever plan. Teeth whitening procedures are covered up to 50% with a 6-month waiting period. 

The Achiever and Diamond plans offer orthodontic coverage.  

4. Humana 

It’s easy to choose a dental insurance plan that fits your needs with Humana, especially concerning PPOs:  

  • Preventive Value — This plan covers preventive care at a low premium cost. 
  • Bright Plus — Visit a dentist in the network for 100% coverage for basic cleanings, X-rays, and exams without waiting. This plan comes with 60% coverage for extractions and fillings after a 3-month waiting period and an annual maximum of $1,250. 
  • Complete Dental — Receive up to $100 toward teeth whitening procedures. 
  • Loyalty Plus — Enjoy no waiting periods for everything from preventive to major dental care. However, this plan does have a high deductible set at $150. 

You can also purchase the Dental Value HMO dental insurance plan, which includes: 

  • 100% coverage for preventive, basic, and major procedures
  • No waiting periods
  • No deductibles
  • No annual limits 

However, this DHMO plan restricts which dentists you can see. You must also pay fixed copayments at the time of service. 

5. MetLife 

You can choose from several DHMO and PPO plans from MetLife. The DHMO plans feature high premiums and smaller copayments or lower premiums and higher copayments. 

The PPO plan options include: 

  • Low Plan — Enjoy 100% coverage with no waiting period with this plan. After 6 months, you receive basic dental services at 50% of your cost. This plan includes a $75 deductible and a $750 annual maximum. 
  • Medium Plan — This dental plan includes 50% coverage for major dental care after a 6-month waiting period. The annual maximum is $1,500. 
  • High Plan — Braces are covered up to 50% after a 12-month waiting period with this top-tier plan. You’ll also have a $2,000 annual maximum. 

MetLife’s PPO dental insurance plans cap annual maximums at a lower amount than other dental providers on our list. However, the waiting periods and coverage percentages are competitive.

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Comparing Dental Insurance Plans in New York

The table below summarizes the basic features of the best dental insurance plans in New York. Using these parameters when comparing dental plans and narrowing your search can be helpful.  

FeaturesDelta DentalDentaQuestGuardian DirectHumanaMetLife
Annual Deductible$0 to $50$0 to $150 $0 to $50$0 to $150 $0 to $75
Annual Maximum$0 to $1,500$0 to $2,000$0 to $1,500$0 to $1,500 $750 to $2,000
Waiting Periods None for preventive 6 months for basic 12 months for majorNone for preventative 6 months for basic 12 to 18 months for majorNone for preventive 6 months for basic 12 months for majorNone for preventive 3 to 6 months for basic 12 months for majorNone for preventive 6 months for basic 12 months for major
Coverage 100% for preventive 100% for basic 50% for major and/or orthodontics100% for preventative 50 to 100% for basic 0 to 50% for major and/or orthodontics100% for preventive 50% for basic 50% for major and/ororthodontics100% for preventive 80 to 100% for basic 20 to 50% for major and/or orthodontics100% for preventive 50% for basic 50% for major and/or orthodontics

Understanding Dental Insurance in New York

Dental insurance for New York residents works similarly to this type of healthcare coverage across the nation:

  • Dental insurance is available for individuals and families 
  • Pay a monthly or annual premium to retain your insurance coverage
  • Present your insurance card any time you receive dental services
  • You’re responsible for any remaining costs not covered by insurance

Most dental insurance providers offer plans with a low premium and lower levels of coverage or higher premiums with more coverage. 

If you need major dental work in the future, higher premium plans can be well worth the cost since the insurance pays for more of your total dental bill. However, if you only visit the dentist for routine cleanings, a lower premium can help you stay within budget and cover preventive care.

Basic Dental Insurance Features

In researching which dental insurance in New York best fits your needs, you will come across these terms: 

  • Plan type — DHMO plans will require you to visit a dentist within a specific network. In contrast, PPO plans allow you to choose your dentist. You can also select indemnity plans with no network restrictions and discount plans that offer flat-rate discounts. 
  • Annual deductible — Dental insurance companies require you to pay this amount out-of-pocket before they cover any additional costs. Lower deductibles often come with higher monthly premiums.  
  • Annual maximum — No matter what dental care you receive, the dental insurance plan will only cover this dollar amount annually. Some dental insurance plans have no annual maximum, while others can go up to $2,000 or more. 
  • Waiting period — Dental plans come with waiting periods that range from none to upwards of 12 months. You must wait until this time has passed before the dental insurance provider will cover any related costs. 
  • Coverage — Most dental plans cover routine cleanings and exams. Coverage for basic services, such as fillings or extractions, ranges from 50% to 100%. While specific dental plans may provide up to 50% coverage for major or orthodontic work, these typically come with a higher premium. 

Combining your dental and vision insurance can help you save money and extend your coverage. You can also purchase supplemental dental insurance for additional coverage.

What Does Dental Insurance Typically Cover?

Dental insurance plans in New York mirror those found nationwide, with a few exceptions. Some dental insurance carriers do not offer coverage in all 50 states. 

In addition, dental insurance in New York may or may not include the same amount of coverage as in other states, depending on which insurance carrier you choose. 

Preventive Care

Most dental insurance covers part or all of the preventive care costs for the following dental treatments: 

  • Routine checkups
  • Cleanings 
  • Oral exams and X-rays 
  • Sealants

You may need to meet your deductible before your dental insurance carrier covers the difference. Many dental insurance providers offer anywhere from 80 to 100% coverage for basic dental procedures like:

  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Additional diagnostic X-rays 

Major Dental Work 

Major dental work, including orthodontic treatments, is rarely covered in full. Instead, dental insurance companies may offer up to 50% coverage, depending on your chosen plan. Orthodontic work coverage is also subject to the annual maximum set by your dental insurance provider. 

In addition to braces, other types of major dental work may include: 

  • Root canals
  • Implants
  • Dentures
  • Gum disease
  • Surgical extractions 

Waiting Periods

Preventive care often lacks a waiting period, but it can take up to 6 months before you can use your new dental insurance to pay for basic dental services. Some dental insurance carriers require a 12 to 18-month period for major work, including orthodontic services. 

Your dental insurance plan does not typically cover cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening. However, you can search for dental insurance plans that specifically offer this type of coverage, though they often cost more.

Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

For many, dental insurance can be far more affordable than health insurance or the alternative. 

Major dental work can cost thousands of dollars, but coverage from the right dental insurance plan can reduce those out-of-pocket costs significantly. Paying a few dollars a month for dental insurance coverage can also be worthwhile for people who only visit the dentist for routine cleanings and exams.

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Dental Insurance for Low-Income Individuals in New York

New Yorkers with a low income don’t have to struggle to find dental insurance. Instead, there are many resources available, including:1,2 

The New York State Mission of Mercy offers free dental care without any financial restrictions.3 Patients, including children, are taken daily on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Dental insurance providers may offer discounted or special programs for more affordable care. For instance, Delta Dental offers three veteran-specific dental plans.4 

Tips for Finding the Right Dental Insurance

Reading through several blocks of dental insurance features and restrictions can be challenging. Consider the following tips to help you narrow your choices and pick the best dental insurance for your situation: 

Review Your Dental Goals

Once you’ve decided you want dental insurance, it’s time to figure out why. What dental services will you need coverage for, and when? What kind of features are you looking for to help you save money? 

Determine Which Plan Works Best

DHMO plans can offer cheaper premiums, but PPO plans allow you to choose from a greater network of dental providers. You may find discount plans (which are not technically dental insurance) to be more affordable and still cover the dental services you need.


Dental insurance providers offer different plans based on your location. Dentists in your area may also belong to one insurance carrier’s network but not another. Search for dental insurance carriers that offer plans specifically for New York residents. 

Cost vs. Value Analysis

This step isn’t as complex as it might sound but can be one of the hardest to quantify. For example, a low-premium dental insurance plan may work well with your budget. Yet the same plan could have you paying hundreds more for major dental work that another higher-cost plan may cover. 

Not all dental insurance plans in New York are made the same. You might find that paying a little extra each month is worth it if you don’t have to stress about how to pay for preventive and basic dental services. 

A few hours of research are critical for choosing a dental plan that works well for all your dental needs. 

Ready for Affordable Dental Care?

DentalPlans makes finding affordable dental care simple. Compare top plans, know your exact costs, and find the perfect dentist near you.

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Last updated on April 26, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 26, 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. Where can I find low-cost dental care?.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2023.   
  2. Information for Medicaid Members.” New York State Department of Health, 2023. 
  3. Patient Information.” New York State Dental Foundation, 2023.
  4. VADIP Dental Plan Rates.” Delta Dental, 2023. 
  5. New York dental insurance guide 2023.” HealthInsurance.org, 2023.
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