Updated on February 1, 2024
12 min read

6 Best Dental Insurance Plans

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Finding the right dental insurance provider in today’s crowded market can be difficult. When evaluating your choices, you must consider each plan’s coverage and how it fits your or your family’s needs. 

We know it’s hard to keep track of the details and the terminology. We’ve combed the marketplace so that you don’t have to. In this article, we’ve reviewed and highlighted six of the best dental insurance plans available.

6 Best Dental Insurance Plans

We’ve thoroughly researched the marketplace and chosen our top six plans from the best dental insurance companies. 

Our criteria for evaluating insurance plans are:

  • Provider network — The size of the network, variety of specialists, flexibility to be seen by any dentist, geographic restrictions
  • Affordability — Monthly premiums, copayments, deductibles, annual maximum benefits
  • Coverage — What the insurer pays for preventative care, basic services, restorative procedures, and orthodontia

With these in mind, here are our six best dental insurance plans:

1. Best Overall: Cigna

Cigna dental insurance has multiple plans that fit different needs and budgets. The options include low-deductible plans, high annual maximum plans, and plans bundled with vision and hearing.

The variety of choices makes Cigna Dental flexible for individuals and families. With monthly premiums as low as $20, anyone can find a plan to match their budget.

Cigna Dental also has a broad network of nationwide dentists. You can see any dentist you want, but you’ll save money when you see one of their in-network dentists.

What We Like

  • 15% discount on monthly premiums for any additional member on the same plan
  • Zero copays and deductibles for dental cleaning, routine X-rays, and more
  • Has over 93,000 dentists in more than 297,000 locations across the U.S. 
  • Up to $5,000 in yearly benefits
  • Waiting periods may be waived if you had prior coverage

What Could Be Better

  • Some supplemental policies cannot be combined with the basic health insurance policy 

2. Best for No Waiting Periods: Spirit Dental

Spirit Dental is part of Ameritas Insurance and offers 16 dental coverage policies. We like Spirit Dental’s PPO plans because they guarantee immediate coverage. There are no waiting periods for any type of care, including orthodontia.

Costs vary by state, but some plans have a monthly premium as low as $19.61. Many dental plans from Spirit Dental increase the annual maximum benefit over the first three years, with some reaching $5,000 yearly.

Spirit Dental stands out because it offers coverage for children’s orthodontia. Most policies cover three dental cleanings and two exams annually. One plan even covers dental implants with no waiting period.

Spirit Dental is an excellent choice if you need coverage that starts right away.

What We Like

  • No waiting periods for any services
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Covers dental implants and orthodontia
  • You can add vision insurance for an additional $7 a month 

What Could Be Better

  • Annual coverage maximum is as low as $750

3. Best Low-Budget Plan: Humana 

Humana provides six policies for dental insurance. All six plans cover 100% of preventive care costs. 

We like Humana for people who need a low-budget option that offers basic coverage. The Preventative Value plan covers preventative care at 100%. It has monthly premiums as low as $18, no waiting periods, and no annual maximum.

Humana has a nationwide network of over 335,000 participating dentists. However, you do have to use a dentist in their network to access benefits.

What We Like

  • No waiting periods for most dental care plans
  • Wide network of dentists
  • Affordable monthly premiums
  • No annual maximum for low-budget plan

What Could Be Better

  • Annual coverage maximum is as low as $1,000 on some plans
  • Low-budget plan isn’t flexible with the provider network

4. Best for Seniors: Physicians Mutual Insurance

Physicians Mutual provides dental coverage for seniors and offers three different plans: Preferred Plus, Standard Plus, and Economy Plus. Economy Plus is the budget option, with monthly premiums as low as $30.10.

We like Physicians Mutual for seniors because it has no waiting period for preventative care, no deductibles, and no lifetime limits. It also covers common dental services seniors need, such as dentures, bridges, and crowns.

Unfortunately, policyholders have a 3-month waiting period before acquiring coverage for basic services. Physicians Mutual also has a 12-month waiting period for major services. 

What We Like

  • No coverage limit for dental care
  • All three plans pay for the same 350+ procedures but only vary in price
  • Wide provider network of over 500,000 dentists
  • Offers the option to include vision coverage at a small fee
  • No waiting period for preventive care

What Could Be Better

  • May not be available in some states 
  • Longer waiting periods for basic and major services

5. Best for Orthodontic Care: Delta Dental

Delta Dental is a popular dental insurance carrier with various dental plan options. It stands out to us because it includes orthodontic care for children and adults. 

The policies offering orthodontic coverage pay for 100% of preventive and 50% of orthodontic care.

Delta Dental has a wide network of providers you can access through one of their PPO plans. They also offer an HMO plan and a dental discount plan.

What We Like

  • No copays for preventive dental care on most plans
  • Large network of providers in all 50 states
  • Includes orthodontic care in some plans
  • All applications accepted
  • High annual maximum of up to $5,000
  • Offers a dental discount plan

What Could Be Better

  • Some plans are not available in every state
  • Downgrades on crowns and fillings

6. Best for Family Dental Care: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is a major insurance carrier in the US. It offers health insurance as well as supplemental dental and vision plans.  

UHC has ten dental plans to choose from. We’re naming it our top pick for families because of its orthodontic and preventive care options. It also offers a plan that pays more for out-of-network dentists. 

Another advantage of UHC for families is that you can bundle plans together. If you need to purchase health, dental, and vision insurance, you can find them all here.

What We Like

  • Individual and family-friendly plans
  • No age limit
  • No waiting periods
  • No deductibles on preventive dental care
  • Extra benefits, such as dental, vision, fitness memberships, and a nurse hotline 
  • Can bundle health insurance and supplemental insurance
  • Some plans offer orthodontic coverage

What Could Be Better

  • Higher-than-average premiums for PPO plans
  • Low maximum dental benefits of around $1,000 per person

Calculate your dental savings now with a DentalPlans plan. Visit DentalPlans.

What is Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance is a type of insurance that covers dental care. It’s typically separate from health insurance, just like vision. However, some providers let you bundle dental insurance plans with other policies.

Specific services covered by dental insurance include:

  • Preventative care — Annual exams, dental X-rays, and routine dental cleanings
  • Basic services — Dental fillings, tooth extractions, gum disease treatment, and root canals
  • Major restorative procedures — Dental crowns, bridges, implants, dentures, and oral surgery
  • Orthodontia — Braces and Invisalign

Only some dental insurance plans cover all of these categories. You can select the plan based on which ones you need coverage for.

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Although dental insurance plans vary, they generally cover:

Preventive Dental Care

Most dental insurance policies cover preventive dental care services at no cost to you. These services include:

  • Yearly exams
  • Oral X-rays
  • Routine dental cleanings

Children may also be covered for sealants and fluoride. 

Basic Services

The next tier of coverage falls under basic services. These procedures aren’t covered at 100%, like most preventative care, but they typically have good coverage.

Standard basic services that qualify for coverage include:

Restorative Care 

Restorative treatments may be covered at a lower percentage. These procedures include:

Orthodontic Care

Some dental insurance policies also cover orthodontic treatments, though not all. You’ll need to check the details of a plan to see if it includes orthodontia.

The most common orthodontic treatments are braces and clear aligners. These treatments correct misaligned teeth and bad bites.

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Types of Dental Plans

Dental insurance plans work differently based on their type. The type of dental plan is based on the provider network and how its fees work.

A dental insurance plan falls into one of these three categories:

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

A preferred provider organization (PPO) is a network-based dental insurance plan. It’s the most common category plans fall into.

Dental networks determine their fees with a health insurance company in a PPO. The insurer then creates a dental plan that best suits customer needs and dentist fees. 

Dental PPO networks comprise a variety of dental specialists. The wide networks also make plans flexible enough to accommodate people with varying dental needs.

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)

Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) dental plans offer lower-cost services when you pre-select a dental care provider. 

While a PPO lets you choose from a vast network of providers, a DHMO limits you to a specific provider or living area. They’re more affordable but more restricted.

DHMOs are payable in monthly or annual premiums and cover various services. Some of the services are free. Other plans may require you to pay part of the dental care costs.

Indemnity Dental Plans

Indemnity dental plans pay a percentage of the cost of a covered procedure. They are pricier and less popular than PPO or DHMO dental plans. Some indemnity plans cover preventive care and diagnostic services at low or no cost.

An indemnity dental plan doesn’t come with a network. This means you are free to see any dentist of your choice. 

This type of plan does involve more work on your end. You must pay the fees upfront and file claims directly with your dental insurance company. 

Comparing Types of Dental Plans

Here’s how the different categories of dental insurance plans stack up against each other:

PPO

  • Wide network of providers
  • Can switch dentists or see a specialist without a referral
  • Higher cost
  • Involves copayments, deductibles, annual maximums

DHMO

  • Smaller network of providers
  • May require a pre-selected provider
  • Some have area restrictions
  • Lower costs
  • No copayments, deductibles, or annual maximums

Indemnity

  • No network – can use any dentist
  • Insurer pays a percentage of cost
  • May cover preventative services at low or no cost
  • You’ll pay fees upfront
  • Requires you to file claims directly with your insurer

What are the Benefits of Dental Insurance?

You might wonder why you should purchase dental insurance. We’ve put together a list of the benefits of dental insurance to help you make your decision.

The benefits of insurance plans for dental services include:

Access to Affordable Dental Care

Dental insurance plans reduce the cost of some dental services that may otherwise be outside your immediate budget. 

Most plans are inexpensive and cover all or part of certain services. They come in handy during emergency procedures, which can be catastrophically expensive.

No Costs for Preventive Services

Many plans cover most preventive dental insurance benefits at no cost. These services include routine checkups, examinations, teeth cleaning, and X-rays. 

Some may also provide pediatric preventive dental care for children.

Improved General Health

Your oral health reveals information about your general health.5 It’s essential to maintain your oral hygiene and dental health. Dental insurance can help you do that.

If your dental insurance health plan covers routine checkups, the dentist may check your throat, gums, and mouth for infections and other issues. A professional dentist can detect signs of over 120 diseases by merely examining your mouth. 

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

What Doesn’t Dental Insurance Cover?

Dental insurance plans don’t cover any cosmetic dentistry. Treatment must be medically necessary to qualify for insurance coverage.

Standard procedures not covered by insurance are veneers and teeth whitening procedures. Your plan may also not cover orthodontic appliances if they’re cosmetic. These include braces, aligners, or retainers.

Which Dental Plan is Right for You?

Your ideal dental insurance plan will:

  • Cover the services and care you need
  • Fit your budget
  • Offer a provider in your area

Be sure to evaluate what services you think you’ll need before purchasing a dental plan. If you have good oral health and take care of your teeth, you might only need preventive care. If you have children who need braces, you might want orthodontic coverage.

Summary

Dental insurance reduces the cost of dental care for individuals and families. When choosing a dental plan, consider your budget, the provider network, and what services are covered.

Our top picks for dental insurance companies are Cigna, Humana, Delta Dental, Spirit Dental, UnitedHealthcare, and Physicians Mutual. Each has its strengths in certain categories.

The cost of dental insurance depends on where you live, which insurance carrier you select, and how much coverage you need in a plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which dental insurance has the best coverage?

The best coverage comes from dental insurance companies like Cigna, Delta Dental, Spirit Dental, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Physicians Mutual. The best option depends on your needs, budget, and local providers.

What is the most common dental insurance in Florida?

The most common type of dental insurance in Florida is a PPO. Many Floridians have dental insurance coverage from Delta Dental and Humana.

Which type of dental plan is the most common?

A preferred provider organization (PPO) dental plan is the most common. PPOs use a network of providers that accept the insurance.

How much is dental insurance in Texas?

The cost of dental insurance in Texas depends on what type of plan you purchase, who your insurer is, and whether you’re an individual or a family. 

The average monthly premium for a family dental plan in Texas was $47.18 in 2022.4

What is the difference between PPO and DMO?

PPO and DMO refer to two types of insurance plans. Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans let you see a provider from their existing networks. Dental maintenance organization (DMO) plans allow you to pre-select a provider for coverage.

Is Spirit Dental Insurance legit?

Yes, Spirit Dental Insurance is legitimate. It’s a dental insurance company underwritten by Ameritas Insurance.

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 February 1, 2024
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 1, 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. Understanding Dental Insurance.” American Student Dental Association, 2022. 
  2. Smith, A. “Dental Indemnity Plans.” DentalInsurance.com, Kelsey National Corporation, 2022.
  3. Types of Dental Plans.” American Dental Association, 2023.
  4. Texas Dental Insurance Guide 2023.” HealthInsurance.org, 2023.
  5. Sabbah, W., et al. “The Link Between Oral and General Health.” International Journal of Dentsitry, National Library of Medicine, 2019.
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