Affordable Dental Insurance In 2021

Affordable Dental Insurance Quotes

Maintaining your dental health should be a top priority. Whether its tooth decay, gum disease, an abscess, or any other dental issue, don’t put off a trip to the dentist because issues with your teeth can result in major procedures and costs. 

In fact, your preventative care trips to the dentist are pivotal to maintaining your oral health. These routine visits could stop you from requiring something like a root canal because the issue would be caught in its early stages. Unfortunately, dental maintenance can be expensive—especially if you’re on a tight budget. Even a simple cleaning could set you back $200 for a visit. 

That’s why you should look into a dental insurance plan to help you balance the need for oral care while staying within your budget. Having dental coverage can help save on all dental care, from emergency procedures to standard hygiene appointments. 

The following overview of dental insurance coverage will paint a clearer picture of what it entails. Plus, we’ll discuss how you can potentially use it to your advantage and save money. 

Is Dental Insurance Worth It? 

Generally, the answer to this question is yes. However, it really depends on your financial situation and whether you can afford monthly premiums.  

Beyond that, it comes down to your given plan and if it’s providing actual value. Many experts believe that this notion is murky since dental insurance isn’t like home insurance or traditional health insurance. If you don’t have insurance and you experience a serious loss, you could face financial ruin. That’s not generally the case with oral care.

Most years, you’ll probably only need standard preventative care, so the cost of your premiums could amount to more than your actual dental bills. Thus, you lose money in the long run. Something else to consider are your out-of-pocket costs if you do need more severe dental procedures, especially if they are more than you initially thought.

The only way to ensure dental insurance will be worth it for you is by doing your research and finding a plan the fits your needs and budget. We’ve collected helpful information that will put you well on your way to finding a policy that brings you optimal value. 

What Does Dental Insurance Cover? 

There’s a type of coverage call 100/80/50 that applies to most dental plans. Here’s how it works:

  • You’ll receive 100% coverage for preventative care, such as:
    • Cleanings (two per year)
    • Exams
    • X-rays
  • You’ll be 70% to 80% covered for basic procedures, such as:
    • Fillings
    • Extractions
    • Periodontal work
  • You get 50% (or less) coverage for major procedures, such as:
    • Crowns
    • Root canals
    • Dentures
    • Bridges
    • Implants 

These coverage amounts aren’t necessarily ironclad since individual plans vary. In some instances, you’ll find that a root canal is classified as basic. Conversely, other programs view it as a major procedure. Orthodontic care is frequently available for a separate fee if it isn’t already covered. Cosmetic procedures (e.g., teeth whitening) aren’t generally part of a plan—you must pay out of pocket. 

Those seeking the most value from their plan should focus on preventative care, as it saves money in the long run. That’s because people without dental insurance tend to avoid the dentist until they have a serious dental problems—which costs them serious money and time in a dentist’s chair.   

How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?  

The cost of dental insurance averages about $360 per year in the U.S., or anywhere between $15 to $50 per month. However, research from eHealth indicates plans are available for a little as $8 per month. So make sure you look around. What you pay primarily depends on where you live. You’ll find that plans are commonly available with maximum annual benefit or coverage limits between $1,000 and $2,000.

Do you know what that means? Unlike traditional health insurance that only kicks in after your bills equal your deductible amount, dental coverage stops once you’ve reached your annual limit. After that,  you’re paying out of pocket.  

Keep in mind that 96% to 98% of Americans don’t max out their annual benefits, so you are likely to avoid exceeding your limit. The only time it might happen is for major procedures, such as a crown or root canal. 

Where Can I Get Dental Insurance? 

Those seeking full coverage dental insurance generally have two options. 

First, you can enroll in a plan provided by your employer. These plans can have different coverage levels, but there may only one available option. Do the math and work out the plan’s overall costs and what it actually covers before making your decision.  

Second, if work-based benefits aren’t an option, it’s possible to save money on dental work if you’re self-employed by purchasing a policy through a private insurance provider. An easy way to find a good match is through the Health Insurance Marketplace offered by

With that said, we can help streamline your search with a few suggestions for favorable dental coverage in the U.S.:

Frequently Asked Questions about the Value of Dental Insurance 

As in everything you do, getting the most value from your dental insurance plan should be your top priority. Any chance to save money should be leveraged to its fullest extent. So we’ve compiled the answers to commonly asked questions about dental insurance to give you a hand.

What’s the point of getting dental insurance? 

One main reason to purchase dental insurance is to ensure you visit the dentist regularly and maintain superior oral care, which leads to better overall long-term health. While you won’t necessarily get every dollar back from your premiums, paying for a plan ensures that you’ll leverage your available coverage.

In other words, paying for dental insurance gives you the impetus to receive preventative care that saves you from disaster in the long run. If you don’t pay for a policy, the chances are that you won’t visit the dentist. 

 Without regularly scheduled appointments for cleanings and x-rays, you could end up with adverse oral health outcomes. For instance, you might need a root canal or crown, and you’ll be stuck paying the entire bill if you don’t have dental insurance.   

How often should you get your teeth cleaned? 

At a minimum, you should visit the dentist once per year for a cleaning. However, ideally, it’s suggested that you receive this oral hygiene treatment twice annually for the most ideal results.  

Is it better to get dental insurance or pay out of pocket? 

This really depends on your outlook. Many people can go their entire life without encountering a dental emergency, and the total monthly premiums might cost much more than paying out of pocket.

Someone living on a tight budget might decide to pay out of pocket for one cleaning per year. Maybe it does make sense to pay for insurance if this is all you need since insurance costs nearly $400 annually, and a cleaning is $200 at most. However, as you know, disaster can strike at any time. For instance, a root canal can cost up to $5,000. If you unexpectedly need one, you’ll be thankful for any coverage you have.

Do I need dental insurance under Obamacare? 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, allows you to obtain dental coverage.

Are dental discount plans worth it? 

If you don’t have dental insurance, you may want to look into dental discount plans. While they aren’t insurance, they are a membership (akin to a warehouse club) that gives you more favorable dental care pricing. The overall cost of these plans is far less than an insurance policy. However, you’ll only receive a 10% discount for most procedures. 

If all you require is a few extra bucks off your cleanings, it might be worth it. However, for more extensive procedures, there isn’t much value in discount plans. Keep in mind, you’ll pay the dentist directly and receive the discount right then and there for the services.  If you can tolerate paying the yearly fees up front, a dental discount plan might mean the difference between a healthy grin—or just a smile.