Dental insurance explained
What is dental insurance and how does it work?Dental insurance lets you claim back what you pay NHS or private dentists for treatments. You pay the dentist up front yourself, then your insurer pays you back. As with most kinds of insurance, you can choose to pay an excess. This means you cover part of the cost, and the insurer pays for the rest.
Dental insurance usually only covers oral health and maintenance. It usually covers things like:
- Routine NHS treatments (check-ups, small corrections to fillings, polishing)
- Complex treatments (oral surgery, extraction of teeth, crowns, fillings and bridges)
- Emergency cover (such as a broken tooth)
- Oral cancer care.
Does health insurance cover dental?
That said, providers like Vitality offer a dental add-on to other insurance plans. This lets you bundle all your cover together, and may cost less than buying a separate policy.
How much is dental insurance?The average person in the UK can expect to pay around £10 a month for dental insurance1. This can vary depending on factors like your dental health history, age and gender. It also depends on the level of cover you choose and location. Choosing NHS or private treatment will also affect the cost.
To get a better idea about dental insurance costs, it’s best to speak to an adviser about your specific needs.
Is dental insurance worth it?
But, if you ever needed extensive dental treatment this could end up costing a lot of money on the NHS. And it would cost even more if you had the treatment privately.
The good thing about dental insurance is that it gives you peace of mind. You know that you’re covered if you ever need emergency or long-term treatments.
Can I get dental insurance at any time?Yes, it’s possible to apply for dental insurance at any time.
Dental cover will only start after you have a check-up with your dentist. If the dentist says your oral health is fine, your cover will begin immediately. But, if the dentist recommends a treatment, you’ll have to wait 12 months before your cover begins. Most dental insurance providers will also ask you to get regular check-ups.
Check with your insurer to understand exactly how your policy works.
Does dental insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
If you had treatment for a root canal, and it returned after your cover began, many insurers would view this as a pre-existing condition. Because of this, it might not be covered. Check with your insurer if you have any doubts.
Telling your provider about pre-existing oral health conditions is also important. Not doing so could mean your cover is cancelled and you’d have to pay for all treatment out of your own pocket.
Can I have more than one dental insurance policy?Yes, you can have as many dental insurance policies as you want – it’s your right to do so. However, you can’t use more than one policy per claim. You couldn't, for instance, claim for the same filling from two different insurers.
Drawbacks of having more than one dental insurance policy include the cost. You’ll be paying more than one monthly premium. You’ll also have more paperwork and documentation to work through.
Choosing a provider that allows you to change your policy over time could be an alternative to taking out several policies.