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, up to your cover limit.
Dental insurance usually only covers oral health and maintenance. It covers things like:
- Routine treatments (check-ups, scaling, and 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?
Vitality offer an optical, dental and hearing option, which you can include in your health insurance plan. This lets you group your cover together, and may cost less than buying a separate dental insurance 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.
Is dental insurance worth it?
Say you needed a crown. Even through the NHS, this would cost £282.80 (NHS, 2021). If you had dental insurance, you could be treated privately and you wouldn't need to cover the costs. It also means you could be treated quickly, avoiding any lengthy waiting lists.
Can I get dental insurance at any time?Yes, it’s possible to buy dental insurance at any time. But if you include dental insurance in your health insurance plan, you might need to wait until the date your plan renews.
Some providers will need you to have had a check up in the last 12 months and had all treatment completed.
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 treatment won’t be covered.