Dental Insurance Coverage and Costs in the USA


How Much Does Dental Insurance Cost?

The average dental insurance policy with comprehensive coverage costs $47 a month, according to Forbes Advisor’s analysis. A preventive care plan costs an average of $26 a month.


Factors that influence the cost of individual dental insurance include a plan’s coverage, the annual maximum, and the out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and coinsurance.

Average Dental Insurance Costs by Plan

Insurance CompanyTop-Scoring Plan In Forbes Advisor’s AnalysisMonthly Cost Example
HumanaPreventive Value$21.99
Spirit DentalCore Network$43.37
UnitedHealthcarePrimary Plus Dental$43.59
CignaCigna Dental 1500$49.00
AmeritasPrimeStar Access$49.98
Guardian DirectDiamond$58.40
Delta DentalDelta Dental PPO Individual – Premium Plan$64.92
Denali DentalRidge Plan 750/1500/2000/2500$68.55
AnthemEssential Choice PPO Platinum$79.49
Dental Insurance Coverage and Costs in the USA

In the realm of healthcare, dental insurance stands out as a vital but often overlooked component. While medical insurance tends to take the spotlight, dental insurance plays an equally crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. However, navigating the landscape of dental insurance in the USA can be bewildering, with varying coverage options and costs. This article aims to shed light on the intricacies of dental insurance, exploring its coverage and costs in the United States.

Understanding Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance typically covers a range of preventive, basic, and major dental services. Understanding these categories can provide insight into what your plan may encompass:

  1. Preventive Services: These include routine check-ups, cleanings, X-rays, and fluoride treatments. Most dental plans cover preventive services entirely, often with no out-of-pocket costs for the insured.
  2. Basic Services: Basic procedures such as fillings, extractions, and root canals fall under this category. Dental insurance usually covers these services at a percentage, often around 70% to 80%, leaving the insured responsible for the remaining portion.
  3. Major Services: Complex treatments like crowns, bridges, dentures, and orthodontic work are considered major services. Dental insurance typically covers these at a lower percentage, leaving a more substantial portion for the insured to pay, usually around 50%.
  4. Orthodontic Services: While not always included in standard dental plans, orthodontic treatments such as braces may be covered under certain plans, usually with a lifetime maximum benefit.

Factors Affecting Dental Insurance Costs

The cost of dental insurance can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  1. Type of Plan: Dental insurance plans come in various forms, including Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), and Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO). PPO plans offer more flexibility in choosing dentists but tend to have higher premiums. HMO and DHMO plans often have lower premiums but require patients to choose from a network of dentists.
  2. Coverage Levels: The extent of coverage provided by the plan significantly impacts its cost. Plans with comprehensive coverage, including both preventive and major services, generally have higher premiums.
  3. Deductibles and Copayments: Like other forms of insurance, dental plans often require the insured to pay a deductible before coverage kicks in. Additionally, copayments or coinsurance may apply to certain services, affecting overall costs.
  4. Annual Maximums: Many dental plans impose annual maximums, limiting the amount of coverage provided within a given year. Plans with higher annual maximums typically have higher premiums.
  5. Geographic Location: The cost of dental insurance can vary depending on where you live. Urban areas tend to have higher premiums than rural areas due to differences in the cost of living and healthcare services.

Average Costs of Dental Insurance in the USA

According to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), the average annual premium for dental insurance in the USA is around $350 to $500 per year for an individual and $1,000 to $1,500 for a family plan. These figures can vary based on the factors mentioned above.

For example, a PPO plan offering comprehensive coverage with a $50 deductible and 80% coinsurance might have a monthly premium of $30 to $50 for an individual and $100 to $150 for a family. In contrast, an HMO plan with more limited coverage and lower annual maximums might have premiums as low as $20 to $30 per month for an individual and $70 to $100 for a family.

Strategies to Reduce Dental Insurance Costs

While dental insurance is essential for maintaining oral health, there are several strategies individuals and families can employ to manage costs:

  1. Shop Around: Compare multiple dental insurance plans to find one that offers the best value for your needs. Consider factors such as premiums, coverage levels, and network dentists.
  2. Utilize Preventive Services: Take advantage of preventive services covered by your plan, such as regular check-ups and cleanings, to avoid more significant dental issues and expenses down the line.
  3. Consider Discount Plans: Discount dental plans, also known as dental savings plans, offer reduced rates on dental services in exchange for an annual membership fee. While not insurance per se, they can provide significant savings, especially for those without dental coverage.
  4. Evaluate Orthodontic Coverage: If orthodontic treatment is a consideration, carefully review the orthodontic coverage offered by different plans, including any waiting periods and lifetime maximums.
  5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Practicing good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary foods, can help prevent dental problems and reduce the need for costly treatments.


Dental insurance plays a crucial role in ensuring access to essential dental care for individuals and families across the United States. By understanding the coverage options and costs associated with dental insurance, individuals can make informed decisions to protect their oral health while managing expenses effectively. With careful consideration and proactive oral hygiene, dental insurance can be a valuable investment in overall well-being.

Dental Insurance Deductibles

A dental insurance deductible is the amount you pay for dental care before the dental insurance company begins to pay for services.

The exact deductible varies by dental insurance plan. For instance, our analysis of dental insurance deductibles found that some plans have no deductible for in-network care, while others may charge $50 for an individual each year. There are other dental insurance plans that have a lifetime deductible instead.

Examples of dental insurance deductibles

Insurance CompanyTop-Scoring Plan In Forbes Advisor’s AnalysisAnnual Deductible (Unless Noted As Lifetime)
AmeritasPrimeStar Access$50
AnthemEssential Choice PPO Platinum$50 per person, up to $150 per family
CignaCigna Dental 1500$50 individual, $150 family
Denali DentalRidge Plan 750/1500/2000/2500Lifetime $100 in-network deductible or lifetime $200 out-of-network deductible
Guardian DirectDiamondIn-network: $0 Out-of-network: $50All Other Dental Services: $50 Teeth Whitening: $50
HumanaPreventive ValueLifetime: $50 individual, $150 family
Spirit DentalCore Network$100 lifetime deductible
UnitedHealthcarePrimary Plus Dental$50 for basic services
Dental Insurance Coverage and Costs in the USA

About admin

Check Also

Term vs. Whole Life Insurance and Understanding the Differences

Advertisements Term vs. Whole Life Insurance There are two main differences between term and whole …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *