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Medicare Advisor, Insurance and Healthcare Consultant

Tammy Burns is an experienced health insurance advisor. She is ACA-certified for health insurance and other ancillary, life, and annuity product.

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Dental insurance can help you manage the cost of caring for your dental health. Consider coverage as well as price when you’re shopping plans. While some budget dental plans may appear to save you money, the lower premiums may come at higher out-of-pocket costs for dental care. You should also check with your preferred dental providers to make sure they accept the plan you select.

Read on to learn more about 10 of the best dental insurance companies in the United States.

What You Should Know About Dental Insurance Plans

  • Typically separate from health: Your dental coverage is usually not part of your major health insurance plan.
  • Medicare or Medicaid coverage: You may get dental coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Consider your priorities: If you primarily need dental insurance for cleanings and other preventive care, a basic plan may suffice. But if you think you’ll need dental work, consider more comprehensive coverage.
Health insurance company Financial strength rating Customer satisfaction rating Value rating Coverage rating Overall rating
Aetna: Best for provider network 5 5 5 5 5
Ameritas: Best for no enrollment fees 4.5 3 4 5 4.1
Cigna: Best for preventive care 4.5 4.3 4.6 5 4.5
Delta Dental: Best for variety of plans 4.5 2 3.5 5 3.75
Denali Dental: Best for high annual benefit maximums 3 5 5 5 4.5
Humana: Best for low deductibles 4.3 5 5 5 4.8
Physicians Mutual: Best for immediate preventive care 5 5 5 5 5
Renaissance Dental: Best for discounts 4.5 3 3 3 3.4
Spirit Dental: Best for guaranteed acceptance 4.5 5 5 5 4.9
UnitedHealthcare: Best for direct payment 4.3 5 5 5 4.8

How We Rate Dental Insurance Companies

Financial strength: The financial strength rating is based on the insurance company’s AM Best financial strength rating. AM Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry, which rates an insurer’s ability to meet ongoing obligations.

Customer satisfaction: The customer satisfaction rating takes into account Kaiser Permanente’s Better Business Bureau, National Committee for Quality Assurance, and Consumer Affairs ratings. These ratings are calculated using customer complaints and satisfaction ratings.

Value: The value rating calculates an insurer’s overall value based on monthly premium, annual deductible, office visit cost, ER visit cost, and annual maximum out-of-pocket cost.

Coverage: The coverage rating considers the insurer’s availability of coverages, plan types, and network size.

What Is the Best Affordable Dental Insurance?

Most of the time, dental plans are not included in health care plans. Some areas or types of insurance may allow you to purchase a comprehensive health care plan that includes dental care, which could help you keep costs low.

  • Group dental: If your employer offers a group dental plan, this option will typically give you the most coverage for the lowest price. If you do not have the option to sign up for a group plan, you can purchase an individual plan.
  • Individual dental plan: If you need to purchase a stand-alone dental plan, you can find many options by visiting Healthcare.gov or your state’s health insurance marketplace. Many Marketplace dental insurance plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), qualify for tax subsidies to help reduce the costs of your premiums.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Original Medicare doesn’t cover dental care, but some Medicare Advantage Plans do. To find a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes dental coverage, use the Medicare Plan Finder. Medicare Advantage plans often dental care, vision care, and other extra services. Pay close attention to premiums, as they vary by location and coverage.
  • Medicaid: In some states, Medicaid covers dental services. Check your Medicaid eligibility and find out if dental coverage is included by contacting your state’s Medicaid agency for more information.
  • CHIP: CHIP provides comprehensive health coverage to children whose families meet the income eligibility guidelines. To apply for CHIP, call 1-800-318-2596 or fill out an application on HealthCare.gov or your state’s health insurance marketplace.

Aetna Dental Insurance: Best for provider network

Aetna Medicare Insurance Logo

Company Overview
Overall rating: 5
Company founded 1853
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A+
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes

Established in 1853, Aetna serves 12.7 million dental plan members and offers coverage in all 50 states. In addition to dental plans, Aetna offers health insurance, vision insurance, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicaid services. With Aetna, you can expect access to a large network of providers, but some plans prohibit you from switching dentists for at least 12 months after you choose your primary dental care provider. Learn more about Aetna dental insurance plans to find out if one of them is the right fit for your needs.

Is Aetna a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Aetna dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Aetna dental insurance plans:
  • Extensive provider network
  • Several plan types available
  • Coverage in all 50 states
  • Not all plans are available in all areas
  • You may not be able to switch providers

How is Aetna Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Aetna.

Financial strength rating: 5 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

Ameritas Dental Insurance: Best for no enrollment fees

Ameritas-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.1
Company founded 1887
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A
BBB rating C+
Waiting period Yes

Ameritas Dental was founded in 1887 and offers dental insurance plans in all 50 states. Each plan offers 100% coverage for preventive services, and there are no enrollment fees for any Ameritas plan. In many cases, you can sign up for Ameritas Dental and have coverage by the next business day. Depending on the plan you choose, you may also be able to visit any dentist of your choice; however, you’ll have to pay more if you see a dentist who isn’t in the Ameritas Dental Network. Before enrolling in a dental plan, learn more about Ameritas Dental’s coverage options.

Is Ameritas Dental a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Ameritas Dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Ameritas Dental insurance plans:
  • Some plans cover services provided by any dentist
  • Low deductibles
  • May cover orthodontic services for children
  • Annual benefit limits of $1,000 to $2,000
  • Must use in-network provider for some plans

How is Ameritas Dental Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Ameritas.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 3 Value rating: 4.6 Coverage rating: 5

Cigna Dental Insurance: Best for preventive care

Cigna-Logo

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.5
Company founded 1981
Coverage area 50 states
A.M. Best rating A
BBB rating A-
Waiting period Yes, under some circumstances

Established in 1981, Cigna offers dental insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The insurer has more than 17 million customers enrolled in dental insurance plans, and members have access to more than 97,000 dentists. When you enroll in a Cigna dental plan, you can expect broad coverage for preventive services, but you should know that some plans have separate deductibles for regular dental care and orthodontic care. Learn more about Cigna’s dental plans to determine which one is right for you.

Is Cigna a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Cigna dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Cigna dental insurance plans:
  • Accepted at nearly 300,000 locations
  • No cost for in-network exams, cleanings, and routine X-rays
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Some plans offer no coverage for restorative dentistry

How is Cigna Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Cigna.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 4.3 Value rating: 4.6 Coverage rating: 4.5

Delta Dental Insurance: Best for variety of plans

Delta-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 3.75
Company founded 1965
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A
BBB rating F
Waiting period Yes, for some services

With more than 80 million subscribers, Delta Dental is the largest dental insurance provider in the United States. The company was founded in 1965 and offers coverage to residents of all 50 states and multiple U.S. territories. If you enroll in Delta Dental, you can expect access to a broad range of preventive services and a large network of providers; however, some plans only cover 30% of major services, leaving you to cover as much as 70% out of your own pocket. Understand your Delta Dental options before choosing a plan.

Is Delta Dental a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Delta Dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Delta Dental insurance plans:
  • Offers HMO, PPO, and fee-for-service plans
  • No-cost cleanings and other preventive services
  • Large network of providers
  • Annual benefit maximums as low as $1,000 for some plans
  • No orthodontic coverage in some areas
  • Waiting periods for some services

How is Delta Dental Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Delta Dental.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 2 Value rating: 3.5 Coverage rating: 5

Denali Dental Insurance: Best for high annual benefit maximums

Denali-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.5
Company founded 2001
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating N/A
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes

Denali Dental plans are underwritten by the Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America, which has been in business for more than 60 years. Because Denali Dental offers coverage in all 50 states, its member network includes more than 100,000 people. If you sign up for Denali Dental coverage, you can expect high annual benefit maximums, and coverage for dental implants is provided under some plans. However, there may be some coverage limits in your first year as a member. Learn more about Denali Dental to determine if any of the plans are right for you.

Is Denali Dental a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Denali Dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Denali Dental insurance plans:
  • Annual benefit maximums as high as $6,000
  • Coverage available for major services such as implants and extractions
  • No waiting period for preventive care
  • Waiting period for major services
  • Lower benefit maximums in your first three years of membership

How is Denali Dental Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Denali Dental.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 2 Value rating: 3.5 Coverage rating: 5

Humana Dental Insurance: Best for low deductibles

Humana Logo

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.8
Company founded 1961
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A-
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes

Founded in 1961, Humana offers coverage in all 50 states, giving members access to a nationwide network of providers. No matter which plan you choose, you won’t pay any enrollment fees, association fees, or monthly administrative fees. With Humana, you can expect discounts on preventive care and access to multiple online features that may make it easier to manage your coverage. However, depending on the plan you choose, you may not be covered for certain major dental services, such as root canals, dentures, crowns, and orthodontic services. Read more about Humana to find out what dental insurance options are available.

Is Humana a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Humana dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Humana dental insurance plans:
  • Large network of providers
  • Low annual deductibles
  • Free preventive care offered under some plans
  • Doesn’t always cover oral surgery, crowns, orthodontics, or dentures
  • Waiting periods

How is Humana Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Humana.

Financial strength rating: 4.3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

Physicians Mutual Dental Insurance: Best for immediate preventive care

Physicians-Mutual-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 5
Company founded 1902
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A+
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes, for some services

Physicians Mutual Dental was established in 1902 and offers dental insurance in all 50 states. Preventive services are covered immediately, and coverage for basic services, such as fillings, uncomplicated tooth extractions, and more, starts after just three months. With Physicians Mutual Dental, you can see any dentist you like, but discounts are available if you see an in-network provider at one of more than 500,000 locations throughout the United States. You should also know that there is a 12-month waiting period for major benefits, including root canals and surgical extractions. Find out more about Physicians Mutual Dental, so you can make an informed decision.

Is Physicians Mutual Dental a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Physicians Mutual Dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Physicians Mutual Dental insurance plans:
  • Coverage for more than 350 dental procedures
  • Immediate coverage for cleanings, routine exams, and dental X-rays
  • Three plans available
  • One-year waiting period for major services
  • Three-month waiting period for basic services

How is Physicians Mutual Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Physicians Mutual.

Financial strength rating: 5 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

Renaissance Dental Insurance: Best for discounts

Renaissance-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 3.4
Company founded 1957
Coverage area 14 states
A.M. Best rating A
BBB rating D
Provider network N/A

Established in 1957, Renaissance offers coverage in 14 states, including New York, Michigan, Ohio, and multiple states in the Southeast and Southwest regions. The company offers multiple dental insurance plans, along with the Healthy Savings Card, which entitles you to discounts on dental care and other medical services. With Renaissance dental insurance, you can expect to receive immediate coverage for dental emergencies and access to a wide variety of preventive dental services, but each plan has a $1,000 annual benefit maximum for each covered member. Learn more about Renaissance to find out what’s covered.

Is Renaissance a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Renaissance dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Renaissance dental insurance plans:
  • Immediate coverage for emergency treatment to relieve dental pain
  • No waiting period for preventive services
  • Plan pays anywhere from 50% to 80% depending on the service
  • Waiting periods for major dental services
  • Low annual benefit maximums

How is Renaissance Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Renaissance.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 3 Value rating: 3 Coverage rating: 3

Spirit Dental Insurance: Best for guaranteed acceptance

Spirit-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.9
Company founded 2001
Coverage area All 50 states
A.M. Best rating A
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes

Spirit Dental insurance plans are underwritten by Ameritas, giving members access to a wide range of options from a trusted name in insurance. The company offers guaranteed acceptance plans, meaning you’ll never be turned down for coverage based on your dental history. Spirit Dental has no waiting periods for basic or major dental services and high annual benefit maximums, but you should be aware that you may have to wait several months for your orthodontic coverage to take effect. Find out more about Spirit Dental insurance plans to determine which one is the best fit for your dental care needs.

Is Spirit Dental a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about Spirit Dental insurance plans: The drawbacks of Spirit Dental insurance plans:
  • Annual benefit maximums as high as $5,000
  • The freedom to choose your own dentist
  • No waiting periods for preventive services or major dental services
  • Waiting periods for braces and other orthodontic services
  • May need to wait for reimbursement for some services

How is Spirit Dental Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated Spirit Dental.

Financial strength rating: 4.5 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

UnitedHealthcare Dental Insurance: Best for direct payment

UnitedHealthcare-Dental-Insurance

Company Overview
Overall rating: 4.8
Company founded 1977
Coverage area All except New York
A.M. Best rating A-
BBB rating A+
Waiting period Yes, in some states

Founded in 1977, UnitedHealthcare offers dental insurance in every state, except New York. Plan availability varies by state, but many UHC plans cover preventive care, basic services, and major services. UnitedHealthcare pays dentists directly, so there’s no need to pay out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. When you choose one of UnitedHealthcare’s dental plans, you can expect access to a network of thousands of providers, but some plans provide limited coverage for certain services. Learn more about UHC’s dental plans to see if one of them is likely to meet your needs.

Is UnitedHealthcare a Good Dental Insurance Provider?

What we like about UnitedHealthcare dental plans: The drawbacks of UnitedHealthcare dental plans:
  • Multiple plan types available
  • Option to bundle vision coverage with dental insurance
  • Low deductibles
  • Waiting periods for major dental services in some states
  • Limited coverage for major dental services during the first year of membership

How is UnitedHealthcare Rated?

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how we rated UnitedHealthcare.

Financial strength rating: 4.3 Customer satisfaction rating: 5 Value rating: 5 Coverage rating: 5

How to Compare Dental Insurance Companies

When you shop for dental insurance, it’s important to find a plan that covers the benefits you need at a price you can afford. Follow these tips to get the most coverage for your money.

  • Find plans available in your area: Before comparing costs and coverage levels, narrow your list of options by searching for companies that offer dental insurance in your state.
  • Research the network: Make sure each plan covers dental care near your home or office.
  • Compare monthly premiums: Weigh the monthly premium against the amount of coverage you get with each plan.
  • Compare deductibles: Review each plan to see if it has an annual or lifetime deductible.
  • Research dental coverage: Many plans classify services as preventive, basic, or major. Preventive care includes services, such as cleanings and routine dental X-rays, while basic services typically include fillings or simple tooth extractions. Complicated extractions and dentures are examples of major services. If you know you need major dental work, look for a plan that has high annual benefit limits and short waiting periods.
  • Check insurer ratings: Before buying a plan, check each insurance company’s rating to make sure the company is in good standing.

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