A dental insurance plan can be a good way to avoid paying fully out of pocket for a major dental procedure, such as a root canal.
While costs vary depending on where you live and your specific circumstances, expect to pay anywhere from $575 to $1,500 or more for a major procedure like a root canal.
Dental plans typically cover four categories of services: preventive, diagnostic, basic and major care.
The list below includes examples and is not a complete list of coverages, exclusions and limitations.
Individual plans vary, so you’ll want to read the plan details closely to validate the coverage and benefits you’ve selected and limitations and exclusions that apply.
Cleanings + checkups
Crowns, bridges + root canals
Anything after the plan’s annual maximum benefit amount has been reached
Elective cosmetic procedures (e.g., tooth-whitening)
Orthodontics (e.g., braces)
Prosthodontics (dental prostheses)
Oral care related to a medical condition (e.g., TMJ)
Prescription drugs + analgesia pre-medication
Pediatric services, including oral and vision care, are part of the 10 essential health benefits for children 18 years of age and under.
Adults, however, must obtain dental insurance if they want coverage and don’t have it through an employer.
A dental insurance plan may be a good option if you:
Dental insurance works much the same way as major medical.
You pay a monthly premium to maintain your dental plan.
When you obtain services from a provider, present your dental insurance card and pay your office copay (if that’s part of your plan).
Your dentist bills your insurance company and the company pays their percentage, then bills you for the remaining balance that you owe (including your deductible if applicable).
|Preventive - cleanings and check-ups; fluoride treatments for children||100%|
|Diagnostic* - bitewing x-rays (every 6 months) full-mouth x-rays (every 3 years)||100%*|
|Basic - fillings, extractions||80%|
|Major - root canals, crowns and bridges||50%|
Dental insurance is affordable. For example, a 41-year-old woman in Phoenix, Arizona, can get a dental insurance plan for: