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What are the best dental insurance plans for individuals?

Dental Shop Staff Writer | June 17, 2021

Individual dental plans are good for those looking for a way to cover basic dental (cleanings, x-rays, fillings) as well as those looking to get major dental work covered (crowns, implants, root canals). Individual dental plans range in price but are generally very cheap. 

Some things to pay attention to while choosing an individual dental plan are:

Type of Work You Need

The type of dental work needed is what will heavily determine which plan you choose to enroll in. Some plans cover major dental procedures, while others do not. 

Waiting Periods

Waiting periods are put into place by dental insurance providers to keep dental costs under control. Waiting periods prevent patients from receiving expensive dental procedures and then dropping coverage shortly after. Waiting periods keep premiums lower for everyone. Not all dental plans have waiting periods. 

Yearly Coverage Increases

Dental plans without waiting periods will generally cover major dental at a low percentage in the first year, with increases of the next 2 years. 

Maximum Benefits

Unlike health insurance plans, which have max out-of-pocket amounts, dental plans have a maximum benefit. The maximum benefit amount is the total the dental plan will pay towards your care during any one plan year. 


Deductibles are the amount that you must pay out of pocket before the insurance provider will pay a claim. For dental plans, they tend to be either $50-$100 annually or a singular $100 lifetime deductible. 

Major Work

Major work is not covered by all plans and is generally covered at a lower percentage for the 1st year of plans that do, with increases over the next 2 years. Major work includes root canals, crowns, oral surgery, extractions, and implants. 

Application Fees

Application fees are the cost to apply for a dental plan, which will generally not cost more than $35. Many applications do not have an application fee. 

Missing Tooth Clause

Most dental plans will have a missing tooth clause, which states that they will not cover the cost of replacing a tooth if the tooth was removed or fell out before the current coverage began for the member. 


Many of these things to pay attention to will help you determine which plan is the correct plan for you. Another thing to pay attention to is ensuring that the dentist you prefer to go to is in-network. If your dentist is not in the network of the plan you choose, you will not get as much coverage compared to having them in-network. 

Overall, the largest deciding factor in choosing an individual dental plan is the work that you need done or believe you will need to be done in the future. 

Category: Individual Dental