What's covered by dental insurance?


It really depends on the kind of dental insurance, but the standard coverage for these plans provide for basic preventive care and usually include:

  • Routine or general dental visits and check-ups (the plan usually covers 2 such visits per year). For children, particularly those who are growing permanent teeth, the coverage may provide for more frequent visits to the dentist. The dental visit would usually cover not just an examination of the teeth, but also counseling as to dental hygiene, how to prevent dental injuries, as well as counseling on substance abuse.
  • Fluoride supplementation/topical fluoride application
  • Oral prophylaxis or dental cleaning
  • Teeth filling (fissure and pit sealants)
  • Tooth polishing/cleaning
  • Tartar removal
  • Dental x-rays (this includes panoramic x-rays as well as bitewing x-rays)
  • Gum therapy
  • Dental crowns (up to specified limits and depending on the kind of material used)
  • Root canals

Some treatments may only be partially paid for by the insurance company, especially procedures that are more complex and thus more expensive.

Also, most dental insurance plans don't coverage cosmetic dental procedures such as braces, veneers or teeth whitening. However, there are already dental insurance companies who have started to include these in some of their high-end plans. There are also cases when veneers may be covered when these are required because of restorative purposes. There are also insurance companies who may "cover" some treatments that are usually excluded by having a policy that pays for the least expensive alternative treatment.

Dental plans will exclude any necessary treatment that is given due to a pre-existing condition.

Please take note that not all dental plans are the same. What you can expect from your plan depends on the kind of provider and coverage you buy. The best way to know what your dental insurance plan covers will be to check your policy.

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