Dental insurance explained

The cost of dental treatment is rising but with dental insurance you can get cover for your NHS or private dental treatment. But what exactly does dental insurance cover and are there any exclusions?

You can buy dental insurance which provides cover for routine dental maintenance and treatment, for unforeseen emergencies or dental treatment required following an accident.

Routine dental maintenance typically includes check-ups, x-rays and hygienist visits.

Routine dental treatment can include fillings, bridges, crowns and root canal work.

Even a crown can cost over £240 with an NHS dentist or considerably more than that with a private one.

Dental insurance will often cover 100% of the costs of NHS dental appointments and treatments.

For private treatment the cover will usually provide full reimbursement for routine maintenance up to a defined amount.

It will then contribute towards the dental treatment, up to a defined amount per policy year. There may also be limits set on certain treatment as well, for example bridges.

As with car or home insurance, a dental insurance policy usually includes a no claims discount which can increase if you don’t make a claim – or of course decrease if you do.

There will invariably be some exclusions from a dental insurance policy.

Dental insurance

These will vary across the different providers but typically it will not cover

  • treatment that has been identified before taking out the cover
  • cosmetic dentistry, tooth whitening, orthodontics or implants
  • cancer treatment within the first 90 days of taking out the cover
  • sporting injuries unless a mouthguard is worn
  • dental accidents and emergencies within the first 30 days of cover

Sometimes there can be a period at the start of the policy when treatment isn’t covered at all. If this applies it typically will be within the first month of taking out the cover.

There may be exclusions for dental treatment if you have not visited your dentist in the year before joining.

There are many providers of dental insurance, all competing for your business, including Bupa, Axa and Simplyhealth which includes other names you may be familiar with, such as Denplan and HSA.

Make sure you are clear in your own mind what dental cover you are looking for and then check out what’s on offer and compare dental insurance quotes to get the best cover to suit your needs.


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