Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2022

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  • If you are wondering if dental insurance is worth the cost, the resounding answer is yes!
  • For most people, dental insurance is an excellent way to get the coverage you need without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your pocket.

Compare insurance quotes for dental coverage online by typing your zip code into the box now!

Many people who have never needed serious dental care may wonder at the benefit of choosing dental insurance. The bottom line is it takes only one root canal, one crown, or one bridge to let you see the benefit, as each of these things can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Which dental insurance is right for you?

As with health insurance, when it comes to dental insurance you have several options. The three main options are HMOs, PPOs and indemnity plans. As you can imagine, there are some pros and cons to each of these plans, but typically the biggest factor is cost.

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Dental Health Management Organization

If you have a major concern about the cost of dental insurance, then you should start by considering an HMO or DHMO as it is called in the dental world. A DHMO offers you affordable coverage, but at a cost. When you choose a DHMO, you must choose your dentist from a network of dentists.

Often there is a limit to how many doctors take DHMOs because of the restrictions the insurance companies place on them, which often makes it difficult to make a fast appointment if you have an emergency. When you visit a dentist who accepts a DHMO for a cleaning, the office will often schedule your next 6-month visit at that time to ensure that you can get in.

Dental Preferred Provider Organization

A PPO offers a bit more flexibility in terms of choosing your dentist. In many areas, you will find it is easier to make an appointment with a dentist if you have a DPPO than with a DHMO. This is partially due to the fact that if your first choice is taken, you can schedule an appointment with another dentist without a referral. What’s more, even though a DPPO uses a dental network, you can still see a dentist outside of the network if you don’t mind higher out of pocket expenses.

A DPPO is more costly than a DHMO, however, many people feel that the benefits far outweigh the small increase in annual premiums.

With both a DHMO and a DPPO, you will have a copay at the time of each visit. The amount of the copay will depend on the insurance company you choose and what level of coverage you choose from that insurance company.

Indemnity Plans

Indemnity plans have no networks and you see whom you want when you want. This type of plan, however, is much more expensive than managed network plans because they don’t offer any restrictions.

You will, however, pay more out of pocket at the time of each dental visit and you will also have a deductible to pay before you insurance starts covering your costs. Much like health insurance, the higher your deductible is the more affordable your annual premiums will be.

You will find that most indemnity plans have a cap on how much they will pay for your total out of pocket expenses. The higher the cap, the more expensive your indemnity plan will be. It is in your best interest, however, to ensure that your cap isn’t too low as one major problem could easily eliminate your coverage for the year.

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How much does dental insurance cost?

As you can image, the cost of dental insurance will vary depending on:

  • The type of coverage you choose
  • The state you live in, and
  • Other factors determined by the insurance companies

With that being said, it is easy enough to determine what the national average is so that you can get an idea of what your dental insurance will cost.

All of the following information is provided by the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP),  which provides annual reports on the average cost of dental insurance, among other things. This data has not been updated since 2008, however, so unfortunately this data may be a little lower, as insurance costs tend to increase each year.

The national average cost for an:

  • HMO plan for an individual is $185 a year or almost $16 a month
  • For a family plan, the annual average cost is $600 a year or $50 a month
  • PPO dental plan is $600 annually for an individual and
  • $1,800 annually for a family plan
  • An indemnity plan is $127 monthly for an individual or $1,524 annually and the
  • Family plan average is about $4,000 annually or $333 a month

While these are the average costs, your costs can vary if you choose a plan with a higher copay or deductible. In addition, some insurance companies simply offer more affordable rates for people in certain states.

In addition, if you have a dental plan through your employer, your monthly premiums may be much lower. While group plans employers absorb a certain percentage of that cost, which makes your costs more affordable.

Where do I buy dental insurance?

The first thing that you have to be aware of if that not every insurance company offers dental insurance, even if they offer health insurance. What’s more, when you purchase dental insurance, it must be from a company that is licensed to sell insurance in the state you live in. Most insurance websites offer a quote function that, once you type in your zip code, will inform you of whether or not they offer dental insurance in your state.

Unfortunately, some sites wait until you have filled out their entire questionnaire, including providing your personal information, before they tell you that they don’t sell insurance in your area. This can be quite time consuming, not to mention frustrating.

If you already have health insurance, then you may want to start by checking your options with your current company. The reason for this is that you may receive a discount by adding additional services with your company. If you have a group plan with your employer that doesn’t offer dental, speak with your employer about adding that option on to your overall coverage.

Before you choose your dental insurance, however, you need to ensure that you are getting the lowest rates possible. To do this, you are going to need to get quotes from more than one source. As mentioned before, you may not be aware of who does and who doesn’t offer insurance in your state. With that being said, there is a much easier way to get the quotes that you want and that is with our free quote tool.

Our free quote tool starts with your zip code so that we only show you quotes from insurance companies that offer insurance in your state. This is beneficial to you because it saves you time and you won’t see quotes that don’t apply to you. In addition, filling out a form a single time rather than filling out forms over and over again at individual sites will save you time as well.

Compare dental insurance quotes at no charge by entering your zip code now!