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Best Affordable Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period

Are Dental Plans The Only Type Of Insurance That Has Waiting Periods

Dental Insurance, No Waiting Periods

No. Dental insurance is not the only form of health benefit that may impose a waiting period before coverage becomes available for the benefit enrollee. Group health plans may impose waiting periods of no more than 90 days for health benefits. Auto insurance and other property/casualty insurance may have waiting periods.

Apply for new dental plans online or enhance existing benefits easily and affordably.

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How Much Is Dental Insurance

Dental plan premiums range from $17 to $96. Cost varies per plan type, coverage level and state of residence.

The plans with the lowest premiums cover preventive procedures and offer minimal or no coverage for basic and major services. On the other hand, the plans with the highest premiums tend to have shorter or no waiting periods, high annual limits and comprehensive coverage for preventive, basic and major work.

If purchasing a dental insurance plan doesnt make sense for your financial situation, consider low-cost alternatives to dental health insurance such as dental school clinics and state assistance programs.

Cost of common dental procedures

The cost of dental care depends significantly on the provider, the location and whether the patients insured.

To give readers a general idea, we looked at the average cost of common dental procedures in the 2020 Survey of Dental Fees published by the American Dental Association . Then, we calculated how much that procedure would cost with an insurance policy that covers 100% of preventive care, 80% of basic work and 50% of complex procedures.

Heres what we found:

Cost without dental insurance
$264 $693

Best Dental Insurance Plans

Andrea Agostini FerrerClaudia Rodríguez Hamilton31 min read

Best for No Waiting Periods Best for Braces Best for Variety of Plan Options Best for Affordable Premiums

Available in Puerto Rico and other U.S territories

Ranks 1st in J.D Powers 2022 U.S Dental Plan Satisfaction Report

Most affordable preventive care plan

Coverage Options

$50 annually per individual $150 annually per family

$50-$150 annually or $150-$450 one-time


Available in Puerto Rico and other U.S territories

$50 annually per individual $150 annually per family

Ranks 1st in J.D Powers 2022 U.S Dental Plan Satisfaction Report

$50-$150 annually or $150-$450 one-time

Most affordable preventive care plan

Up to $2K

A stand-alone dental plan may be the best way to keep up with your oral health if your insurance doesnt cover dental treatment. Without insurance, the cost of routine dental care generally runs from $40 to $97, while more complex procedures like a root canal may cost over $1,000 per tooth.

Depending on the type coverage and your dental care needs, an individual policy can prove to be very expensive especially when you factor in deductibles, copays and premiums. However, dental insurance can lower the cost of expensive restorative or emergency work such as crowns, fillings and implants.

The best providers offer a high reimbursement limit, comprehensive coverage and shorter or no waiting periods for basic care.

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Types Of Dental Insurance Plans

The three types of dental plans on the market today are dental preferred provider organization plans, dental health maintenance organization plans and fee-for-service plans:

Dental preferred provider organization

DPPO plans have a wider network of dentists, and patients have more flexibility when choosing their doctors. You can see providers both in-network and out of network, but youll find the best rates within the dental provider network.

This flexibility comes with a higher price tag premiums for DPPO plans are more expensive and have higher out-of-pocket costs.

Dental health maintenance organization

A DHMO plan works within a dental provider network. Theres a fixed copayment for each visit, premiums are more affordable and there are no annual maximum limits.

Members of a DHMO plan have a smaller provider network to choose from, and theyll also need to select a primary care dentist from the plans network. Lastly, theres no out-of-network coverage, and seeing a specialist requires a referral.

Fee-for-service plans

Fee-for-service plans pay a flat rate for eligible services. This plan type allows greater flexibility because patients can visit the provider of their choice.

On the downside, out-of-pocket expenses are higher. Patients can either make a copayment at the dentists office or pay upfront and then file a claim for reimbursement with their insurance provider.

Dental discount plans

What Is A Waiting Period For Dental Insurance

Good Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period

Waiting periods are exactly what they sound like it’s the period of time you are required to wait before your insurance coverage will cover certain treatment.

When it comes to dental insurance, basic services like cleanings are typically excluded from the waiting period, meaning that as soon as your insurance coverage begins, it will help cover the costs of those treatments.

Waiting periods generally apply to larger more expensive treatments, like restorative services such as root canals or dental implants. Insurance companies do this because they are trying to make the most money possible.

When they have to provide coverage for expensive treatments, they don’t make as much money, so they want to make sure that when people sign on for insurance, they won’t just use it to cover the costs of expensive dental treatment and then drop the insurance once the treatment is finished. That’s part of why finding full coverage dental insurance can be tricky.

The video below provides a more in-depth explanation of waiting periods if you’d like to learn more:

The big problem with waiting periods is that they can just be another obstacle to the 74 million Americans who don’t have dental insurance through an employer, group program, or public program.

Many people wonder why they would sign up for insurance if they can’t get the treatment they need when they need it. They instead try their luck trying to find cheap dental care without insurance.

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The Best Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Period On The Marketplace

When shopping for dental insurance, youll come across plans that impose a waiting period that might last a month to a year or more. This means that certain levels of coverage, or perhaps even all coverage, wont kick in until after the waiting period is over. Sounds inconvenient and frustrating, doesnt it?The good news is there are dental insurance no waiting period options available.

So, if you want to rest assured that your policy will cover everything from preventive to major services from the day your plan becomes active, searching for full coverage dental insurance with no waiting period is the right way to go.To help you get started, weve compiled a list of some of the best dental insurance providers that offer plans without a waiting period.


Dental insurance with no waiting period: 6 options to consider

Spirit Dental

What is the best dental insurance with no waiting?


Are there ways to avoid a waiting period with dental insurance?

Shop now for dental insurance with no waiting period

Best Major Coverage: Spirit Dental

Spirit Dental

  • Coverage Limit: $750 to $5,000
  • States Available: 50

Spirit Dental is our best for major coverage, as it offers eight policies with no waiting period and competitive coinsurance rates for major services. Diverse coverage options allow you to find the right balance between monthly premiums, annual maximums, and out-of-network flexibility.

  • No waiting periods for any covered procedures

  • One-time deductible of $100

  • Annual limits up to $5,000

  • High out-of-pocket costs for orthodontics

  • Expensive monthly premiums

  • Less favorable terms in the first year

No one wants to think about undergoing major dental work like crowns, implants, and procedures that require anesthesia. But when these expensive treatments come up, having an insurance policy that covers them can provide some financial peace of mind.

Spirit Dental is one of the few dental insurance companies that doesnt impose a waiting period for major services on any of its policies.

You can get a quote quickly on Spirit’s website to see what your premiums would be. Each plan has a single lifetime deductible of just $100 per person, and plans are distinguished by annual maximums, which range from $750 to $5,000. You can choose between in-network and out-of-network coverage, although the latter will result in higher monthly premiums.

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Which Services Have Waiting Periods

Dental insurance is focused on promoting oral health, so even policies with waiting periods usually cover preventive dental care right away. These covered expenses include things like routine cleanings, checkups, routine x-rays, and sometimes fluoride treatments. Dental plans often cover such preventive services in full, with no out-of-pocket cost to you. That’s valuable because these services can help avert more serious and expensive tooth problems in the future. However, services beyond cleanings often require at least a 6-month waiting period. Some policies may make you wait a year for major work. The kinds of treatments and procedures not covered during the waiting period typically include:

  • Basic procedures and care: This may include fillings, non-surgical extractions, and other simple services
  • Major procedures and treatment: Things like bridges, crowns, dentures, oral surgery
  • Orthodontic treatment: Braces and other types of teeth aligners

It’s important to note that these service categories aren’t set in stone. For example, one insurance company might categorize a dental care procedure as basic another insurance company might categorize it as major. While these categories can give you a broad idea of what’s covered in full-coverage dental plans, you should also look at the Plan Summary to get more specific details about which basic and major services are covered.

Ppo Dental Plans With No Waiting Period

Best California Dental Insurance with Low Premium and No Waiting
  • Coverage Limit: $1,000 to $3,000
  • States Available: 47

UnitedHealthcare is our reviews best for basic coverage with several affordable choices that cover all of your basic dental needs, and most of UnitedHealthcares dental insurance policies impose no waiting period for these basic services, accompanied by low coinsurance rates that decrease every year you stay with the provider.

  • Low coinsurance fees for basic services

  • No wait for preventive coverage and often basic too

  • Six-month waiting period for major services on some plans

  • Only one plan to cover orthodontics

  • Poor coverage for major services

Even with good oral hygiene and routine preventive care, most people need basic dental services such as fillings at some point. If youre looking for insurance to cover these treatments and you dont want to wait six months to a year for the policy to take effect, we recommend UnitedHealthcare. Seven of the providers 10 dental plans have no waiting period for either preventive and basic services.

UnitedHealthcare offers a wide array of dental policies. Many cover major services, but usually with a six-month wait. However, just one plan covers orthodontics, but coverage wont begin until 12 months after the policy start date.

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Ppo Dhmo And Dental Discount Plans

  • PPO: The majority of dental insurance policies are PPOs. The rates are higher, but you may get the best coverage and savings on important procedures like dental implants, braces, and cosmetic surgery.
  • DHMO: These policies have cheaper dental insurance rates. They often provide free preventive care, but you may have limited choices when it comes to dentists.
  • Dental discount plans: these aren’t truly dental insurance policies. It’s a monthly or annual membership program that saves you money on dental care.

Best For Orthodontics: Ameritas

  • Coverage Limit: $750 to $2,500
  • States Available: 50

Ameritas offers the best terms for orthodontics with no waiting periods and coinsurance rates starting at 85% but dropping to 50% after one year, making this company the best for orthodontia in this review.

  • No waiting for any services, including orthodontics on many plans

  • All plans include orthodontic coverage

  • High coverage rates after one year

  • Lower cost plans limited to in-network providers

Finding a dental insurance plan that covers orthodontics can be a challenge, and those that do typically require waiting periods that can span up to two years. Ameritas offers no waiting periods on orthodontics, and although out-of-pocket costs are 85% in the first year, they drop to just 50% after this.

For other types of care, Ameritas dental plans follow the same coinsurance rate schedule. Preventive care is covered entirely with a limit of two exams and cleanings per year. Basic services carry a 35% coinsurance rate in the first year and a 20% rate for every subsequent year, while major services are billed with an 80% coinsurance rate in the first year and a 50% rate after that.

Ameritas policies come with a $50 annual deductible and an annual maximum of $750 or $2,500 depending on the plan. Half are limited to in-network providers, while the other half allows you to choose any dentistalthough its worth noting that Ameritas operates one of the largest dental provider networks in the U.S.

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How To Get Dental Insurance

Most people have access to dental insurance through their employer. However, those who are uninsured or underinsured like Medicare beneficiaries need to purchase a standalone policy if they want dental coverage.

Our guide on how to get dental insurance with Medicare can help you with this process.

You can also purchase a standalone policy directly with the insurance company or through a marketplace. Dental plans sold on have to meet the criteria set by the Affordable Care Act, which include offering coverage for pediatric dentistry, emergency services and prescription drugs.

Follow these guidelines to pick the right dental insurance provider:

Identify your dental needs.

A young adult with healthy teeth has very different dental care needs than a child with malocclusion or an older adult with tooth decay or gum disease. We recommend writing down the dental care needs of you and your family to make it easier to find providers that cover these procedures.

A general rule of thumb is to look for plans that cover 100/80/50: 100% preventive coverage, 80% basic work and 50% major work. However, its important to see whats included in each percentage. A policy covering 50% of major work but excluding implants may be useless if your main concern is missing teeth.

Review the different types of dental plans

We go over common dental plans in our types of dental plans section. Revise each one to see which fits best in terms of coverage benefits, plan options and cost.

How Does Dental Insurance Work

No Waiting Period Dental Insurance Root Canal / Dental Plans With No ...

A dental insurance policy covers expenses for checkups, routine cleanings and other dental restorative work such as fillings, implants and crowns. Many providers such as Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealthOne also offer dental, hearing and vision bundles.

Providers are regulated at the state level, meaning plan availability, benefits and rates may vary per state.

What does dental insurance cover?

Insurance carriers divide dental coverage benefits into three categories: preventive care, basic or routine care and major procedures.

  • Preventive care includes checkups , sealants and X-rays. Most providers offer 100% coverage with no waiting periods and deductibles for these procedures.
  • Basic or routine care refers to fillings, non-routine X-rays, denture repairs and simple extractions. Coverage is generally capped at 80% and beneficiaries must meet the policys deductible rate.
  • Major procedures include root canals, gum disease, surgical extractions, dentures and implants. Coverage rarely exceeds 50% after meeting the policys deductible.

Although its technically major work, orthopedic treatment is considered a separate category for insurers. Its easier to find coverage for child orthodontia than for adults, but coverage is capped at 50% regardless of the patient’s age.

Companies also enforce a lifetime benefit limit, meaning they will only pay for braces or aligners once for the duration of the policy.

Dental coverage exclusions

Waiting periods

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Dental Plans Without Waiting Periods For Preventive Basic And Major Care

The below list includes dental plans in each state that do not have waiting periods for preventive, basic, and major dental care. Be certain to check the plan details page to make certain there have not been any plan updates that have changed their no waiting period status. You can also get price quotes for your age and zip code in a few clicks.

NOTE Some of the below plans may not be available in all regions of the state for which it is listed.


What To Look For In A Dental Insurance Provider

How can you a dental insurance provider thats right for you? Look for these 3 key features when you shop for dental insurance:

  • High maximum benefits: Dental insurance companies can put both a yearly and lifetime cap on the amount theyll payout for your dental care needs. Look for an insurance provider with a high maximum benefit limit to get the most out of your coverage.
  • Availability in your area: Not every dental insurance is licensed to offer plans in all 50 states. Enter your ZIP code and be sure that your dental insurance provider services your area before you buy a plan.
  • A low deductible: Your plans deductible is a set dollar amount you need to spend on your dental care costs before the insurance covers your care. Look for a plan with a deductible that you can afford otherwise, you might end up overpaying for insurance you cant use.

Read Also: Dental Insurance That Covers Adult Braces

Dental Discount Plans: Another Option

Dental discount plans require a monthly fee, just like a premium. This fee may grant you access to a collection of discounted offers put forth by various dentist offices in your area. Dental discount plans are not the same as dental insurance plans. But if you find a dental discount plan with no waiting period, you may have immediate access to an array of services at reduced prices.


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