Complete Guide to Dental Insurance (Updated for 2017)
We have all the leading UK Dental Insurance providers and costs right here so that you can compare and choose with ease. Click on the logos below to jump to that topic.
It is beneficial to learn about the basics of dental insurance in the soonest possible time – even before the actual need for it arises. This will help you plan ahead for your (and whenever applicable, your family’s or loved ones’) dental care needs, so that you will not have to worry too much about the financial aspect of having the best dental health care available – just when you need it the most.
Quicklinks (Jump to Topics) on this Page
- What is Dental Insurance?
- Do You really Need Dental Insurance? >
- How Does a Dental Insurance Plan Work? >
- UK Dental Insurance Providers and Coverage >
- AXA PPP Healthcare – Dental Insurance >
- Boots Dental Insurance >
- Dencover Dental Insurance >
- Denplan Dental Insurance >
- Tesco Dental Insurance >
- WPA Dental Insurance >
- Bupa Dental Insurance >
- Corporate Dental Insurance >
- Pros and Cons of Dental Insurance >
- Dental insurance is defined as a type of health insurance that is created to pay for a portion of dental care costs or expenses.
- Several types of dental health insurance options are available under individual, family, or group/corporate plans
- These dental coverage plans give you the option of choosing private or NHS dentistry for your specific dental health care needs.
- The cover of a dental health plan can be used for dental treatments under the NHS, or through private practice dentists
- A private dental health coverage is needed specifically for cases when private practice dentist treatments are sought out.
- As dental treatments, and even regular dental checkups, can take a substantial amount out of a regular budget, having a reliable dental health care insurance plan will help ease out the worries out of getting the best dental health care possible.
Having dental health insurance will give you the peace of mind that you need whenever you need to consider the cost of having good dental health care services. Dental treatments can be costly, especially if you are going to pay for the whole amount; even just a portion of the total cost which will be shouldered by the dental health coverage plan is a substantial amount – especially for treatments that involve numerous visits to the dentist, or those that have higher degrees of complexity.
Looking for a dentist in the UK who will do dental treatments under the NHS may prove to be a challenging task, while going to a private dental practice to get much-needed treatments can be extremely expensive. A dental health care insurance plan makes it possible for the cost of treatment to be taken care of, whether it is under the NHS or through a private dentist.
Depending on the dental health coverage, you can rest assured that you, and even your family members, will get high quality dental health care services – without having to worry too much about the amount of money you will have to shell out. A dental health plan can also be customised according to your specific needs and budget.
A dental health care coverage is an insurance policy that covers a range of dental treatments (depending on the specific plan coverage), in return for annual or monthly policy payments. The dental health insurance policy can be customised for a specific individual, and can also extend to several or all family members. The insurance plan has the goal of providing coverage for dental treatments that are preventative, minor, and restorative in nature.
The policy and coverage can vary with the different dental health coverage providers/companies; there are some policies which cover only the cost for dental treatments under the NHS. Still, other insurance providers offer options for coverage for private dental treatments. A list of the dental treatments which will be covered by the dental health care policy will be provided, along with a limit that can be paid out for each specific dental treatment for a given year. The limitations and exclusions of the insurance coverage will also be clearly outlined in a full coverage, to give a clear idea on what to expect from the entire insurance plan.
Depending on the dental insurance plan provider, the items listed below are usually NOT covered by the insurance policy:
- Dental Implants
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Orthodontic Treatment
- Sports Injuries, unless a mouth guard is worn when the injury is sustained
The list below is a guide to the dental insurance providers in the UK, along with the updated information on what they provide or offer in terms of the available dental insurance policies (for individuals and families). The latest information will help in choosing the best dental health care policy to suit specific dental health care needs.
- Provides a choice of either NHS or Private Dentist
- 100% money back on dental treatment bills under the NHS, up to the specified annual limits.
- 100% money back on accidents and dental emergencies, up to £10,000 a year.
Two levels of coverage are offered by AXA PPP:
Core – For coverage of dental treatments under the NHS, and
Premium – For coverage of Private dental treatments
What is covered by AXA PPP Dental Insurance?
- Routine dental examinations, hygiene dental treatments, periodontal (gum disease) treatments, and dental x-rays (as an NHS patient for Core policy holders; as private patients for Premium policy holders) – Available after one month for Core coverage; available after three months and up to £125 per person per policy year for Premium coverage.
- Dental treatments that are restorative or remedial in nature, such as (but not limited to) dental fillings, dental bridges, dental crowns, and dentures when received as an NHS patient – Available after one month for Core; available after three months and up to £1000 per person per policy year for Premium.
- 50% of the treatment cost of restorative or remedial treatments such as (but not limited to) dental fillings, dental bridges, dental crowns, and dentures when received as a private patient. (Only available for Premium coverage) – Available after three months and up to £1000 per person per policy year for Premium.
- Worldwide coverage for emergency dental treatments. Coverage is up to £200 per incident for the cost of emergency dental treatment, for up to four incidents – Available after one month.
- Worldwide coverage for accidents needing dental treatments. Coverage is up to £2,500 for the cost of dental accident treatment, for up to four incidents – Available after one month.
- Cash benefit for hospitalization of up to £60 per night (for up to 30 nights) for each night that in-patient treatment is received under the NHS in relation to dental accidents.
- Coverage for mouth cancer – up to £12,000 towards one course of treatment charges per person, up to 18 months following the mouth cancer diagnosis (smokers included).
- Choice of going to any NHS or private dentist for treatments necessary for accidents or dental emergencies.
These three levels of coverage are offered by Boots, with the inclusions in each coverage/plan as follows:
The Core Plan – Provides cover for the cost of most NHS treatments carried out in England and Wales; contributes towards the cost of NHS treatments in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Maximum routine dental treatment benefit coverage of £500 per person, per policy year (subject to the individual treatment amounts shown in the Benefit Schedule)
- Maximum benefit for accidental dental injury of £500 per person, per policy year (subject to the band reimbursement levels shown below)
- Maximum hospital cash benefit of £3,750 (£75 per day, per insured person up to a maximum of 50 nights per policy year).
Private Level 1 – Provides coverage to help with the cost of private dental treatments, as well as provide worldwide accidental cover plus a £5,000 cash sum for oral cancer.
- Maximum routine dental treatment benefit coverage of £750 per person, per policy year (subject to the individual treatment amounts shown in the Benefit Schedule)
- Maximum benefit for accidental dental injury of £1,000 per person, per policy year (Worldwide cover starts after 6 month qualification cover)
- Maximum hospital cash benefit of £3,750 (£75 per day, per insured person up to a maximum of 50 nights per policy year).
- Maximum oral/mouth cancer benefit of £5,000 (One off single payment, after 6 month qualification period).
Private Level 2 – Provides greater help with the cost of private dental treatments, as well as provide worldwide accidental cover plus a £10,000 cash sum for oral cancer.
- Maximum routine dental treatment benefit coverage of £1,000 per person, per policy year (subject to the individual treatment amounts shown in the Benefit Schedule)
- Maximum benefit for accidental dental injury of £1,500 per person, per policy year (Worldwide cover starts after 6 month qualification cover)
- Maximum hospital cash benefit of £3,750 (£75 per day, per insured person up to a maximum of 50 nights per policy year).
- Maximum oral/mouth cancer benefit of £10,000 (One off single payment, after 6 month qualification period).
Dencover offers 5 (five) dental health coverage plans: Dencover NHS, Dencover Silver, Dencover Gold, Dencover Platinum, and Dencover Diamond.
The following lists the coverage of the various Dencover dental health care plan/policies offered, as well as the corresponding percentage of costs covered for each specific plan (per member, per policy year):
- Routine Examination; Dental Checkups; X-Rays – 100% Coverage for all of the Dencover insurance plans. £17 for Dencover NHS, £30 for Dencover Silver, £55 for Dencover Gold, £80 for Dencover Platinum, and £105 for Dencover Diamond. Qualifying Period: Immediately
- Hygiene Treatment; Scale and Polish – 100% Coverage for Dencover NHS (£17); 80% Coverage for the other plans Dencover Silver (£35), Dencover Gold (£65), Dencover Platinum (£95), and Dencover Diamond (£125). Qualifying Period: Immediately
- Procedural Work (Dental fillings, dental crowns, dentures, root canals, surgical and simple tooth extractions) – 100% Coverage for Dencover NHS (£94), 55% for the other plans Dencover Silver(£210), Dencover Gold (£410), Dencover Platinum (£610), and Dencover Diamond (£810). Qualifying Period: 2 Months.
*Maximum benefit for dental bridges, dental crowns, and root canal is as follows:
> Dencover NHS (£94)
> Dencover Silver (£210)
> Dencover Gold (£210)
> Dencover Platinum (£310)
> Dencover Diamond (£410).
- Worldwide Accident Dental Treatment Coverage – 100% Coverage for all the plans – Dencover NHS (£2,500), Dencover Silver (£5,000), Dencover Gold (£7,500), Dencover Platinum (£10,000), and Dencover Diamond (£12,000). Qualifying Period: 15 Days.
- Worldwide Emergency Dental Treatment Coverage – 100% Coverage for all the plans – Dencover NHS (£425), Dencover Silver (£850), Dencover Gold (£850), Dencover Platinum (£1,100), and Dencover Diamond (£1,100). Qualifying Period: 15 Days.
- Hospitalization Dental Cover – Not Provided for Dencover NHS. £50 per overnight stay for Dencover Silver, Dencover Gold, Dencover Platinum, and Dencover Diamond. Qualifying Period: 3 Months.
- Oral Cancer Coverage – One-off single payment for the policy’s lifetime – £2,500 for Dencover NHS, £5,000 for Dencover Silver, £7,500 for Dencover Gold, £10,000 for Dencover Platinum, and £12,000 for Dencover Diamond. Qualifying Period: 2 Months.
Denplan offers the following dental insurance plans; each specific plan listed below also includes the coverage applicable:
- Denplan Care – Includes dental restorative treatment/care such as: dental checkups, preventive dental advice, hygiene treatment including scale and polish, dental x-rays, periodontal (gum) treatment, dental fillings, root canal treatment, dental crowns and dental bridges (excluding lab fees), dentures (excluding lab fees).
- Denplan Essentials – Includes routine care from your dentist including dental checkups, preventive dental advice, dental x-rays, and hygiene treatment (including scale and polish). Restorative care is not included.
- Plans for Children – A dental payment plan that allows the dentist to tailor a child’s dental care to include agreed treatment that the child needs. This plan includes dental checkups, dental x-rays, preventive dental advice, hygiene treatment (including scale and polish). Other treatments are at the discretion of the dentist.
- Membership Plan – A plan that allows one to register and gain/secure access to a preferred dentist to enjoy additional benefits, which can include discounts on dental treatments that may be needed. Preventive dental advice and supplementary insurance (which is available for all the other plans as well) are included in the Membership Plan.
Simplyhealth offers four dental health care plans or coverage options (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4) that also enable policy holders to enjoy cash back benefits after a qualifying period; the cash back benefits can be used for dental treatments, dental emergencies, or even dental accidents.
Simplyhealth Dental Insurance Inclusions
- Dental checkups, dental x-rays, and dental investigations (Level 1: £25; Level 2: £50; Level 3: £75; Level 4: £100) – 100% cash back up to the chosen annual limit. Qualifying Period: Immediate
- Scale and polish performed by dentist or a dental hygienist (Level 1: £30; Level 2: £60; Level 3: £90; Level 4: £120) – 75% of cash back up to the chosen annual limit. Qualifying Period: Immediate
- Dental crowns, dental bridges, dental fillings, onlays and inlays, dentures, laboratory fees, local anaesthetic fees (Level 1: £200; Level 2: £400; Level 3: £600; Level 4: £800) – 50% of cash back up to the chosen annual limit. Qualifying Period: 3 Months. *Maximum amount for dental bridges, dental crowns, onlays, and inlays are as follows – (Level 1: £200; Level 2: £200; Level 3: £300; Level 4: £400)
- Dental Accident Cover – Dental treatment following accidents (£5000 for all Levels) – 100% cash back up to the chosen annual limit. Qualifying Period: Immediate (if dental treatment is needed after an accident, within 48 hours).
- Dental Emergency Visit – Coverage for a single dental visit that requires urgent dental treatment – if there is severe pain, or if the dental problem is causing other health problems, plus callout fees (£500 for all Levels) – 100% cash back up to the chosen annual limit. Qualifying Period: 3 Months
- Dental Hospital Cover – Cash amount benefit to help with daily hospitalization expenses if a hospital stay is referred by a dentist (£50 per day or night for a maximum of 20 days or nights per claiming year – for all Levels). Qualifying Period: 3 Months
- Mouth Cancer Cover – One off payment of £5000 (for all Levels) if diagnosed with primary mouth cancer, with the amount payable once per diagnosed member for the duration of the membership (and for as long as the mouth cancer coverage is offered under the policy’s terms). Qualifying Period: 3 Months
- Worldwide Cover for Dental Emergency and Dental Accident – total trip duration of up to and including 28 days, for all Levels.
Provided by AXA PPP Healthcare, Tesco offers two dental health coverage/plan options:
Core Cover – for dental treatment coverage under the NHS with 100% reimbursement (for under £120 a year); and
Premium Cover – for private dental treatment cover, with 100% reimbursement up to £125 per year (for routine dental treatments); Restorative or remedial dental treatments covered up to £1,000 (50% reimbursement) per year; Family cover for dental treatment for just £49.80 a month (based on 2 adults and 2 children).
Inclusions of the Dental Insurance Plans
- Routine Dental Treatments – Hygiene treatments, dental checkups, dental x-rays
- Restorative or Remedial Treatments/Unplanned Treatments – Dental fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges, root canal work, onlays and inlays
- Worldwide Emergency Dental Cover – up to £800 (choice of NHS or private dentist) per year
- Worldwide Dental Accidents Cover – up to £10,000 per year
- Mouth Cancer Cover – up to £12,000 for one course of mouth cancer treatment
- Hospital Cash Benefit – £60 per night for up to 30 nights per person per policy year, as an NHS patient in relation to a dental accident
WPA offers two options for individual or family dental care insurance cover (Level 1 and Level 2), with the following inclusions in each specific plan:
- Routine Dental Treatments – Dental checkups with a dentist or a dental hygienist, scale and polish, dental x-rays, dental crowns, dental bridges, root canal treatment, dentures – Level 1: 100% of NHS treatment; Level 2: 75% of all NHS/Private dentistry charges up to £250 per person per year. Qualifying Period: 1 month both levels (Level 1 and Level 2) of cover for check-ups & hygienist and general treatments; 3 months for restorative treatment such as dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures.
- Dental Emergencies – Dental emergencies with accompanying severe pain, dental haemorrhage, or swelling that requires an emergency dental appointment, whether to an NHS or a private dentist – Level 1: Up to £250 per episode (maximum 2 episodes per year); Level 2: Up to £250 per episode (maximum 4 episodes per year). Qualifying Period: 14 days both for Level 1, and Level 2.
- Dental Injuries – Restorative dental treatments resulting from injuries (trauma/external blow) to the jaw or to the teeth – Level 1: Up to £10,000 per person per year; Level 2: Up to £20,000 per person per year.
- Oral Cancer – Cover for in-patient, out-patient, and day-patient and treatment under the care of a recognised Consultant Oral/Maxillo-Facial Surgeon for oral cancer, up to the limit shown – Up to £10,000 per person per year both for Level 1 and Level 2. A 90-day deferment period applies.
Bupa Dental Insurance
BUPA offers two types of dental health insurance plans/dental coverage: Dental Cover 20 for private patients and Dental Cover 10 for NHS patients. Both of the coverage plans allow policy holders to have routine treatments such as scale and polish, dental examinations, and x-rays which can be claimed immediately – with no pre-enrolment or underwriting required.
Inclusions of Bupa Dental Health Care Insurance Plans
Dental Cover 20 – Dental insurance coverage for individuals who have privately registered dentists. This includes up to £150 of coverage a year on routine treatments such as dental checkups, scale and polish, and x-rays. Bupa will pay up to 75% of the treatment costs up to a total of £700 in a year for non-cosmetic and more expensive treatments such as root canals, dental fillings, dental crowns, bridgework, dentures, and tooth extractions. Up to £600 per year will be covered for emergency dental treatment carried out within the UK, for acute dental conditions and to alleviate pain which is connected to serious and immediate threat to general health. Up to £5000 a year will be covered for dental injury treatment carried out within the UK, required as a result of an external trauma or impact. Reimbursement of 100% for all NHS treatment charges provided by a consultant for: treatment of cancer of the oral cavity, tongue, lips, and/or pharynx.
Dental Cover 10 – Insurance coverage for those who are more than 18 years of age with an NHS dentist; those who are under 18 years of age upon starting the dental treatment will be entitled to free dental treatment under the NHS.
Dental Cover 10 includes 100% reimbursement for:
- All routine treatments under the NHS such as dental checkups, scale and polish, and x-rays;
- All treatments under the NHS for non-cosmetic and more expensive dental treatments such as dental fillings, root canals, dental crowns, bridgework, dentures, and tooth extractions;
- All treatments under the NHS for emergency dental treatment carried out within the UK, for acute dental conditions and to alleviate pain which is connected to serious and immediate threat to general health;
- All treatments under the NHS for dental injury treatment carried out within the UK, required as a result of an external trauma or impact;
- All treatment under the NHS provided by a consultant, for the treatment of cancer of the oral cavity, tongue, lips, and/or pharynx.
These are the exclusions to Bupa dental health coverage plans, or the benefits that will not be paid for:
- Orthodontic treatment
- Cosmetic treatment
- Mouth guards
- Surgical implants/any dental treatment that makes use of, is related to, or involves, surgical implants
- Replacement of a stolen or lost prosthetic appliance
- Dental services or treatment that are not usually provided by dentists in the UK
- Replacement of a prosthetic appliance (excluding dentures) within five years of being fitted
- Replacement of a prosthetic appliance which could have been repaired corresponding to generally accepted standards in dentistry
- Any dental treatment related to, or resulting from, a self-inflicted injury
- Any dental treatment related to, or resulting from, any injury sustained while participating in a contact sport (such as boxing or rugby)
- Any dental treatment required as a result of chemical or nuclear contamination, invasion, war, hostilities (with or without the declaration of war), acts of foreign enemies, rebellion, civil war, terrorism, insurrection, revolution, or military/usurped power
- Any dental treatment which, in Bupa’s reasonable opinion based on established medical and dental practice both within the UK and overseas, is unproven or experimental – except in cases where such dental treatment is obtained from overseas
- Self-administered drugs, such as painkillers and antibiotics, or prescription charges
- Any oral cancer treatment received by the policy holder and any of the dependents if the oral cancer was diagnosed: (a) during the first six months of current continuous membership scheme period; (b) before the person with the oral cancer started the current continuous membership scheme (or any Bupa dental scheme which included coverage for this treatment type)
- Any treatment for oral cancer if the person receiving the treatment has not been referred to the registered medical practitioner or specialist by their dentist/GP
- Any dental injury treatment coming from a direct or indirect result of an external impact that occurred outside the UK
- Any dental injury treatment from a direct or indirect result of an external impact that began before the start date
Looking for Cheap Dental Insurance or one that will suite your lifestyle, read on…
The maintenance of good dental health will be greatly affected by the quality of dental health care that you receive. While the things that you do on your own (such as good oral hygiene, and eating a balanced or healthy diet) can also have significant benefits on your dental health, professional dental care will still be needed for the successful prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental concerns. The presence of a good dental health care insurance plan will help ensure that you (and your family, whenever applicable) can get the necessary dental care, without having to worry too much about the expenses that will be incurred.
Corporate dental insurance is considered to be a crucial part of a benefits package for employees. The value that a corporate dental health care insurance plan provides to employees’ well-being is even more magnified with the challenges that finding affordable dental treatment options can bring, if every individual employee will seek the treatment out of his or her own pocket.
Investing in a corporate dental health plan can have long-term benefits for a company, including the following results:
- Employee productivity increases with the value-added presence of a reliable corporate dental health care plan
- Boosts the morale and the level of loyalty that employees have for the company
- Makes a company or employer more attractive, in terms of recruitment offers
- Decreases incidence of absences due to poorly-maintained dental health (since the corporate dental health policy covers part or all of the costs associated with dental treatments)
- Corporate dental coverage plans greatly complement an existing health insurance plan for employees
- A corporate dental insurance plan can easily be set up and managed for all the employees of the company
The Pros and Cons of Having Dental Insurance/Dental Coverage
Dental health care insurance coverage has its own pros and cons, or advantages and disadvantages. Deciding on what works best for your own needs will empower you to make the best decision, on whether to get dental health coverage or not – and also in deciding what the best plan/coverage will suit your needs.
Dental Insurance Pros
Dental health insurance offers a flexible and wide range of cover. Generally speaking, you can expect to have greater protection and a higher level of coverage with higher premium payments. Dental health care coverage can also help you save on treatment costs, especially if you or your dependents require extensive dental health treatments such as complicated procedures like root canals, tooth extractions, dental fillings, and orthodontics.
Peace of mind is another advantage of getting dental health policy coverage; you can rest assured that you will get the dental treatment that you need whenever it is needed, without having to pay huge amounts of money for each treatment whenever the need arises.
Dental Insurance Cons
Dental health coverage can be expensive, which is the reason why it may not be for everyone. Payments for the premiums can take a considerable amount out of an allocated annual (personal) budget, and may be too much to handle. In cases when general dental health is good, and there is easy access to dental treatments under the NHS – it may be better to go to an NHS dentist for regular dental checkups for maintenance.
The exclusions of dental coverage, as well as the exclusion periods, should also be considered when deciding on getting a dental health insurance plan. Most plans do not provide immediate coverage, so the dental treatment you need might not be covered if a dental problem occurs right after the start of the plan coverage. Annual limits or percentage limits for each treatment (given for each insurance plan) may also not be advantageous especially if extensive dental treatment is needed – for example, 75% treatment coverage for complicated procedures in a year, of up to a total of £700, may not result to significant savings if you will need to undergo these treatments for most of your teeth.