Dental insurance explained
By Simon Miller
Dental insurance explained
As well as making trips to the dentist using the NHS pay-as-you-go system, or privately, you can also opt for dental insurance as a way of funding. But what is dental insurance and how does it work?
Dental insurance - how it works
With most dental insurance policies you pay your dentist for any treatment received and then claim the money back from the insurer.
Most policies require you to be signed up for around three to six months before they will pay out for treatment. Some only cover you for NHS dentists but others cover some private treatment, too.
Find out more: Dental insurance - pros and cons
Dental insurance: what treatment is covered?
Dental insurance policies cover maintenance such as check-ups, scale and polish, and X-rays as well as treatments such as fillings, root canals and crowns at NHS practices, private clinics, or sometimes both. Cosmetic dental work, such as teeth whitening, is generally excluded.
Most NHS-only dental insurance policies will pay out an unlimited amount towards treatment on the NHS over a policy year. All of the private policies we looked at set maximum benefit levels for check-ups, scale and polish/hygienist visits and treatment as well a cap on the percentage that they would pay towards it.
Dental insurance policies compared
The level of cover depends on whether the dental treatment you receive is from an NHS or private clinic as well as providers' fee schedules. The table shows the starting annual premium for dental insurance policies covering maintenance and treatment for a 60-year-old.
|Dental Insurance Policies|
|Provider||Annual premium (60 year old)||Age range||Limit (£) checkup / scale and polisha||Limit (%) checkup / scale and polisha||Period (mths) before claim for checkup / scale and polish||Limit (£) routine treatmentb||Limit (%) routine treatmentb||Period (mths) before claim for routine treatment||Limit (£) emergency treatment||Limit (%) emergency treatment|
|NHS Clinic only|
|AXA PPP Core Cover||£123.60||18+||No limit||100%||1||No limit||100%||1||£2500c||100%|
|Boots Core Plan||£126.94||18+||No limit||100%||3||No limit||100%||3||£500||100%|
|Bupa Dental Cover 10 d||£199.32e||18+||No limit for NHS treatment||100%||0||No limit||100%||4||No limit||100%|
|Dencover NHS||£5.99 per month/£71.88||18+||£19.70 checkups & x-rays / £19.70 polish||100%||0||£107.80||100%||2||£425||100%|
|WPA Level 1||£164.40||18-65||No limit||100%||1||No limit||100%||3||£500f||75%|
|Private Clinics only/Private and NHS Clinics|
|AXA PPP Premier Cover||£247.80||18+||£125||100%||3||£1,000||50%||3||£2,500c||100%|
|Boots Private Level 1||£185.57||18+||£750g||100%||3||£750g||100%||3||£1,000||100%|
|Boots Private Level 2||£270||18+||£1,000g||100%||3||£1,000g||100%||3||£1,500||100%|
|Bupa Dental Cover 20||£355.20e||18+||£150||100%||0||£700||75%||4||£600||100%|
|Dencover Silver||£8.50 per month/£120||18+||£30 checkups & x-rays / £35 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 80% polish||0||£210||55%||2||£850||100%|
|Dencover Gold||£13.99 per month/£167.88||18+||£55 checkups & x-rays / £65 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 80% polish||0||£410h||55%||2||£850||100%|
|Dencover Platinum||£19.99 per month/£239.88||18+||£85 checkups & x-rays / £95 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 80% polish||0||£610i||55%||2||£1,100||100%|
|Dencover Diamond||£25.99 per month/£311.88||18+||£115 checkups & x-rays / £125 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 80% polish||0||£810j||55%||2||£1,100||100%|
|Simplyhealth Level 1||£8.68 per month/£104.16||18-79||£40 checkups & x-rays / £35 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 75% polish||0||£200k||50%||3||£500||100%|
|Simplyhealth Level 2||£14.47 per month/£104.16||18-79||£70 checkups & x-rays / £65 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 75% polish||0||£400l||50%||3||£500||100%|
|Simplyhealth Level 3||£20.51 per month/£246.12||18-79||£100 checkups & x-rays / £95 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 75% polish||0||£600m||50%||3||£500||100%|
|Simplyhealth Level 4||£26.24 per month/£314.88||18-79||£130 checkups & x-rays / £125 polish||100% checkups & x-rays / 75% polish||0||£800n||50%||3||£500||100%|
|WPA Providental 2||£232.80||18-65||£250g||75%||1||£250g||75%||3||£1,000o||75%|
All information correct March 2017.
a Maximum benefit is per year
b Includes cover for fillings and crowns
c Covers up to 4 incidents per year
d NHS maximum benefit for maintenance and treatment follows England and Wales NHS Banding prices, not guaranteed in Scotland or Northern Ireland
e Quote valid for 14 days from 17 March 2017
f Covers up to 2 incidents per year
g Amount covers combined cost of both checkups and polishes and routine treatment
h A maximum of £210 can be used to cover crowns, root canals and bridge treatment
i A maximum of £310 can be used to cover crowns, root canals and bridge treatment
j A maximum of £410 can be used to cover crowns, root canals and bridge treatment
k A maximum of £200 can be used to cover crowns, bridge treatment, inlays and onlays
l A maximum of £200 can be used to cover crowns, bridge treatment, inlays and onlays
m A maximum of £300 can be used to cover crowns, bridge treatment, inlays and onlays
n A maximum of £400 can be used to cover crowns, bridge treatment, inlays and onlays
o Covers up to 4 incidents per year