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||Check up (maintenance max benefita)||Scale polish (maintenance max benefita)||Proportion repaid||Treatment (max benefit)||Proportion repaid|
|NHS Clinic only|
|AXA PPP Core Cover||£123||18+||No Limit||No Limit||100%||No Limit||100%|
|Boots Core Plan||£117b||18+||£500cd||£500cd||100%||£500cd||100%|
|Bupa Dental Cover 10||£198b||18+||No Limit||No Limit||100%||No Limit||100%|
|WPA Level 1||£160b||18-65||No Limit||No Limit||100%||No Limit||100%|
|Private Clinics only/Private and NHS Clinics|
|AXA PPP Premier Cover||£246||18+||£125e||£125e||100%f||£1,000g||50%|
|Boots Private Level 1||£171||18+||£750d||£750d||Seeh||£750d||Seeh|
|Boots Private Level 2||£249||18+||£1,000d||£1,000d||Seeh||£1,000d||Seeh|
|Bupa Dental Cover 20||£337b||18+||£150e||£150e||100%||£700||75%|
|Simplyhealth Level 1||£104||18-69||£30||£30||100%n||£200||50%|
|Simplyhealth Level 2||£174||18-69||£60||£60||100%n||£400o||50%|
|Simplyhealth Level 3||£246||18-69||£90||£90||100%n||£600p||50%|
|Simplyhealth Level 4||£315||18-69||£120||£120||100%n||£800q||50%|
|WPA Providental 2||£227b||18-65||£250d||£250d||75%||£250d||75%|
All information correct December 2015.
a Maximum benefit is per year
b Starting premium for younger age groups is low
c NHS maximum benefit for maintenance and treatment follows England and Wales NHS Banding prices
d Maximum annual benefit for maintenance and treatment
e Combined maximum annual benefit for check up and scale and polish
f £500 limit for crowns, inlays and onlays
g 100% payout for NHS treatment
h Number of treatments per year and amount capped according to a benefit schedule
i 80% for scale and polish/hygiene treatment
j £210 limit for crowns, bridges and root canals
k £210 limit for crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays
l £310 limit for crown, bridges and root canals
m £410 limit for crowns, bridges and root canals
n 75% for scale and polish
o £200 limit for crowns, bridges. inlays and onlays
p £300 limit for crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays
q £400 limit for crowns, bridges, inlays and onlays