Dental Health Insurance
In some cases, buying dental insurance or a dental discount plan may help with some of the costs of your dental care. However, there are some important things to think about before buying a plan. Be sure to weigh the costs and benefits carefully!
Questions to ask yourself before buying a dental plan
1. Do I already have dental coverage?
Washington Apple Health (Medicaid/ProviderOne) now includes dental benefits but finding a provider that accepts adult Medicaid is limited. Some Medicare Advantage Plans, employer-based coverage, and commercial plans may also include dental benefits. Check with your plan!
2. Which dentists participate in which plans?
3. Does the plan have a waiting period?
For some plans, you may have to be enrolled in the plan for at least 6 months to a year to receive certain dental services. This is especially true for major dental services such as root canals, crowns, and dentures.
4. What are the costs for me? Some dental plans may have the following out-of-pocket costs, or more
a. Premium: monthly payment
b. Deductible: the amount of money you must pay before your insurance kicks in
c. Co-pay: a flat rate fee you must pay for dental visits and some services
d. Co-insurance: the percentage of the cost of dental services that you must pay
5. Does the plan have an annual maximum?
a. Many dental plans will only cover up to $1,000 of dental services per year. Some services such as preventative dental may be excluded from your annual maximum.
6. Does the plan have any exclusions?
For example, some plans may not cover replacement of teeth that were missing prior to purchasing their plan.
7. How does the cost of paying for a dental plan compare to paying for dental services on my own?
Check out local dental resources above to see if you can see a provider on a private pay basis or get access to a dental consult with providers who provide new patient discounts.
Average costs of common dental procedures* (American Dental Association’s 2011 Survey of Dental Fees, Pacific Division) *NOTE: These figures are averages only and actual prices may vary depending on specific region, dental clinic, procedure, etc.
• Comprehensive oral evaluation: $79
• Bitewing x-rays (four films): $66
• Prophylaxis (cleaning): $97
• Fillings: $132-$384 (depending on type)
• Extractions: $115-$445 (depending on type)
• Crowns: ~$1,000
• Root canals on a molar: $970
• Complete dentures (upper and lower): $3,048
• Partial dentures (upper and lower): $2,351-$3,255 (depending on type)
Patient Dental Resources
Use these patient resources when communicating with your dentist! Regardless of your dental knowledge and/or the language you communicate in, you should feel comfortable communicating with your family dentist about your dental needs and questions. Feel free to bring visual aids to your dental appointments as your provider explains treatment options and dental needs.