Choosing the right dental insurance is crucial for maintaining your oral health and managing dental care costs effectively. At DenScore, we understand that navigating the myriad of dental insurance options can be overwhelming. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve outlined the key factors you need to consider when selecting the perfect dental insurance plan.

1. Understand Annual Maximums

Annual maximums refer to the maximum amount your dental insurance will pay for your dental care within a year. Typically, these amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000. Once you hit this limit, you’ll be responsible for any additional costs. When choosing a plan, consider your dental care needs. If you anticipate extensive dental work, a plan with a higher annual maximum might be more beneficial.

2. Evaluate Coinsurance and Copays

Coinsurance is the percentage of the cost you’ll pay for covered services after you’ve met your deductible. For example, if your plan has an 80/20 coinsurance rate, your insurance covers 80%, and you pay 20%. Copays, on the other hand, are fixed amounts you pay for specific services. Understanding these costs is vital. Plans with lower coinsurance and copays might have higher premiums but could save you money in the long run, especially if you require frequent dental visits.

3. Know Your Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance starts to cover costs. Deductibles can vary significantly between plans. Some plans have separate deductibles for different types of services, such as basic versus major dental work. Assess your budget and how much you’re willing to pay upfront to determine the deductible that works best for you.

4. Be Aware of Waiting Periods

Many dental insurance plans have waiting periods for certain procedures, especially major ones like crowns or root canals. This means you must wait a specified period before coverage kicks in. Waiting periods can range from a few months to over a year. If you need immediate dental care, look for plans with shorter or no waiting periods.

5. Examine Coverage for Dental Procedures

Not all dental insurance plans cover every type of procedure. Basic procedures like cleanings, fillings, and X-rays are usually covered, but coverage for more extensive procedures can vary. Here’s a breakdown of common categories and considerations:

Preventive Care: Most plans cover preventive care (cleanings, exams, X-rays) at 100%. Ensure your plan covers these services as they are crucial for maintaining oral health.
Basic Procedures: Includes fillings, extractions, and root canals. Typically, these are covered at 70-80%.
Major Procedures: Includes crowns, bridges, and dentures. Coverage for these is often lower, around 50%.
Orthodontics: Coverage for braces and other orthodontic treatments varies widely. Some plans offer no coverage, while others might cover up to 50%.
Cosmetic Procedures: Procedures like teeth whitening and veneers are usually not covered. If you’re interested in these, look for plans that offer some level of coverage or discounts.

6. Consider Procedures Not Often Covered

Certain high-cost procedures, such as dental implants and orthodontics, are not always covered by standard dental insurance plans. Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss but are often excluded due to their high cost. Orthodontic treatments, essential for aligning teeth, also have limited coverage. If these procedures are important to you, look for specialized plans or add-ons that include them.

7. Popularity of the Plan with Dentists

Check if the dental insurance plan is widely accepted by dentists in your area. A plan that is popular among dentists ensures that you have a broad selection of providers to choose from. Networks vary, so verify that your preferred dentist accepts the insurance. DenScore recommends checking the insurance company’s network directory or consulting with your dentist’s office directly.

8. Compare Costs and Benefits

Finally, weigh the overall costs and benefits of the plan. Consider the monthly premium, annual maximum, deductibles, coinsurance, copays, and the scope of coverage. A plan with a lower premium might seem attractive, but if it comes with high out-of-pocket costs or limited coverage, it may not be the best value.


Choosing the right dental insurance requires careful consideration of several factors. By understanding annual maximums, coinsurance, copays, deductibles, waiting periods, and the types of procedures covered, you can select a plan that fits your needs and budget. At DenScore, we aim to simplify this process by providing you with the necessary information to make a confident choice. Remember, the best dental insurance plan is one that offers comprehensive coverage, suits your financial situation, and is accepted by your preferred dentists.

For more personalized advice and to explore dental insurance plans tailored to your needs, visit DenScore today. We’re here to help you achieve optimal oral health without the stress of unexpected costs.

DenScore: Your Trusted Dental Navigator for Personalized Solutions

Understand all aspects of dental care with DenScore. Utilize our free online dental navigation tool to get answers if you have questions about pain in your mouth, cosmetic dental procedures, replacement of missing teeth and more. Our care navigators can also assist you in finding the right dentist or dental insurance to ensure you will be able to stay on top of your oral health.


Written By: Kushagra Goel

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gita Yitta