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We had so much feedback and additional questions from our last blog post on dental insurance, we decided to continue the conversation here.

If you would like to discuss your personal situation and find out what kind of coverage and benefits you have that you can use with us at Dentistry at 1818 Market Street, reach out to us and we can go over your details.

Here are some frequently asked questions about dental insurance:

Should you buy dental coverage?

If you’re currently without dental coverage, you might be wondering whether or not it’s worth buying your own policy. There’s no universal answer here, as everyone’s financial situation and oral health needs are different.

Generally, you’ll want to start by considering the costs of a dental plan versus your typical annual dental care costs. Break down what your dentist charges for twice-a-year cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and other routine care. Then, compare these costs with the dental plan premiums under different plans. Keep in mind that you may be able to deduct your insurance expenses come tax time.

You’ll also want to consider your overall dental health when deciding whether to buy a policy of your own. If you have a history of dental problems, it will probably be worth spending the money on coverage to have the additional peace of mind. If you’re on Medicare, remember that Medicare will not cover dental work unless medically necessary.

Can I buy dental insurance without health insurance?

Yes, you can buy dental insurance without health insurance. When you purchase a health insurance plan, it doesn’t automatically include dental coverage. Dental insurance is separate from health insurance.

Unlike health insurance, you can buy dental insurance anytime of the year and from any insurance provider. You do not have to buy health insurance and dental insurance from the same insurance company. Make sure that the dental insurance plan you choose has the coverage and benefits that you and your family need.

What does full coverage dental insurance mean?

The term “full coverage” can mean different things to different people. For some, “full coverage” means a dental plan that covers basic preventive services, such as routine checkups, cleanings and X-rays. Others expect a full-coverage dental plan to reduce the cost of any dental service they may need, such as crowns and root canals.

What is PPO dental insurance?

Like health insurance, there are different kinds of dental insurance plans. 2 types are health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and preferred provider organization (PPO) plans. PPO dental insurance means that you can choose any dentist, in or out of network, and you don’t need a referral. You also have the flexibility to visit dentists and specialists outside of your network, but at a higher cost.

Dental insurance from an HMO comes at a lower cost, but requires that you only visit dentists and specialists that are in-network. Dental HMO plans also commonly include copays.

What does dental deductible mean?

Every dental insurance plan is different. Much like in health insurance, a deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance company begins paying. A dental deductible is the amount you will have to pay towards your dental bill before your dental plan will contribute to the cost of your dental treatment. Typically, there is a basic level of preventive services like checkups that are covered whether you have paid your deductible or not.

Does dental insurance cover braces?

Today, kids and adults both need braces. If you or a family member needs orthodontic care, or will need it in the future, it’s smart to look for a dental insurance plan with orthodontic benefits in order to manage those costs. Different dental insurance plans offer different discounts on the cost of braces and other devices, so be sure to read carefully through the benefits offered in each plan.

Orthodontic care may not be covered if you begin treatment before you start a dental insurance plan. Be sure to get dental coverage before you start working with an orthodontist.

Does the Affordable Care Act cover dental?

No. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t cover dental insurance. However, under certain conditions you can purchase dental insurance from the Marketplace.

Am I required by law to have dental coverage?

No. The ACA doesn’t require adults to have dental insurance. Having dental coverage is an important part of being fit and staying healthy.


Dental insurance covers issues related to the teeth and gums, as well as preventative care such as annual cleanings. Learn the details of your dental insurance policy to understand your benefits and out-of-pocket costs, so you can get the most out of your dental insurance.

You do not need dental insurance to be seen at our Center City Philadelphia dental office. We are happy to treat everyone, regardless of insurance status. We offer affordable continuing care plans, as well as payment plans and can help with financing options. Contact Dentistry at 1818 Market Street today!

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