Dental Insurance FAQs

David Woodfield By David Woodfield

Is it possible to buy an insurance policy for dental issues?

Yes, a handful of UK providers will provde an insurance policy specifically designed for dental cover only.

Wait - aren’t dental treatments covered by private health insurance?

You can get covered for dental treatments on most private health insurance policies. However dental care is usually not included as standard and may be added on as a benefit to complement your health insurance policy. This can work out cheaper, depending on your needs - a comparison site like allows you to tailor your policy online and see real time updates to the price as you choose your additional extras, such as dental care

So is dental cover an option on health insurance policies?

Yes, with most health insurance policies you can include dental cover as an optional extra. This can either be added as comprehensive cover with an annual limit or a cash-plan style benefit which can pay up to a certain amount towards your dental fees.

Why don't insurers cover dental treatment as standard on health insurance policies?

Most health insurance policies can be tailor built so that you only buy the cover you need. For example, Vitality have a modular system that allows you to select the inclusion or exclusion of cover for cancer, alternative therapies, dental and so on. Similar policies can be found with other well-known Health Insurance providers like BUPA or AXA and lesser-known specialist companies like Simply Health or Freedom Health.

This is because some people may be happy with their dental treatment but want cover for medical procedures and vice versa.

In addition, dentistry and healthcare is usually treated separately and you would have a specific dentist and a specific GP for it, so it makes sense to keep insurance separate also.

Health insurance is separate from dental insurance but can be combined into one policy in a similar way you may buy your broadband and TV together from the same provider.

What's the best health insurance for dental treatments?

Dental and Health insurance are not as straightforward as car or home insurance as there are many more variables over what you might like covered and fewer ‘industry standards’ within policies that make it easy to compare them (unlike say “third party fire and theft” vs “comprehensive” insurance for cars).

For example, many health insurers have additional options for dental benefits that may have an annual limit, and this limit then varies from company to company.

As a result, it is difficult to identify the best insurance for dental treatments and different people will find different policies are best suited to their own needs.

You can compare health insurance policies with the additional dental options by using

Are there any dental procedures that are never covered?

Typically most dental insurance or health insurance policies with a dental benefit will not cover cosmetic treatments. This extends to teeth whitening or orthodontic treatments including those that may require extractions and braces.

Policies will also not cover treatment that help you wear dentures, bridges or implants.

What could dental treatment cost me if I was uninsured?

Dental treatment can be expensive and some procedures incur a surcharge even through the NHS. There are three NHS charge bands which are:

  • Band 1 - £18.80 covers examinations, diagnosis and advice including X-rays and polishes.
  • Band 2 - £51.30 covers Band 1 plus fillings, root canals and teeth extractions.
  • Band 3 - £222.50 covers Bands 1 and 2 and other procedures such as crowns, dentures and bridges.

Cosmetic procedures, which are not covered by dental insurance, can range from a few hundred pounds for teeth whitening to thousands of pounds for orthodontic treatment.

It is important to remember that if you are under 18 you are entitled to free NHS dental treatment. Many people who are on a low wage or on the welfare system can also benefit from free NHS dental treatment. Pregnant women are also entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

Finally, if you are considering private treatment it is worth noting the cost is higher than getting the same treatments with the NHS. Figures obtained by collecting information from callers to the Dental Health Foundation showed that private costs varied. In the best cases they could be similar to NHS costs (e.g. a small amalgam filling cost £50.50 on the NHS and £28-50 privately). However in most cases they were more expensive (e.g. a root canal treatment cost £50.50 on the NHS but between £200 and £650 privately).

How does a dental cash plan differ from health insurance with dental cover?

Whilst a dental cash plan and a dental insurance (either standalone or as an option on a private health insurance policy) can cover the same events, they are likely to differ a little in how the cover is applied.

Typically, dental cash plans aim to be cheaper, and are designed to help deal with limited amounts of regular health care expenses such as check ups, x-rays and sometimes oral hygiene visits. They can also include cover for emergency treatments (e.g. pain relief), however they often won’t cover other treatments like fillings or extractions.

In contrast dental Insurance policies, or health insurance policies that include dental cover options, will cover higher amounts and a wider range of treatments.

In addition, the method in which the policy operates is likely to be different. Many cash plans assume the customer pays for the treatment and then claims ‘cash back’ whereas an insurance policy will pay for the fees up front without the need for a payment from the customer.

As a result, dental insurance or health insurance with dental options tend to be more expensive than cashplans.

How much does dental health insurance cost?

The cost of any insurance policy is likely to vary depending on your own circumstances and the levels of cover you choose. You can find a health insurance policy including dental cover and get a personalised quote by using To help give you a rough idea of what the costs can be, we have noted some of the costs that insurers are quoting on their own sites below.

For stand-alone dental insurance policies, AXA PPP advertise two levels of cover - their Core Cover from £9.95 per month (that covers NHS treatments) and their Premium Cover from £19.95 per month (which covers private treatments). Simply Health advertise their cover from "28p per day" which is around £8-9 per month.

Finally, we looked at the cost of dental cover as an optional add on to private health policies in our article What does Health Insurance Cost? You can also compare the price of health insurance plans with quotes tailored to you by using

Remember that the insurers' headline advertising messages are often created by using their cheapest possible policy (as of course this gives a lower price for them to quote). This is important as the cheaper a policy is, often it will cover fewer types of treatment. In addition the limits on payouts for any one type of treatment can be lower too. The message - make sure you are comfortable with what you are paying for!

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