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What is the “Waiting Period” for Dental Insurance?

Waiting periods are a set time that has to pass before your insurance will pay for restorative dental treatments.

Preventive dental care - annual checkups, x-rays, routine cleanings and similar treatments – typically have no waiting period.

Basic restorative procedures - fillings, simple extractions, deep cleanings, etc. - usually have a three-month waiting period.

Major restorative procedures like crowns, root canals, bridges, oral surgery and dentures often have a waiting period of six months to one year.

During the waiting period, you pay out of pocket for dental care. You are not reimbursed after the waiting period is over.

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Does Dental Insurance Cover Everything?

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Does Dental Insurance Cover Everything?

It you need restorative care for teeth that are fragile, failing or missing, dental insurance may not deliver the savings you were hoping for. Read the policy documentation carefully. Here are some of the terms to know:

Annual Maximum Spending Limit

The amount your dental insurance plan will pay annually toward your cost of care. Most insurance plans have an annual limit of $1,000-$1,500 – about the cost of a single root canal and crown.

Pre-existing Conditions

Dental insurance rarely pays for in-progress work or dental problems present before you purchased insurance. (Sometimes, insurance does pay after an extended waiting period, typically three years).

"Missing Tooth" Exclusion

If the policy has this exclusion, it will not pay to fix a tooth or teeth missing prior to purchasing the plan.

Alternate Benefit Clause

Your insurance coverage is restricted to the cheapest treatment, which is not necessarily the one your dentist recommends.

Lifetime Maximum

This is a permanent limit on coverage for a specific procedure, typically braces or dentures.

Save on Dental Care Now

Dental savings plans , also known as dental discount plans or “fee for service” plans are an alternative to dental insurance. These plans are not insurance but can help you reduce your dental costs by 10-60%.

How Do Dental Savings Plans Work?

When you join a dental savings plan, you gain access to a network of dentists who have agreed to provide discounted rates to plan members. You pay the discounted rate directly to the dentist after receiving dental care.

  • Save 10-60% on dental care, with reduced rates from 140,000+ dentists.
  • Use whenever needed: no maximum annual or lifetime spending limits.
  • Discounts on all included dental treatments within 72-hours of joining.
  • Everyone is accepted, there are no background checks.
  • Many plans include savings on prescriptions, vision and hearing care and other healthcare services.
  • Have dental health problems, or dental work already in progress? Good news – you still save with a dental plan.
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Is Dental Insurance Worth It?

It depends on your dental care needs:

Excellent Dental Health

If dental health is excellent, dental insurance may be all you need. You’re pre-paying for the preventive care essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Stay in-network, and after the waiting period you’ll save on your dental care.

Average cost of dental insurance:
$350 A Year for individuals, $550 For a Family.

Substandard Dental Health

If you have dental health issues that need immediate treatment, or will cost more than $1,000 to address, consider an alternative such as a dental savings plan. Dental savings plans have no annual spending limit, and your plan will activate within 72 hours of purchase, making them a great way to regain and then maintain your dental health.

Average cost of dental savings plan:
$125 a year for individuals, $150 for a family plan.

What Can Dental Insurance Potentially Cover?

What is the “Missing Tooth” Clause?

Dental insurance plans may not cover the costs for some treatments, no matter how long you wait – such as replacing a tooth that you lost prior to purchasing the policy or dental work that is already in progress.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Cosmetic Treatments?

Most dental insurance plans do not cover “elective” procedures such as teeth whitening or overlays, they cover treatments that you need for dental health, not aesthetic reasons.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Typically, no. Dental implants are considered a cosmetic treatment, since there are less-expensive ways of restoring missing teeth.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Some plans do. But with an annual DPPO maximum coverage limit of $1,500, and braces costing $4,500-$7,000+, you’ll pay most of the cost of orthodontic treatment out-of-pocket.


Joining a dental savings plan offered on makes a good thing even better. We’ve helped keep over a million people healthy and smiling since we opened for business in 1998. Along with all the advantages of your plan, you also get friendly, professional customer care from our experienced U.S-based team. And your satisfaction is ensured with our 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pay less, smile more! Join a dental savings plan today. Find out more at, or
call 1-888-632-5353 for help choosing a plan now.