Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance

What is dental insurance? 

Private dental insurance is a type of health care cover that insures you for any dental-related costs. Depending on the level of cover you have, dental insurance covers various dental procedures, routine checkups, fillings, treatments and X-rays. On some dental-care plans, cosmetic (orthodontic and teeth whitening) treatment is covered too. Dental insurance plans usually cover you to a certain amount each year and require you to pay an annual fee before you’re fully covered. 

Dental insurance is becoming more popular as a type of employee benefit offered by companies to employees. This type of insurance is called a group dental plan. 

Who should get dental insurance? 

The short answer is that everyone can benefit from dental insurance. Even in the UK where we have the NHS, dental procedures can cost — not to mention the waiting times to get an appointment…

Dental insurance means that you’re not left out of pocket for dental care. And should you ever need any bigger procedures (e.g. fillings or root canal!), you can relax knowing you’re covered, will be seen fast and that you’re in good hands! Plus, regardless of your age and overall health, it’s a great way to maintain good oral health. 

Types of dental insurance

In the UK there are two main types of dental insurance available: 

  • Private dental insurance

This type of insurance covers you for things like routine checkups, fillings and tooth extractions. As mentioned, some plans also cover you for cosmetic dental treatments too — depending on your level of cover. With private dental insurance, you usually have to pay an annual premium, plus a one-time upfront cost to enrol in the policy. 

  • Denplan

Denplan has similar coverage to private dental insurance, except you pay for cover on a monthly basis through a payment plan. You don’t need to pay an annual premium with Denplan, however the level of cover isn’t as wide as with private dental insurance, and not all dentists accept it. 

How does dental insurance work as an employee benefit?

Some companies offer dental care as part of their benefits offering to employees. This type of insurance might come alongside other healthcare benefits such as private medical insurance and life insurance, and as a group plan for all employees at that company. 

Employee dental care policies usually cover employees for routine dental care including: 

  • Checkups
  • Fillings
  • Cleaning
  • Emergency treatment
  • Specialist care

Some policies also cover cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and orthodontic care — so it’s always worthwhile checking your policy to see what you’re covered for!

Some popular providers include BupaAxaSmile Dental Care & Denplan

Is dental insurance tax-efficient?

Yes! When offered as an employee benefit, dental insurance is non-taxable — it’s exempt from income tax and National Insurance contributions. This means that both employees and employers can save money on tax, so it’s a win-win benefit. 

If you’re an employer and are considering offering dental care to your team, you should keep in mind that there are limits on the value of tax-free benefits. It’s always a good idea to speak with a tax advisor or accountant to ensure that you’re compliant with all tax laws and regulations.

Alternatives to dental insurance

If you’re not quite sure if dental insurance is for you, here are some alternatives to help you weigh up your options: 

  • Paying for your treatment

Without dental insurance, you can choose to pay for your own treatment out of your own pocket. This can be costly depending on the type of treatment needed, but can also be a good option for those who only need occasional dental care and can afford to pay for it when needed. 

  • NHS 

In the UK, we’re lucky to have access to dental care on the NHS for free, or for a reduced fee if eligible. However, this is usually very basic cover, often is hard to get an appointment quickly, and doesn’t cover you for many other treatments. 

  • Dental savings plan 

This is a type of discount dental plan that allows members to get discounts on dental treatment from participating dentists. These plans are usually cheaper than dental insurance, but sometimes have limited types of treatment and dentists available.

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