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What is Dental Insurance and What is Covered?

Benefits, Health, Insurance & Taxes

If you or someone in your family needs dental care, the process of finding dental coverage can be overwhelming. Though it may be a subject that comes up often, dental insurance is a topic that many people don’t fully understand.

The good news is that it’s not difficult to understand what dental insurance is and what is covered. Read on to learn more about different types of policies and what’s covered.

What is Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance means insurance coverage for dental procedures, but this does not include cosmetic dentistry. Only those dental procedures which are deemed necessary by either a dentist or any other medical professional are covered by dental coverage. These procedures are then classified as either preventive or diagnostic, we’ll look at them later in this article.

You will find tonnes of private insurers offering different medical insurance plans that cover dental coverage. Therefore, you should carefully weigh your options while selecting coverage.

Except for emergency situations and emergency procedures carried out in hospitals, public medical insurance plans offer only minimal dental care.

Basic private insurance plans that offer dental coverage, provide financial aid for x-rays, scaling, dental consultations and extractions.

However, comprehensive plans (expensive) offer more dental coverage – orthodontics & restorative care – such as bridges, dentures, braces, onlays and crowns.

Dental Insurance In Canada

Most people in Canada have to get dental coverage from private insurers. However, you wouldn’t have to buy dental insurance separately as it is offered under medical insurance. This insurance offers either partial or full coverage for certain dental procedures.

If you require dental coverage that covers higher levels of care, the insurance premiums would be high too. But it’s a good thing that basic dental coverage can also make a lot of difference.

Different dental insurance plans offered by different insurers are broadly divided into two levels of care: preventive care & restorative care. Typically, the former is covered under basic plans and the latter requires comprehensive plans.

Here’s what is covered under preventive care & restorative care:

Preventive Care

  • dental diagnosis
  • different tests such as x-rays
  • lab tests
  • dental fillings
  • scaling or cleaning
  • tooth extractions

Restorative Care

  • endodontics
  • periodontics
  • braces
  • oral surgery
  • dental crowns
  • dental bridges 
  • dentures

Do Dental Insurance Plans & Coverage Vary According to the Province?

Each province in Canada offers different levels of care under public dental coverage, and even private insurance plans differ. Private insurance is designed to fill in the gaps of coverage that are not available in public insurance.

Hence, pricing, coverage, and reimbursements vary from province to province, under both public & private insurance.

The fees of similar dental procedures vary from province to province. For example, 30 minutes of scaling (cleaning) costs around $85 in Nova Scotia, $90 in BC, $115 in Ontario, and a whopping $140 in Alberta! See? The same dental procedure has significant differences in fees in different provinces. Therefore, insurance plans in different provinces have different premiums & coverage.

To Sum It Up

Dental coverage is a crucial part of your health insurance and it shouldn’t be ignored at any cost. Why? Because dental care is not cheap and can make a dent in your savings. Therefore, it is always a wise decision to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Learn more about insurance plans offered in Canada.

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