Dental Insurance in the UK – Is It Necessary?

Dental Insurance in the UK – Is It Necessary?

Dental insurance isn’t usually what most people think about when taking out a health insurance plan. That’s why it’s important to look at your policy. In many cases, getting extra cover for your teeth may be required.

old woman smiling dental insurance

Getting work done on your teeth is expensive. Dental insurance is therefore something that UK residents shouldn’t go without. As a specific type of health insurance, dental cover isn’t always free on the NHS. You could end up forking over a lot of money to keep your pearly whites intact.

Why get dental insurance? Well:

Dental care doesn’t normally come as part of standard health insurance policies!

Some providers include dental insurance as part of their offer, but this isn’t guaranteed. Others may offer it as an additional extra if you pay a bit more with your premium. The benefit of dental cover therefore means that all of your dental treatment costs for the year will be paid for. Much like other types of coverage, it varies.

Do UK residents really need dental insurance?

The NHS does provide dental care – but for most people, it’s not free. For example, if you receive care from an NHS dentist (such as getting dentures, bridges or crowns) you could be looking at costs of around £233.70 or more. In addition, waiting lists for treatment are common. The National Health Service may also only provide certain types of treatment.

As an example, braces may only be provided if you have a medical need for them. Those who want their teeth straightened for cosmetic purposes will have to cough up the money themselves. Dental insurance in the UK essentially covers these costs and can mean quicker access to treatment.

What’s covered by dental insurance? – Levels of cover

Depending on what you need, dental insurance plans will come with different levels of cover. This is not very different from other types of cover, since each patient has different needs. Levels of cover for dental insurance include:

Dental treatment policies for the NHS

If you get NHS-only dental insurance, the cost of your treatments on the National Health Service will be covered thanks to a monthly premium. What’s important here is to consider whether or not it’s worth it. Those who only need routine check-ups must consider the costs and spread them over the year. Perhaps it may be best to put the money away yourself and pay privately if you require more expensive treatment.

Private dental treatment policies

Dental insurance policies also appear in the private realm. These are generally there to cover more than basic treatment – as well as whatever you receive under the NHS. Be aware, however: Certain policies may only contribute to private treatment. That’s why it’s very important to check your policy before signing it.

What doesn’t dental insurance cover?

It is highly advisable that you are aware of what dental insurance doesn’t cover. These include:

  • Pre-Existing Dental Conditions: If you have any current dental issues, most insurance policies will refuse to cover them. For example, if you’re already suffering from a dental issue then you cannot take out cover to get it fixed.
  • Time Limits for Dental Treatment: Dental insurance policies often have time restrictions. These forbid you from making a claim within a certain time period after you’ve signed the contract– often 2-3 months.
  • Excesses on Dental Insurance: Depending on the policy, there may also be an excess. So, you’ll have to pay at least part of the first claim.
  • Age Limits: There are many policies which will only cover people within a certain age bracket (18 to 65, for example). This isn’t true for all policies, however.
  • Cosmetic Treatment: Dental treatment for purely cosmetic reasons usually isn’t covered. These include getting veneers and having your teeth whitened.

Your teeth are meant to last your entire life, so dental insurance is a must. It is of course up to you to check out different dental insurance policies and what kind of coverage will suit your situation best. As always, we at Insurfolio are here to help.