Dental Insurance

Insurance For Patients, Dentists and Dental Surgeries

Whether an emergency, braces, or another type of cosmetic dental surgery, there are many times when you might need to take a loan out to cover the costs. This guide covers the frequently asked questions about dental loans, why you would need one, and what the other options are.

WHY WOULD I NEED TO TAKE A LOAN OUT – I AM COVERED BY THE NHS

Although the NHS subsidies dental work for UK residents, there are still occasions where you might want to take out a loan to get the treatment you need. If you need work in Band Three (see below for pricing) then you will have to shell out £233.70 for treatment. If this comes as a shock, and is not planned, then you might want to borrow an unsecured loan to spread the cost out over a month or more to make it affordable.

Always remember – that the best way to reduce costs is prevention – keep your teeth clean!

WHAT ARE MY ALTERNATIVES TO TAKING OUT A LOAN?

Paying with a loan would be considered being ‘pay-as-you-go’ because you pay for the cost of treatment right after it is completed. However if you don’t want to do this and want to spread the payments out you can use one of the following schemes:

CAPITATION SCHEMES 

A capitation scheme is designed to help you save for dental treatment. Under this scheme you make a monthly payment by direct debit in to your dentist or an independent account – whoever is running the scheme. There two different types of plans – a comprehensive or maintenance plan. Depending on what dentist you use, and how healthy your mouth is, the price will vary.

If you take out a maintenance plan it will be provided by your dentist and its main priority is to offer preventative care. Included in this price would be a set number of appointments per year including any scale and polish you need, and any x-rays. If you need anything above and beyond you will need to pay extra charges.

For a comprehensive plan you will normally receive unlimited dental treatment. However, again, laboratory fees and some types of treatment (including implants) may not be covered. For this you will need a clean bill of health for your dental hygiene before you are eligible to join many of the schemes. To do this you might need a full pay-as-you-go treatment to achieve this.

Depending on what scheme you take out it might include insurance for accidental damage and any emergencies that require dental work.

DENTAL INSURANCE

This can cover both private costs and NHS costs and can be found either by yourself, or through your employer if it is a service they offer. Depending on the level of cover you choose, the cost will be determined accordingly.

Both routine, and unplanned treatment is covered under dental insurance and can include emergency or accidental treatment, overseas, and in the UK. It can also cover cash payments in the hospital, oral cancer cover and a number of other items.

Comparing one plan to another can be difficult because there are a number of different providers, each with their own plans. The main factors you want to consider if you do this are:

  • How long do you have to wait after you start the plan, to claim from it.
  • Am I covered for the things that are important to me – treatments and check-ups.
  • What percentage of the dental costs will you get back?
  • Is there an excess for the policy? This means how much do you have to pay out of each claim before you are reimbursed.
  • Is there a total amount you are covered for and is there a limit for specific treatments under the policy?
  • How does the insurer deal with problems with your teeth that you had before you purchased an insurance.

PRIVATE MEDICAL INSURANCE

Most private medical insurance do not cover everyday dental treatment, but will in most cases cover you if you need to be taken to the hospital for treatment. For example if you have your wisdom teeth out or need to fix a broken jaw, this could be covered. To see what is covered you will need to read your policy very carefully because you might think you are covered for certain things, where in reality you are not.

CASH PLANS

A cash plan is similar to insurance in a lot of ways. If you want to claim back some of the costs you have incurred for dental or medical treatment on the NHS, or privately, then it can help. There are normally limits on the amount you can claim over any membership year.

In some cases you can use your cash plan for treatments by other professionals including physiotherapists, chiropodists or opticians.

A big difference between a cash plan and insurance is that it is not regulated by the law in the way that the insurance companies are. They also do not cover anything that is not expected. It is for these two reasons that you do not get the same benefits as you do with dental insurance. Make sure to see how much the benefits and refunds are from your individual plan before you commit.

 MY FRIEND DOESN’T PAY FOR DENTAL TREATMENT – DO I HAVE TO?

There are exclusions from being charged for dental work:

  • are under the age of 18
  • are under the age of 19 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have a baby under 12 months old
  • are getting Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based)/Employment and Support Allowance
  • are getting Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • have an HC2 certificate
  • have an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate.

If you do not fall under this criteria then you will have to pay for treatment – see below. However always check with your dentist to make sure you don’t qualify especially if you are unsure. The costs change each year, so make sure to stay up to date. Before starting any treatment make sure to get a quote (an exact cost of work) before getting started.

HOW MUCH DOES TREATMENT ON THE NHS COST?

Band Cost What is covered.
One England – £19.70
Wales – £13.50
Check-ups and examinations, x-rays, scale and polish, diagnosis and preventive work. This also covers when you need to see a specialist immediately – usually when you are in extreme pain, have swelling or excessive bleeding.
Two England – £53.90
Wales – £43.00
Fillings, root canal treatment, relining dentures, extractions, and also any treatment you need that comes under band one*.
Three England – £233.70
Wales – £185.00
Complicated work such as crowns, veneers, dentures and bridges. Once again this payment also covers any treatment that comes under the other two bands**.