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What New Graduates Need to Know About Dental Insurance

Posted on May 30, 2024 in Insurance

What New Graduates Need to Know About Dental Insurance

Graduating high school or college might be the first time you step out into the “real world” — that’s a huge step! As you enter the working world, it’s important to think about more than your career goals — your health should also be a focus. Dental insurance is critical to maintaining oral health after school when your parent’s insurance policy may no longer cover you. Here’s a simple guide to what you should know about dental insurance.

Why You Need Dental Insurance?

Taking care of your smile is good for your overall health and going to the dentist is a good place to start. Dental care can be expensive if you have to pay for routine cleanings or more extensive procedures like fillings or a root canal. However, dental insurance helps reduce these costs and is more affordable than you might think. Most plans cover preventive exams, and taking care of yourself now may save you money in the future by preventing a costly dental emergency later.

Once you’re out on your own, it’s important to continue visiting the dentist regularly for checkups.

What Does Dental Insurance Cover?

Every dental insurance plan is different, so check with your provider to see what is covered. Here are some common things to look for:

  • Preventive care: This includes regular exams, cleanings and X-rays. Most insurance plans cover these services at 100%, which means no additional cost to you as long as you use an in-network provider.
  • Basic procedures: This usually includes fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions. Insurance usually covers a percentage of these costs, and you’ll be left to pay the rest out-of-pocket.
  • Major procedures: For more extensive dental work like bridges, crowns, or dentures, insurance may pay an even smaller percentage of the cost. Ask your dental insurance provider for specifics.

How Do I Choose the Right Plan?

When choosing a dental plan, you may have the option to enroll in a plan offered by your employer or purchase an individual insurance plan. An employer plan may offer richer benefits and lower premiums than an individual plan. Also, many employers will pay 50-100% of the premium making your dental insurance even more affordable. When comparing plans, consider these items:

  • Network: Does the dental plan offer a wide network of dentists? Staying within the network usually means a lower cost of services because the provider is given a maximum fee for their services. This means the dentist cannot charge you their full fee.
  • Coverage details: Compare the percentages each insurance will cover for basic and major procedures.
  • Premium: Weigh the cost of the insurance against the benefits you receive. A plan with a higher premium may cover more for procedures you need, saving you money in the long run.


Graduating is a huge step toward your future and the decisions you must make as an adult. Don’t overlook the importance of purchasing dental insurance, as it’s a tool that can help keep oral health care costs down and your smile shining bright. Take time to choose a plan that fits your needs and budget.

Learn more about your dental insurance options.