Best Private Dental Insurance | What is it and how much does it cost?


With dental health insurance, you can get the million dollar smile you’ve always dreamed of without having to pay an arm and a leg.

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Going to the dentist is usually not as bad as you think – until the bill comes.

Despite having one of the highest tooth decay rates in the world, statistics from SmileDirectClub show nearly a quarter of Australians have put off dental treatment due to cost.

Dental insurance can provide peace of mind to those who are worried about the cost of dental care.

Although the public health system provides dentists who charge wholesale, they are often only available to concession card holders and waiting lists go on for months.

If you’re looking for a new dental health insurance policy or a better deal, here’s everything you need to know.

How does dental insurance work and what is covered?

Dental coverage is divided into two categories: general dental care and major dental care. Each category has its own annual payment limit, which varies by insurer.

General dental care includes examinations, fillings, scaling and cleaning, and x-rays. Major dental work includes root canal, crowns and bridges, surgical extraction of teeth such as wisdom teeth, dentures and implants.

“Funds will generally pay a portion of the standard service fee. The benefits vary from fund to fund, with most covering an average of 50-60% of the fees charged,” a spokesperson for Private Healthcare Australia told

Dental costs themselves vary widely. According to the Australian Dental Association’s 2019 survey of dental practitioners, the average cost for a regular checkup is around $215, with $156 at the low end and $296 at the high end.

“According to the Australian Dental Association schedule, there are no fixed costs for specific treatments, as costs vary depending on experience, degree of difficulty of the procedure, background of the clinician in raw materials and the location of the dentist,” said Eithne Irving. , Deputy CEO, Australian Dental Association.


What should you look for to choose the best dental insurance?

Just as the prices of dental services vary, so do the amounts of reimbursements from private health insurance funds.

Although there are plans that cover 100% of a regular dental checkup, reimbursements may be lower for major dental work. For example, the average cost of a full crown is $1,573 and the average benefit paid is $672, or 23.6%.

Many funds impose a 12-month waiting period for access to key dental benefits and payment amounts usually have an annual cap.

Private Healthcare Australia said it was important to think about how you will use dental cover.

“Look at what you might need, like regular checkups, and be insured for big-ticket items you hope you never need,” the spokesperson said.

“When choosing a fund, look for no-spread control services and hedging limits in particular.”

Some funds partner with dental clinics or run their own clinics, and in these cases, disbursements are capped.


Is Dental Coverage Worth It?

If you’re concerned about the cost of dental health insurance, it’s important to consider whether you’ll get the most out of the premium you pay.

Are your teeth healthy enough to pay for the dentist yourself? Or would you rather have the safety net of insurance to cover unexpected costs?

“With regard to extras policies that include dental, physio, optometry and other natural therapies, the Australian Dental Association believes that these generally do not offer good value for money” , Ms. Irving said.

“Rebates paid are well below average treatment costs, and for some policies rebates have not increased in many years, let alone kept pace with inflation.”


“Prevention is the best dental treatment”

“Prevention is the best insurance when it comes to oral health,” Ms. Irving said.

“Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth daily with dental floss, following a low-sugar diet and seeing a dentist regularly will avoid having to cover additional dental care costs. .”

However, it pays to shop around if considering additional coverage, as not all funds are created equal.

For anyone who chooses not to have dental coverage, it is important to set a budget to save a regular amount in case expensive treatment is needed.

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