ComPro: Do You Need Dental Insurance?

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Do You Need Dental Insurance?

We receive inquires about dental insurance every day. We recommend that you do the math to determine whether it is a good value. This applies to group dental plans and individual dental policies. You begin by estimating the cost of dental services if you do not have dental insurance. This chart is a composite of average cost figures for Lancaster County, NE that was obtained from the search tools on dental insurance websites.

Average cost of dental services in Lancaster County, NE:

Periodic Dental Visit Periodic exam for established patient $35 – $50
Periodic Cleaning $65 – $90
Bitewing x-rays $45 – $65
Total $145
Other Services Filling, silver, 2 surfaces $100 – $200
Filling, composite, 2 surfaces $165 – $240
Root canal, molar $750 – $1000
Crown, porcelain fused to base material $750 – $1100


Dental plans are typically offered with 3 to 4 categories of services that are covered by the policy.

  • Preventive services
  • Basic services such as fillings and extractions
  • Major services including crowns, root canals, bridges
  • Orthodontia

Preventive services are generally covered right away and there is $0 or very limited expense to the patient. Basic services and Major services may have a waiting period before the policy will provide benefits. A waiting period of 6 months for Basic and 12 months for Major are typical on an individual policy or a group plan for a business with 5 or less employees. It will vary for larger group plans. Orthodontia is not covered on policies for individuals and can be an optional benefit for group plans.

Basic and major services may have a deductible that the patient pays, and then the insurance plan and the patient will share the cost. A common benefit is that the insurance pays 80% of basic services and 50% of major services. Most plans have a maximum benefit of $1000 to $1500 per year.

Most dental plans use a network of dentists. Using a network dentist will guarantee that you will not pay more than the contracted amount for a specific service. Some dental plans are indemnity plans. This means that the dental plan will pay a certain amount for a specified service and that you are responsible to pay the balance charged by the dentist.

Based on the chart above, if you go to the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning, and you have one set of x-rays during the year, you will spend $245 – $345 for your dental care. If your premium for health insurance is less than $30 per month, you will spend $360 for premium and get all of your preventive care for free. You will also receive help in paying for other services after the waiting period has been satisfied.

For most people, dental insurance is a good value. In the years where your care is limited to preventive care, it’s a break even benefit. But in the year where a tooth gets chipped or you need a filling or crown, you come out ahead with the dental insurance. ComPro offers dental insurance plans for employer groups and individuals.

by Chris McPike, Vice President
ComPro Insurance

402-488-5100 |

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