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Need dental insurance? How to find the best dental insurance plan for you

dental insurance
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If you're new to dental insurance, you may be wondering about where to start or even how to start looking. There are a number of different factors to consider when shopping for dental insurance. And after you've outlined all your personal and your family's needs, check out our picks for the best dental insurance providers. 

Finding dental insurance: What to consider

Everyone's needs and financial situations are different, so what is really the best dental insurance policy for different people will be different. That's because not all dental insurance policies and providers are created equal. While our guide to the top picks for best dental insurance, which you can purchase online, should work for most people's needs, here's how to get started on shopping for policies. 

1. Who needs or will need dental insurance coverage?

If you're shopping for dental insurance, you may not be shopping just for yourself. For example, you and your spouse may be able to get a family plan, and if you have a child, they may benefit as well. Ultimately, the number of people on the plan in part determines how much you'll pay every month. And if you can, anticipate if and when your situation will change (getting married, having a child, quitting your job, etc).

2. How much are you willing to pay?

Take a look at your finances and determine how much you can or are willing to spend every month on dental insurance. Every policy is different, and the quality of care can reflect the cost and vice versa. Also take into consideration how much work you need done on your teeth, if any. This may also reduce the number of policy options or providers that fit your needs. 

3. Is your dentist "in-network?"

For those who already have a dentist and who don't want to switch dentists, you may want to consider only policies and providers who consider your dentist "in-network." To find out, you can call the insurance provider, or even your dentist's office. 

If you don't already have a dentist, you may want to pick a dental insurance plan with a wider variety and higher number of in-network dentists - that way, you're more likely to find one who fits your needs and is conveniently accessible. For a rundown on how to pick your new dentist, check out our tips on how to pick a dentist. And don't forget to read patient reviews of dentists for added precaution. 

4. Find out if any services are excluded from the policy of your choosing

Whether or not you want or need work done, you'll want to check each policy you think is a good fit for any excluded services. For example, it's common that some adult orthodontic procedures are not covered by dental insurance policies unless there's a medical reason to get them. If you're planning for, or think you'll eventually need oral surgery, check to see if your chosen policies cover this procedure, and how much of it. 

5. Don't forget to do your research

Because not all dental insurance policies and providers are right for everyone, it's important to do your research: ask your dentist for advice, read customer reviews, and read the fine print on every policy you're considering. For patients' convenience, we have a list of our favorite dental insurance providers to help you get started. 

If you have any questions about a provider's policy or what it can do for you, you should contact the administrator for an updated quote or other necessary information.