2-Minute Money Manager: Should I Buy Dental Insurance?

Photo by bezikus / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to your “2-Minute Money Manager,” a short video feature answering money questions submitted by readers and viewers.

Today’s question is about dental insurance; specifically, whether it’s worth the money.

Sink your teeth into the following video and you’ll learn why, for many people, this type of specialty insurance isn’t worth spit. Or, if you prefer, scroll down to read the full transcript and find out what I said. You also can learn how to send in a question of your own below.

For more information on this topic, check out “How to Have Healthy Teeth and Avoid Crazy Dental Fees” and “14 Insurance Products That Are a Waste of Money.” You can also go to the search at the top of this page, put in the words “dental,” “dentist” or “insurance” and find plenty of information on just about everything relating to this topic.

Also, remember that if you need anything from a better credit card to help with debt, you’ll find it in our Solutions Center.

Got a question of your own to ask? Scroll down past the transcript.

Don’t want to watch? Here’s what I said in the video

Hello, everyone, and welcome to your “2-Minute Money Manager.” I’m your host, Stacy Johnson, and this question is brought to you by MoneyTalksNews.com, serving up the best in personal finance news and advice since 1991.

Let’s take a look at our question today. It comes to us from Charlie:

“I remember an article where you discussed dental insurance plans, and you considered them a waste of money. Why?”

OK, Charlie, let’s talk dental insurance.

Let’s start with cost. Understand that I’m not talking about employer-furnished dental insurance. If your employer pays for your insurance, great. Take it and run. But if your company doesn’t offer coverage, the average cost of dental insurance you buy on your own is between $350 and $500 a year.

Typical dental insurance is called 100/80/50, meaning it covers 100 percent of stuff like teeth cleaning, 80 percent of basic procedures like filling cavities, and 50 percent of more complex procedures, like bridges. Also, it may have a limit on how much it covers: $1,000 a year is typical. So, it’s often very limited in coverage, and it may not cover everything.

Imagine paying $350 for car insurance that had a $1,000 maximum payout. Sound like a great buy?

Something else you may not know: Dental insurance typically has an exclusionary period. In other words, maybe you think, “I’m going to need a bridge. I’ll get dental insurance for $350, then get my bridge free.” Nope. This insurance often excludes even simple things like fillings for six months, and some procedures for 18 months.

Granted, you do get free cleanings, but most people don’t spend $350 a year simply getting their teeth cleaned. If you think you’re going to need a lot of dental work, it may be worth looking at. But before you decide it’s worth it, read the fine print. See what the annual limit on the policy is. See what it covers and what it doesn’t. See when you’re able to start using it. Then, see how much it costs. Do a little reading: We have plenty on Money Talks News. Just do a search for “dental insurance.”

Hope that answers your question, Charlie. Now, let’s close with our quote of the day. This one comes from author Todd Garlington.

“Once people said, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death.’ Now, they say, ‘Make me a slave. Just pay me enough.'”

Have a super-profitable day, and meet me right here next time!

Got a question you’d like answered?

You can ask a question simply by hitting “reply” to our email newsletter, just as you would with any email in your inbox. If you’re not subscribed, fix that right now by clicking here. It’s free, only takes a few seconds, and will get you valuable information every day!

The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that will interest other readers. In other words, don’t ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you. And if I don’t get to your question, promise not to hate me. I do my best, but I get a lot more questions than I have time to answer.

About me

I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.

Got any words of wisdom you can offer on today’s question? Share your knowledge and experiences on our Facebook page. And if you find this information useful, please share it!

Got more money questions? Browse lots more Ask Stacy answers here.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again

Make the wrong food choices, and you can ruin your health — and possibly shorten your life.

Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep
Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep

A study finds 96% of retirees make this mistake when claiming Social Security benefits.

8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper
8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper

Here’s how a veteran thrift shopper scores the best deals — and turns a profit from them.

My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There

Yes, I’ve been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s. These are among my most beloved buys.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021
7 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2021

Recently, both Social Security and Medicare made some major announcements about benefits for 2021.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

15 Things You Can Get for Free in December
15 Things You Can Get for Free in December

December is here, which means it’s your last chance to take advantage of fabulous freebies in 2020.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.