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
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

Not Asking About This in the Hospital Can Cost You Thousands
Not Asking About This in the Hospital Can Cost You Thousands

Medicare recipients who fail to clarify their hospital status can pay a high price.

Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?
Why Is My Pension Killing My Social Security Benefit?

A reader says the government is penalizing him for having a pension. Is he right?

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

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.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

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.