Dental Health Insurance: What Is Dental Insurance?

What is dental insurance and what does it cover? Where can you get outstanding value dental health insurance?

No matter what life stage you are at, whether it’s scheduling your own annual dental check-up, getting dental check-ups for the kids, or even brushing your dog’s teeth, dental health is just part of life. And with the Federal Government cutting funding in 2017 for public dental treatment, it is now more important than ever that everyone who can afford dental insurance makes sure they and their family are covered.

What is dental insurance?

Dental insurance is a type of cover usually included in an Extras type private health insurance policy. Statistics show the most common thing Australians claim on their extras health insurance cover is dental treatment, whether that is a dental check-up, clean and scale, or dental treatment.

What does dental health insurance cover?

Dental health insurance should at a minimum cover General Dental. General Dental includes:

  • Oral examinations (this just means a tooth check-up, not a speech you have to give in class!)
  • Clean and scale
  • Minor fillings
  • Bleaching (teeth whitening)
  • Mouth X-rays
  • Bi-maxillary mouthguards (sports mouthguard)

Other dental health insurance policies may also offer additional cover, such as Major Dental (wisdom teeth removal, dentures, crowns and bridges, tooth extractions), Endodontics (root canal surgery), and/or Orthodontics (braces). Cover varies from provider to provider.

To get you started we have provided a comparison table below that provides a snapshot into current low premium policies available with links direct to the providers’ website. Please note that this table has been formulated based on a single male seeking hospital cover in NSW born in 1987. Try this comparison tool out today here.

In the table below, we’ve summarised what’s on offer from the policies that received a Canstar 5-star rating in Canstar’s 2016 health insurance star ratings. These ratings are based on a 30-year-old single male who is living in NSW:

Dental Insurance: What is covered by an Extras health policy?
Provider Treatment Type General Dental
(check-up, cleaning, fillings)
Major Dental
(wisdom teeth removal surgery, dentures, crowns)
(root canal surgery)
Bupa – Bronze Extras – Single Bupa Logo Small Yes No No No
HCF – Bronze Extras HCF wins Canstar Outstanding value award Yes No No No
HCF – Bronze Plus Extras HCF wins Canstar Outstanding value award Yes No No No
HCF – Silver Extras HCF wins Canstar Outstanding value award Yes Yes No No
HCF – Silver Plus Extras HCF wins Canstar Outstanding value award Yes Yes Yes No
hif – Saver Options HIF wins Canstar Outstanding value award Yes No No No
Source: as at 20 January 2017.

This data is provided to us by the health insurance providers listed. For more details and to confirm coverage and benefits, visit the provider’s websites.

Canstar provides an information service. It is not a health insurance provider, and in giving you information about insurance products Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular insurance product. If you choose to apply for an insurance product, you will deal with the insurance provider and not with Canstar. Read the Canstar Financial Services Guide (FSCG) for more information.


What does dental insurance cost?

It depends on whether you are purchasing a Hospital and Extras policy that includes dental insurance cover or an Extras Only policy that includes dental. Below are the costs for both types of policies as at the time of Canstar’s latest health insurance star ratings.

Extras Only with dental insurance

2016 Health Insurance Premiums – Extras Only cover
Single $593 $510 $570 $579 $538 $579 $552
Single parent family $1,128 $970 $1,083 $1,101 $1,023 $1,100 $1,056
Couple $1,175 $1,010 $1,128 $1,147 $1,065 $1,146 $1,093
Family $1,215 $1,046 $1,168 $1,187 $1,104 $1,186 $1,128
Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 26.791% and are as at 1st July 2016

Hospital and Extras with dental insurance

2016 Health Insurance Premiums – Hospital and Extras Packages
Young Singles – Female  $1,818  $1,313  $1,831  $1,758  $1,792  $1,866  $1,737
Young Singles – Male  $1,818  $1,313  $1,831  $1,758  $1,792  $1,866  $1,737
Young Couples – Non-Obstetrics  $3,673  $2,689  $3,699  $3,573  $3,618  $3,779  $3,479
Young Single Parents – Non Obstetrics  $3,340  $2,502  $3,312  $3,179  $3,278  $3,384  $ 3,358
Young Family – Non-Obstetrics  $3,813  $2,871  $3,874  $3,739  $3,780  $3,962  $3,700
Couples and Families – With Obstetrics  $4,318  $3,271  $4,450  $4,235  $4,277  $4,480  $4,011
Established Singles – Female  $1,992  $  1,479  $2,048  $1,960  $1,998  $2,063  $1,970
Established Singles – Male  $1,992  $1,479  $2,048  $1,960  $1,998  $2,063  $1,970
Established Couples  $4,000  $3,004  $4,108  $3,944  $4,006  $4,156  $3,921
Established Single Parent  $3,513  $2,657  $3,553  $3,369  $3,476  $3,600  $3,554
Established Families  $3,984  $3,034  $4,127  $3,924  $3,961  $4,173  $3,905
Mature Singles  $2,128  $1,601  $2,174  $2,137  $2,159  $2,176  $2,169
Mature Couples  $4,278  $3,265  $4,374  $4,307  $4,338  $4,387  $4,338

Based on packaged cover policies considered for 2016 Canstar Health Insurance Star Ratings. Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 26.791%. “Mature” profile only includes products that include cover for cardiac and hip/knee replacements. “Established” profile only includes products that include cover for cardiac.

Of course, price isn’t everything when it comes to health insurance – features and coverage are just as important, if not more so. But whatever you choose does need to be affordable, so check out some of our cost-savings tips here and what to look for when choosing a health insurance policy.

Check out the latest Canstar Outstanding Value health insurance winners or compare your options on our website:

What about dental tourism insurance?

Dental insurance is different to travel insurance that includes medical cover for dental tourism, where someone travels overseas to obtain dental surgery or dental treatment at a cheaper price than they could in Australia.

Some travel insurance policies we research and rate include large benefits for emergency dental procedures that are required during an international trip, for example if you break a tooth on a pretzel in Germany. But these polices usually do not cover someone travelling to get treatment for a dental condition they have. At the time of writing, Go Insurance’s dental tourism product is the only policy we are aware of on the market that does cover this situation.

Here’s what you need to know about medical tourism if you are considering taking your teeth to another country.


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