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Dental insurance for seniors is the same as dental insurance for younger individuals, but focuses on the coverages seniors are likely to need. These include crowns, root canals, dentures, and tooth replacement. Even though these are not unique to seniors, there is a higher probability that seniors will need one or more of these services.
The best dental insurance providers for seniors help you budget and save money in retirement while still getting proper dental care. They feature low prices, short waiting periods, and minimal copays. They also have high annual maximums to cover expensive procedures and flexible coverage depending on your needs.
To determine the best dental insurers for seniors, we looked at the top companies through the lens of several important categories, including pricing, high annual maximums, no waiting periods, customer reviews, and financial strength ratings from AM Best.
Best Dental Insurance Providers for Seniors of 2023
- Best for Preventive Care: Cigna
- Best for Provider Flexibility: Aflac
- Best for Annual Maximums: Renaissance Dental
- Best for Affordable Options: Humana
- Best for Fast Coverage: United Healthcare
- Best for Largest Provider Network: Aetna
- Best Value: Delta Dental (AARP Member Plans)
Best for Preventive Care : Cigna
We selected Cigna as the best for preventive care because they are not only affordable, but they have $0 deductible and $0 copay preventive dental plans and make life easy with 24/7 customer service and zero-paperwork claims.
Offers three different plans
In-network preventive care paid at 100%
No waiting period for preventive/diagnostic care
Online claims handling and an app to manage claims
24/7 service and access to a health information line
Basic plan only covers preventive services
$1,000/$1,500 maximum annual benefit
Cigna has been in business for more than 225 years and currently serves over 17 million U.S. dental insurance customers individually and through employee benefit programs. AM Best gives Cigna an A rating for financial strength. Cigna was our number-one choice as the best insurance for preventive care for seniors because of several factors, which include:
- No deductible and no copay for preventive care that includes cleanings and routine x-rays
- A nationwide network of over 92,700+ dentists
- No need to file claims in-network—your dentist does it for you
- Their Brighter Score tool rates dentists based on affordability and patient experience
- 24/7/365 customer support and more
You can choose from three dental plans that range in price and coverage, starting with Cigna Dental Preventive, which is the most affordable at $19 per month and is perfect for routine exams. Cigna Dental 1000 costs $33 per month and allows for dental work beyond basic preventive care, including some forms of restoration, with a coverage maximum of $1,000. The highest level of protection, Cigna Dental 1500, gives you all the preventive and restorative care of the 1000-level plan, plus some orthodontia coverage and a $1,500 maximum, all for $39 monthly. Deductibles are $50 per person or $150 for a family for the top two plans.
There is a six-month waiting period for basic coverages and 12 months for major work. If you have 12 months of prior continuous insurance with another provider, you can make the switch to Cigna, and the waiting periods may be waived.
Best for Provider Flexibility : Aflac
Aflac allows you to visit the dentist of your choice and does not restrict your access to a network, making them our top pick for the best senior dental insurance with provider flexibility.
Patients can visit any dentist
No deductibles by year three
Variable waiting periods
Exclusions for preexisting conditions
Availability varies by state
Aflac has been a trusted name in supplemental health and dental coverage since 1955. They insure over 50 million people and have a Moody’s debt rating of A3. Aflac pays claim reimbursements directly to you, not the dentist, opening up a national network of dentists for flexibility and convenience. They offer online policy management with access to other supplemental insurance coverage, such as vision plans.
Aflac waiting periods are defined per service category, which is found in the schedule of benefits. For example, there is no waiting period for a dental wellness visit or x-rays. Pain relief has a three-month waiting period, extractions and root canals have a six-month waiting period, and dentures have a 24-month waiting period. Annual maximums vary by plan; we found examples of up to $1,600.
Aflac has many exclusions that relate to pre-existing conditions or work done within recent time periods. For example, missing teeth before the start of coverage are not covered.
Best for Annual Maximums : Renaissance Dental
With a high annual maximum of $3,000, Renaissance Dental is a good choice for seniors who have a major dental expense coming up.
Plans with no waiting period
Participating dentists submit the claim for you
Loyalty program with increasing annual maximums
Possibility to bundle dental with vision care
Cleanings covered up to twice a year on some plans
Annual maximum of $3,000 is only available in the Max Plus Plan
Can be expensive depending on the state
No orthodontics for seniors
Renaissance was founded in 1957 and covers over 13 million people for dental, vision, life, and disability insurance. They have an AM Best Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior).
Premiums for Renaissance plans can vary a lot. You can see your price on their website.
Renaissance has no waiting periods for cleanings on any plan. Nor is there a waiting period for fillings or crowns on the MAX Choice Plan and MAX Choice Plus. Annual maximums range from $1,000 on their very basic plans up to $3,000 on the top tier plan. There is a $50 deductible for individual plans and a $150 deductible for family plans.
Some of Renaissance’s basic plans exclude major work like root canals or crowns. However, if you remain insured with them, they reward loyalty with a coverage increase on major work each year, providing up to 50% coverage for major work starting in year two.
Best for Affordable Options : Humana
Humana offers several plan options with loyalty advantages, lifetime deductibles, and the ability to add vision coverage. With so many options to choose from, Humana is our top pick for the best affordable options because seniors can find the plan that meets their needs and budgets.
Large provider network
Several plans to choose from
Waiting periods may be waived with proof of prior insurance
Loyalty plans with increasing maximum benefits
Some plans offer lifetime deductibles
Up to six-month waiting period for fillings
Annual plan maximum $1,000 in the first year
Some states charge enrollment fees of $35
Not all plans are available in all states
Founded in 1961 with headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Humana has a long history in health insurance. Their excellent reputation has earned them a solid A- financial strength rating from AM Best. Humana's complaints trend with the NAIC shows them receiving a slightly above-average number of complaints.
Humana offers dental insurance plans in most states and with several options, whether you want a preventive-only policy or more extensive coverage.
- Preventive Value PPO: $50 per person lifetime deductible (maximum $150 per family) with no waiting periods on preventive care or basic services, such as emergency care for pain relief, extractions, root removal, and fillings.
- Dental Preventive Plus PPO: $50 per person deductible (maximum $150 per family) with a six-month waiting period on basic services.
- Dental Loyalty Plus PPO: $150 individual lifetime deductible (maximum $450 for a family) with no waiting periods.
- Complete Dental PPO: $50 individual and a $150 family deductible. Deductibles are waived for in-network preventive care. There is no waiting period for preventive services, a six-month waiting period for basic services, and a 12-month waiting period for major services.
There's a variety of options from Humana that will help save you money, and you can find exactly which ones fit your personal needs and work within your budget. For instance, you can add vision coverage to your plan for as little as $15 per month on average.
Additionally, the Dental Loyalty Plus PPO has an annual maximum that starts at $1,000 and increases yearly ($1,250 in year two, $1,500 in years three and beyond), so the longer you keep your policy, the more you get back from it. Some plans have no annual maximum, and others provide between 80% and 50% co-insurance on certain procedures.
Best for Fast Coverage : United Healthcare
With no waiting periods on all four dental plans designed for seniors, United Healthcare is a great choice for seniors looking for immediate coverage.
Can add vision as a rider on the dental plan
Hearing aids/exams included in the dental plan
No waiting periods on many services
Direct payment to in-network dentists
No maximum age limit
Only offered in 47 states plus the District of Columbia
Out-of-network coverage is more expensive and less convenient
UnitedHealthcare has been in business since 1974 and has a Moody’s rating of A1, stable. UnitedHealthcare dental insurance is available in 47 states plus the District of Columbia. They offer four Dental Gen Plans, as they're known, that are very specifically tailored to the needs of seniors.
Gen policies come with senior-friendly options, such as adding vision and hearing aid benefits to your dental package and enjoying day-one coverage for many services. The basic Gen Saver Dental plan is the cheapest option. Moving up there is the Gen Plus Dental and then the Gen Basic Dental. Lastly, the top-tier Gen Deluxe Dental is the premier option.
What sets UnitedHealthcare's Gen dental insurance apart is its immediate coverage—preventive care has no waiting period in all Gen plans. Basic services are available with no waiting period either. Connecticut and Illinois require a six-month waiting period for major services, but the other states do not. This day-one coverage is a huge convenience and helps UnitedHealthcare Gen plans stand apart from the competition.
Some other features and benefits include:
- Plans have annual maximums ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
- Gen Basic, Saver, and Plus plans have a $100 deductible per person per year; the Deluxe Plan is $50 per person per year.
- Preventive care is covered 100% on the Basic and Deluxe plans but only 60% on the Saver and Plus plans.
- Major services on these plans are covered at 10% on day one but increase to 40% after a year and 50% after two years.
Coverage is excluded outside the United States, except for dental emergencies. Teeth that are missing before the policy starts are also excluded. There is no coverage for replacing full or partial dentures, crowns, inlays, onlays, and bridges within 60 months of the last replacement.
Best for Largest Provider Network : Aetna
Aetna boasts a tremendous network of 120,000 providers, which puts it well above the competition in this review and makes it easy and convenient to find the right dentist in your area.
Largest provider network with 120,000 providers
No waiting period for preventive services
Six-month waiting period for basic services including fillings and extractions
Limited coverage in Massachusetts
Limited plan options
Aetna has been providing dental benefits for over 50 years and serves almost 13 million dental members. Aetna has the most far-reaching provider network of our review, with more than 120,000 practitioners to choose from, which makes it especially easy for seniors to find a nearby dentist without the need to travel too far.
Aetna’s dental plans are available in most states; they offer online account management that allows you to get cost estimates, find an in-network dentist online, as well as check claims and statements.
There are two coverage tiers for seniors to choose from: the Preferred PPO and the lower-tiered Core PPO plan. There is a $50 deductible per person or a $150 deductible for a family per calendar year.
Preventive services never have a waiting period, basic services have a six-month waiting period, and major services have a 12-month waiting period. Waiting periods may be waived with proof of prior dental insurance.
Annual maximum benefits are $1,000 or $1,250 in-network. Aetna's dental plans have 20% to 50% coinsurance for basic and major work.
Best Value : Delta Dental (AARP Member Plans)
Delta Dental offers plans geared toward seniors either through the AARP or directly on their website. They provide a lot of information and resources for retirees on their site, and they were one of the few insurers we reviewed offering immediate coverage for fillings, denture repair, tooth removal, and root canals in the AARP Plan.
Special pricing for seniors
No waiting periods for many services
Guaranteed acceptance for AARP members
12 month waiting period for major work on some plans
PPO plans feature deductibles and maximums
Delta Dental is the leading provider of dental insurance in the U.S., offering coverage in all states and serving over 80 million Americans. Delta Dental is a not-for-profit organization made up of 39 independent Delta Dental companies. They have an AM Best financial strength rating of A (Excellent).
Delta Dental has contracted with AARP to provide members with special pricing to help seniors fit dental insurance into their budgets, and there are HMO (DeltaCare USA) and PPO (Plan A and B) plans available. The HMO is the cheapest option, followed by the PPO B, and lastly, the PPO A is the most expensive option. The PPO plans allow you to choose any dentist, while the HMO plan utilizes a network of dental facilities.
There is no waiting period on the DeltaCare USA Plan; PPO Plans A and B also have no waiting period for diagnostic and preventive services. There is a 24-month waiting period for bleaching on Plan A (not covered on Plan B) and a one-year waiting period for major restorative work, periodontics, prosthodontics, and other treatments. Delta Dental provides limited anesthesia coverage, which is often excluded from other dental policies in certain circumstances.
There is no annual maximum and no deductible on the DeltaCare USA plan. The PPO plans have an annual maximum of $1,000 to $1,500 with deductibles (typically per person per year) ranging from $40 to $90 depending on service and plan.
There are lots of options when it comes to dental insurance plans for seniors. Many providers offer plans specifically tailored to seniors, with senior-friendly pricing and the option to add additional coverage for things like vision and hearing. Overall, our top pick for a dental insurance provider for seniors is Cigna.
Cigna features affordable dental plans with an emphasis on preventative care. There’s no waiting period for preventative and diagnostic care, and in-network preventative care is 100% covered. Cigna also features 24/7 access to an informational line and a simple claims process.
Compare The Best Dental Insurance Providers for Seniors
|Company||Plans (#)||Coverage Limit||Waiting Period||Deductible|
|Cigna Best for Preventative Care||3||$1,500||0 to 12 months||$50|
|Aflac Best for Provider Flexibility||2||Varies||0 to 24 months||$0 to $50|
|Renaissance Dental Best for Annual Maximums||3||$3,000||Varies||$50|
|Humana Best for Affordable Options||3||Varies||0 to 12 months||$50 to $150|
|United Healthcare Best for Fast Coverage||4||$2,000||0 to 6 months||$50 to $100|
|Aetna Best for Largest Provider Network||2||$1,250||0 to 12 months||$50|
|Delta Dental AARP Best Value||3||$1,500||0 to 12 months||$0 to $90|
Frequently Asked Questions
What do retired people do about dental care?
As a retired person or a senior, it’s important to stay on top of preventive care in order to prevent future dental problems down the line. Many dental insurance plans offer free preventive care services with no waiting period.
If you know you’ll need dental work in the future, it’s a good idea to purchase dental insurance as soon as possible since some plans have waiting periods of up to two years for major services.
Do you get free dental treatment when retired?
As a senior, meaning age 65 and up, many dental insurance plans do offer free treatment. This specifically applies to preventative care services and often has no waiting period.
What is the best insurance to go along with Medicare?
Medicare often doesn’t cover dental services such as tooth extractions, fillings, cleanings, or the majority of dental devices. Therefore, a comprehensive insurance provider that covers those gaps is the best option.
Cigna is our top pick overall because it is affordable and covers 100% of in-network preventative care. The company also provides 24/7 access to its health information line and no waiting period for diagnostic or preventative care.
Does Medicare pay for dental implants in 2023?
We looked at the top dental insurance providers in the U.S., comparing information from online reviews, prices, financial strength ratings, complaints with regulators, and individual insurer websites and quotes to find the best dental insurance companies for seniors.
In addition, we looked for the companies offering the highest annual maximums, no waiting periods, and those that offered a range of coverage options. We investigated which plans worked well for a budget or provided flexibility with the least amount of unexpected cost. Companies that rewarded loyalty were also included. We also considered features important to seniors, like the continuation of coverage, pre-existing condition coverage, coverage outside the U.S. (or not), and network provider options.
Our goal was to find dental plans that suited various lifestyles and needs, either offering budget plans, full dental plans, or plans with add-ons like vision or hearing aid care, to give you the widest overview and allow you to make an informed decision when choosing the Best Dental Insurance for Seniors.
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Cigna Corporation and Its Subsidiaries."
Moody's. "Moody’s Affirms Aflac (A3 Senior) With Stable Outlook."
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. and Its Main Subsidiaries."
AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Humana Inc. and Its Health Insurance Subsidiaries."
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Humana Ins Co National Complaint Index Report."
Moody's Investors Service. "Rating Action: Moody’s Rates UnitedHealth Group’s Senior Notes A3."
AM Best. "AM Best Revises Issuer Credit Rating Outlook to Positive for Delta Dental of California and Its Affiliates."