Dental care is a must to maintain proper health, but it is not treated the same way as traditional health care plans. While most medical plans feature a maximum out-of-pocket cost, dental plans can offer the exact opposite, instead incorporating an annual maximum that your provider will pay for coverage. If you exceed that amount, you are responsible for all costs beyond your annual maximum—unless you sign up for a dental insurance plan with no annual maximum. When there is no annual maximum, it means there are no limits to what care your dental insurance provider will cover under your plan. Available via dental health organizations or discount dental plans, a plan with no annual maximum means that your provider will pay for all of the care outlined in your policy.
However, plans can vary significantly from provider to provider. The best dental insurance plans not only waive the annual maximum but also provide the coverage you want at a more affordable price. In addition to coverage options, a plan’s copays and deductibles can help save you money and make more detailed services easier to attain.
Best Overall : Physicians Mutual
Physicians Mutual strikes an attractive deal with expanded coverage, no deductibles, and no waiting period for preventive care.
Coverage for over 350 procedures
No waiting period for preventive care
3-month minor waiting period
12-month waiting period for major dental
Limited coverage for some procedures
Physicians Mutual is our pick for best overall dental insurance plan with no annual maximum because of its multifaceted coverage and no waiting period for preventive care. Coverage with Physicians Mutual starts at around $25 per month for its basic plan, which can include more than 350 procedures, including not only your preventive care but also more serious dental needs like crowns and dentures. Even better, there is no waiting period for preventive care, so you can get started right away on cleanings, X-rays, and routine exams.
There are no deductibles with a three-month waiting period for basic procedures, but after three months, coverage kicks in for cavity fillings, minor surgeries, sedation, and simple tooth extractions. There is a longer waiting period for major work, requiring policyholders to wait 12 months until coverage applies for root canals, crowns, dentures, and surgical tooth extractions.
What also makes Physicians Mutual stand out is that there are no lifetime benefit limits on your plan. For those looking for more in-depth coverage, Physicians Mutual can be a great fit if you have the time to wait for coverage to kick in.
Most Affordable : Delta Dental
Delta Dental is a great pick when affordability is your top priority, thanks to low starting prices and plenty of policy extras to help you save.
Annual upfront premiums
Delta Dental is our pick for the most affordable policies, offering affordable dental discount plans that are further boosted by limited premiums and free service for many everyday procedures. It is a provider known for discount dental plans like its Delta Dental Patient Direct and DeltaCare USA, plans that both prioritize affordability with low premiums. Prices begin around $26 per month for an individual and $122 monthly for a family of four. Delta Dental offers an upfront fee schedule for each of its plans, so you know exactly what you will need to pay depending on the service you need. For example, its low-priced Clear Plan requires copays of $115 for fillings and non-surgical extractions, but you will have to pay up to $740 for your copay if you need a crown.
There is generally no waiting period for preventive care, with coverage kicking in from day one, but some more in-depth procedures may require some form of waiting period. Some procedures are exempt from coverage, such as implants, but there is 75% orthodontic coverage for adults and children, and teeth whitening is available with plans. Either way, it is always important to check your coverage to see what is included with your specific plan.
Delta Dental has a smaller network of dentists with only 118 primary care facilities for your primary care provider, which means that you will have to pay out-of-pocket for any provider services that are outside of your network. If you do not mind sticking to Delta Dental’s network, however, this could be a great choice for those who prioritize affordability in a dental plan.
Best Coverage : Humana
Humana offers members the best coverage and an extensive network, with complete preventive care and affordable rates starting at $17 per month.
Full coverage for preventive care
Large network of providers
Increasing member loyalty benefits
In-network providers required
No teeth whitening
Humana is best for coverage because its dental insurance plans make it easy to start your dental care with no waiting period required. You can choose the Dental Value plan for no annual maximum, although the terms of your plan may vary slightly based on the state in which you live. Humana offers 100% coverage for preventive care, which means routine cleanings and standard X-rays are included. Orthodontic coverage is also available on a limited basis, but it includes just up to 25% off services.
To help you save, there are no annual deductibles. There is a mandatory enrollment fee, although it is minor. Humana also requires a copay for office visits, but it offers a detailed fee schedule, so you understand what each visit may cost you. The provider also restricts your care to only the dentists in its network. However, it boasts one of the larger networks, with over 270,000 participating dentists nationwide and a convenient online search tool, so you can pick the best provider for you.
Best for Seniors : Guardian Direct
Guardian Direct is a veteran-focused provider that serves the senior community with specially curated plans that have no deductibles, waiting periods, or copays for routine care.
No waiting period
Large orthodontic copay
Limited service area
No coverage for implants
Guardian Direct is our pick for best for seniors, with affordable pricing, quick enrollment, and dental insurance coverage that places a specific focus on veteran-friendly services. With Guardian Direct, plans start at $20 per month with easy online quotes and enrollment, plus there is extra peace of mind with the ability to terminate your coverage at any time. Guardian Direct is also an insurance provider that specializes in dental coverage for military veterans who do not qualify for dental care through Veteran’s Affairs.
To get started with Guardian Direct, you must choose a primary care provider and then all diagnoses and preventive care are covered without the need for a copay. This includes things like your routine exams, X-rays, and fluoride treatments. Seniors are likely to appreciate that there is no waiting period, so coverage begins immediately. You will need a referral should you require the services of a specialist, but there is no deductible necessary, again making dental coverage all the more affordable for seniors on a limited income.
Best for Major Dental Work : Careington
Careington focuses on multi-faceted dental discount coverage with savings of up to 60% to help with your major dental work.
Starting at $9 per month
DialCare Teledentistry option
Cosmetic service included
Not available in Vermont or Washington
Limited orthodontic coverage
Copays still required
Careington is prepared to help with your major dental work, offering discount dental plans with an upfront fee schedule that makes it easy to understand your coverage. There are no eligibility exclusions, although plans are not available in Vermont or Washington. Plans start at about $8.95 per month or $89 per year with member savings of up to 60% off standard dental procedures.
In addition to overall affordability, Careington’s coverage is comprehensive, with no waiting period, and includes cosmetic services like braces, dentures, and teeth whitening. While orthodontic coverage includes braces, it only provides up to 20% off normal costs.
Careington also offers DialCare Teledentistry, which offers a revolutionary new way to communicate with experienced and licensed dental providers. There is 24/7 support available 365 days a year via virtual consultations done over the phone or video chat. You can receive advice and even a diagnosis for everyday and urgent dental-related issues.
Best for Individuals : Aetna
When you have changing needs for your dental care, Aetna can offer the flexibility that you need.
Ability to switch plans
Easy online enrollment
Must contact a rep for details
No orthodontic coverage
Waiting period for major work
Owned by CVS Health, Aetna is a well-known provider for medical care, and it is our pick for the best coverage for individuals, thanks to full preventive care that includes cleanings and routine X-rays at no out-of-pocket cost. Members have access to a wide selection of providers, with more than 120,000 available across the country. Preventive care is included with coverage for even your root canal work, and Aetna offers 60% coverage for major dental work. There are also no deductibles.
Another unique feature of Aetna is its Freedom-of-Choice option, which allows members to switch between two plans on a monthly basis. It is an added flexibility that is rare among dental insurance providers. Aetna’s dental plans start at $22 per month, and coverage can begin immediately, but there is a waiting period of 12 months of enrollment before you can use your benefits for major dental work.
Best for No Waiting Period : Cigna
With a network of 93,000 providers, Cigna can get you started on your preventive care right away with no waiting period for its dental insurance plans.
No copays for preventive care
No primary provider required
Waiting period of up to 12 months
No cosmetic coverage
Implants are out-of-pocket
Cigna is best when you need dental coverage immediately without any waiting periods. Its dental plans give access to full preventive care included with no deductibles or copays required. Pricing begins at $19 per month, giving you access to more than 93,000 dentists in over 297,000 locations across the U.S. To help you find a provider, Cigna offers its proprietary Brighter Score feature, which uses an exclusive scoring model to rate dentists and specialists based on factors like services, pricing, and customer experience. Even better, you do not have to choose a primary provider, and there are no referrals required for specialists.
However, there is a waiting period of up to 12 months for major dental work. Other types of coverage are missing from Cigna dental plans, including a lack of coverage for cosmetic and implant services. Orthodontic services are available under your plan under a $50 per person lifetime deductible with a $1,000 per person lifetime maximum. There is no waiting period for preventive care, but basic and major services, such as simple extractions, crowns, and root canal therapy all have waiting periods that can last anywhere from six to 12 months, depending on whether minor or major services are required.
There are many options to choose from for your discount dental plan, but not all of them are created equal. From pricing to coverage and network, each dental insurance provider varies significantly in what it has available to offer to you. Some companies like Delta and Guardian Direct are a fantastic choice when you don’t have time to wait, but others like Aetna and Humana may be a better fit when you are searching for comprehensive coverage that includes added services like root canals and orthodontics.
Physicians Mutual is our pick for the best dental insurance plan with no annual maximum. Coverage spans the entire country with half a million dental providers, so most members have little trouble finding a provider nearby. With coverage for over 350 procedures, Physicians Mutual has comprehensive coverage with no deductibles and no waiting period for preventive care, offering the well-rounded coverage that could work best for your family.
Compare the Best Dental Insurance Plans With No Annual Maximum
|Company||Plans||Providers in-network||Deductible||Number of states available|
|5||154,000||$50 for PPO plans||50|
|5||270,000||$50 for individuals
$150 for families
Best for Seniors
Best for Major Dental Work
|4||100,000||$50 for individuals
$150 for families
Best for Individuals
Best for No Waiting Period
|3||93,000||$50 for individuals
$150 for families
$0 for preventative plan
How to Choose the Best Dental Insurance Plans With No Annual Maximum
There is much to consider when searching for the best dental insurance plan with no annual maximum. These are some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new insurance plan.
- Deductible: Before your insurance provider pays for coverage, there is typically a minimum deductible that you must pay first. Be sure to check to see what deductibles apply to your plan, as some plans may not charge any at all.
- Coinsurance: After you pay your deductible, your coinsurance is the remaining amount that you and your insurer collectively pay.
- Premium: This is the amount that you pay for your plan. Depending on your insurance provider and your chosen plan, you may pay your premium each month or annually.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Save Money With Dental Insurance Plans With No Annual Maximum?
When there is not an annual maximum tied to your dental plan, you are able to receive an unlimited amount of coverage unless your plan stipulates otherwise. The monthly premiums may cost a bit more than your average dental plan, but you could save thousands in the long-term through discounted services and copays.
Can I Receive Full Coverage With Dental Insurance Plans With No Annual Maximum?
There are two kinds of dental insurance plans that do not include an annual maximum. You can choose from either a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) or a discount dental plan. While DHMOs limit service to their own networks, a discount dental plan uses group rates to offer the best discounts, usually through one’s employer.
How Much Do Dental Insurance Plans With No Annual Maximum Cost?
Pricing for dental insurance depends on several factors, such as your age, gender, and the plan that you choose. For example, while Physicians Mutual’s plans begin around $25 per month, Careington’s plans start as low as $8.95 per month. Plans with additional features like deductibles, copays, and waiting periods can all impact price, so carefully consider what features are most important to you. An insurance agent can also help you review policy options so you can be sure to find the best dental insurance plan with no annual maximum cost for you.
We carefully weigh today’s leading insurance providers while giving careful consideration to critical factors like coverage, price, network, and service area. Our team compiles the latest policy information to offer an expert overview of each provider and its offerings, simplifying the process for you and your family.