Taking out private dental health insurance

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Life is full of the unforeseeable, but as long as you’re prepared for the worst, you’ll always come out on top. That’s why taking out private dental health cover is the best way to ensure that you get the treatment you need, in the event of an unexpected oral condition or emergency.

Extras dental cover

Private dental insurance is obtainable under a type of private health insurance known as extras or ancillary cover. This type of insurance covers you for treatment by “ancillary” health service providers such as dentists/dental specialists, optometrists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and the ambulance.

Types of extras dental cover

There are 2 types of extras dental cover:

  1. General dental covers basic preventative dental treatment, including checkups, examinations, dental cleaning & polishing, fluoride treatments, minor fillings and X-rays.
  2. Major dental covers more complex dental treatment, including crowns, bridges, braces, implants, root canal therapy, gum disease treatment, dentures and oral surgery.

You generally cannot get extras cover for elective dental treatment such as cosmetic dental which includes receiving teeth straightening, teeth whitening, veneer and bonding treatment – to enhance your appearance. However, any of these treatments may be covered if the purpose of receiving such treatment is to restore oral function and health.

Which extras cover suits your situation?

If you are a young single or couple and your oral health is good, general preventative dental cover is usually sufficient to cover your needs and prevent more serious oral health complications.

However, if you are involved in risky activities, have a family or are over 40, you may need to consider extras cover options for major dental work such as implants, crowns, braces and dentures. There is a higher cost involved in extras cover but in the long term, you can significantly reduce potentially costly dental fees and save more money.

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Other extras cover considerations

Make sure you find exactly what potential insurers will and won’t cover. When selecting extras dental cover compare “no gap” options, out-of-pocket expenses, annual limits and waiting periods between different insurers to work out which health fund works best for you.

Visiting an unbiased comparison website such as privatehealth.gov.au can save you time and money when checking out the 100s of policies on offer by health funds. Keep in mind that in Australia, recent trends show that health fund premiums have been increasing, while extras rebates haven’t.