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Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period: The Best Plans of 2023

Contributors:  Natalie Asmussen

Dental insurance with no waiting period means that patients can receive insurance coverage for treatment without having to wait. If you don't have a waiting period, you can sign up for insurance, and the day it begins you can start getting the treatment you need.

dental insurance no waiting period no maximum
Don't put off getting treatment

There are plenty of insurance companies that offer dental insurance with no waiting period, but some of them have high monthly premiums and low annual coverage limits.

We're here to help you wade through the exorbitantly expensive plans to find the best dental insurance with no waiting period for your budget and your oral health needs.

What is a waiting period for dental insurance?

Waiting periods are exactly what they sound like — it's the period of time you are required to wait before your insurance coverage will cover certain treatment.

When it comes to dental insurance, basic services like cleanings are typically excluded from the waiting period, meaning that as soon as your insurance coverage begins, it will help cover the costs of those treatments.

Waiting periods generally apply to larger more expensive treatments, like restorative services such as root canals or dental implants. Insurance companies do this because they are trying to make the most money possible.

When they have to provide coverage for expensive treatments, they don't make as much money, so they want to make sure that when people sign on for insurance, they won't just use it to cover the costs of expensive dental treatment and then drop the insurance once the treatment is finished. That's part of why finding full coverage dental insurance can be tricky.

The video below provides a more in-depth explanation of waiting periods if you'd like to learn more:

In this video we explain what is a waiting period when it comes to dental insurance and why dental insurance carriers impose this rule?

The big problem with waiting periods is that they can just be another obstacle to the 74 million Americans who don't have dental insurance through an employer, group program, or public program.

Many people wonder why they would sign up for insurance if they can't get the treatment they need when they need it. They instead try their luck trying to find cheap dental care without insurance.

So if you're looking for a dental insurance plan with no waiting period, we understand and we've got you covered.

The best dental insurance plans with no waiting period 2023

Let's have a look at some of the best dental insurance plans with no waiting period.

Humana: Best overall

Humana offers a variety of different dental plans with over 270,000 dentists in their nationwide network. With Humana, the deductibles are waived for any preventive services you get from an in-network dentist.

They also offer various dental plans with no waiting period. Our top picks are the Humana Extend 2500 and the Humana Extend 5000. Both plans offer coverage for preventive services like:

  • 2 oral exams per year
  • 2 cleanings per year
  • 2 fluoride treatments per year
  • 1 comprehensive oral exam every 3 years
  • 1 perio exam every 3 years
  • 1 panoramic x-ray every 5 years

These plans also offer coverage for major restorative services too; the highlights of the 2500 plan include:

  • $1,000 annual maximum for implants per person
  • $100 teeth whitening allowance per year 
  • 100% coverage of preventive vision and hearing exams once per year
  • $2,500 annual maximum per person in general

And the 5000 offers all of that and even more including:

  • $2,000 annual maximum for implants per person
  • $5,000 annual maximum per person in general

You can also check out the Humana Bright Plus plan, which offers dental coverage with no waiting period for preventive services (e.g. cleanings and x-rays); you can begin receiving care as soon as you get your member ID card. Basic dental services (like fillings) are covered 60% by the plan when you use an in-network dentist.

There is a waiting period for these basic services, but it's only 90 days after your application is processed. This plan doesn't provide coverage for major restorative services, but it does have a $100 allowance per year or in-office whitening.

The Loyalty Plus plan from Humana has no waiting periods for any services, even major dental treatment. The catch is that for the first year of coverage, you will pay for the majority of your treatment.

For major restorative services, for example, you will be responsible for 80% of the costs. In the second year, you will pay for a lower percentage, and by the third year and onward the insurance will cover 50% to 70% of treatment costs.

The Humana Extend plan mentioned above is one of our top picks for dental insurance that covers root canals.

NCD: Best runner-up

NCD plans are offered through Nationwide Insurance and they are our second pick for overall best insurance with no waiting period. That's because as a part of Nationwide, they have a huge network, and they offer treatment with no waiting period, even for major restorative services, plus they offer a wide range of services with high annual maximums.

The waiting period is waived for major treatment like implants if you have prior dental coverage, and with NCD, that even includes partial prior coverage, which is one thing that really sets this plan apart.

Both the 3000 and the 5000 plans are great for all of your treatment needs. They have low deductibles of just $50 per person per year, with a cap of $150 per year per family.

Preventive services are fully covered, and basic services are covered 80% — all without a waiting period.

Major services like implants, crowns, and oral surgery are covered by 50%, and again, there's no waiting period if you have prior coverage. If you don't, then there is a 12-month waiting period.

Both plans have a high annual maximum of $3,000, but with the NCD 5000, you can buy for an additional $2,000.

full coverage dental insurance with no waiting period
Cleanings are often completely covered

Cigna Dental: Most affordable

Cigna is a health and life insurance company that offers three different dental insurance plans. Their network covers 93,000 dentists with over 297,000 locations across the nation. All of their plans include preventive care for free, including cleanings, oral exams, and routine x-rays.

Cigna's two upper-tier plans, Cigna Dental 1500 and Cigna Dental 1000, waive waiting periods for restorative care if you have had a qualified dental insurance plan in place for at least 12 consecutive months before signing up for a plan with Cigna.

There is also no waiting period for any preventive care. They also offer an affordable dental insurance preventive care plan with premiums starting at just $19/month. This plan also has no waiting periods for routine checkups and cleanings; however, major services and restorative care are not covered.

Have a look at the highlights of our choice for Cigna, the Cigna Dental 1500 plan:

Preventive services:

  • 1 oral exam every 6 months
  • 1 routine cleaning every 6 months
  • 1 set of bitewing x-rays per year
  • 1 fluoride treatment per year for patients under 14

Basic restorative services:

  • 1 filling per tooth per year
  • 1 full-mouth panoramic x-ray every 5 years
  • Routine tooth extraction
  • Emergency treatment

Major restorative services:

  • 1 deep cleaning every 3 years
  • 1 crown per tooth every 7 years
  • Wisdom tooth extraction
  • Dentures every 7 years
  • Bridges every 7 years

Denali Dental: Best preventive

Denali offers two dental plans: the Summit Plan and the Ridge Plan. Both pay 100% for preventive services and 50% for diagnostic services in the first year.

dental plans with no waiting period
With some plans, coverage increases throughout the years

The Summit plan also covers 30% of basic and major services in the first year. Then in the second year, it covers 75% of diagnostic services and 40% for basic and major services.

By the third year, diagnostic services increase to 90% and basic and major services to 50%. Basic and major services increase to 60% in the fourth year. This plan also includes orthodontic services as part of the coverage.

The Ridge plan pays 10% for basic and major services in the first year, which increases to 25% in the second year. Diagnostic services coverage increases to 60% in the second year.

In the third year, diagnostic coverage increases to 70% and basic and major coverage to 40%. And in the fourth year, the diagnostic services coverage reaches 80% and basic and major services coverage reaches 50%.

For our purposes of finding no waiting period dental insurance, we are most interested in the Ridge plan. It has a maximum benefit of up to $2,500 and there are no waiting periods for any of the treatments.

In return, as we mentioned above, this plan covers a lower percentage of treatment than the Summit Plan does, but if you need dental care right away on major services, it may be worth it to get some immediate coverage.

Have a look at the highlights of the Ridge plan:

Preventive services:

  • 1 oral exam every 6 months
  • 4 cleanings per year

Basic restorative services:

  • Sealants once every 3 years for children under 14
  • Fillings
  • Simple extractions
  • 1 panoramic x-ray every 3 years

Major restorative services:

  • Inlays, onlays, and crowns
  • Bridges and dentures
  • Veneers
  • Endosteal implants

UnitedHealthcare: Best for major services

UnitedHealthcare has four dental Premier plans: Premier Choice, Premier Elite, Premier Plus and Premier Max. The Premier Choice plan features a lower premium and offers immediate coverage with no waiting period, as well as discounts in-network for preventive care, and basic and major services.

The Premier Elite plan has a higher premium but it pays more for major services. Just like with the Choice plan, there is no waiting period for preventive care or basic services, but for major services, there is a 6-month waiting period.

The Premier Plus plan includes orthodontic care for dependents and coverage for dental implants, and the Premier Max plan has an annual maximum of $3,000 and no waiting period or deductible for preventive care, although there is a 12-month waiting period for major services.

Have a look at the highlights of the Premier Choice plan, the only plan from UnitedHealthcare with no waiting period for any services:

Preventive services:

  • 1 oral exam every 6 months
  • 1 routine cleaning every 6 months
  • 1 set of bitewing x-rays per year
  • 1 fluoride treatment per year for patients under 14

Basic restorative services:

  • 1 filling per tooth per year
  • 1 full-mouth panoramic x-ray every 5 years
  • Routine tooth extraction
  • Emergency treatment

Major restorative services:

  • 1 deep cleaning every 3 years
  • 1 crown per tooth every 7 years
  • Wisdom tooth extraction
  • Dentures every 7 years
  • Bridges every 7 years

If you'd like to enroll in one of these plans, just go to dentalinsurance.com. They make it easy to search for dental plans with no waiting periods.

All you have to do is enter some basic information and you'll see a list of all of the plans in your area. To find a dental plan with no waiting period, just click on the plan details of any plan, and if there is no waiting period, it will be listed at the top of the details page.

Summary of dental plans with no waiting period

Thankfully, there are many possibilities if you are looking for dental insurance plans with no waiting period. In fact, most plans have no waiting period for preventive services, and there are even some plans that don't have a waiting period for major restorative services.

Other plans will waive waiting periods on major services if you've had dental insurance with a different provider for at least 12 consecutive months before switching over.

Have a look at the table below for a summary of the best dental insurance plans with no waiting period:

Company

Monthly premium (Approximate)

Coverage limit

In-network providers

Deductible

Find a plan

Humana Extend - Best overall

$50 to $100

$5,000

325,000

$75 annual

NCD - Best runner-up

$72 to $82

$3,000 to $5,000

N/A

$50

Cigna - Best affordable

$19 to $35

$1,000

93,000

$50 to $150

Denali - Best preventive

$60 to $90

$750 to $6,000

300,000

$100 to $200 lifetime

UnitedHealthcare - Best for major services

$30.00 to $50.00

$1,500 to $3,000

Unknown

$50 annual

Conclusion

A waiting period in dental insurance is the amount of time you have to wait between enrolling for a plan and receiving coverage for services. Most plans offer preventive services with no waiting period, which is great if you just need a checkup and a cleaning.

But, if you need major services, you'll find that providers often have a 12-month waiting period. That's because they want to be able to make some money from monthly premiums before they need to cover expensive treatments.

They also want to make sure that people don't just sign up for plans when they need expensive dental care and then just ditch the plan immediately after they receive the care they need.

There are different reasons why you might be looking for dental insurance with no waiting period — maybe you need to get a tooth repaired, or maybe you need an extraction. The plans we mention in this article all offer some variation of dental insurance without a waiting period, so hopefully you can find a plan that works for you.

If you need help finding and enrolling in a plan, including the ones mentioned above, just go to dentalinsurance.com. They make it easy to browse a wide range of dental insurance plans with no waiting periods that fit your dental budget. Plus, if you need help, you can call them at 888-626-0057 and speak to one of their friendly, certified agents.

FAQs

What is dental insurance with no waiting period?

Dental insurance policies often include a waiting period before you can get certain dental treatment covered. This is usually the case when it comes to major services, like bridges or implants. The problem with waiting periods is that people are often forced to either put off the care they need or pay out of pocket.

But, if you can find a dental insurance plan with no waiting period, you can get the care you need when you need it. You'll likely need to pay a higher premium for these plans, or you may notice that dental plans without waiting periods have higher deductibles, or lower maximums, so you'll have to weigh the pros and cons of each one.

Is there dental insurance that covers implants with no waiting period?

If you're looking for dental insurance with no waiting period for dentures, crowns, implants or other major services, you might want to take a look at the Humana Complete dental plan. This plan waives waiting periods if you've had dental insurance prior.

Do all dental insurance plans have waiting periods?

No, not all dental insurance plans have waiting periods. In fact, there are many plans that have no waiting periods for preventive and even basic services like fillings and x-rays. However, the majority of dental plans do have waiting periods for major restorative services.

Dental Insurance With No Waiting Period: The Best Plans of 2023
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Contributors:
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.