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Best Dental Plans for Seniors in 2023

Our experts have researched 14 dental plans and recommend 9 of the best options for seniors.

SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.

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Top 10 Highest Ranked Senior Dental Plans for 2023

There’s no age limit for wanting to have a beautiful smile, and seniors often have special dental needs. Moreover, people over the age of 65 are typically at increased risk of oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancers. Only 53 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have dental insurance to cover costs for treatment of these oral problems.1 Unfortunately, many older adults face coming off of company health coverage when they retire, and most Medicare sponsored plans offer minimal or no dental coverage. This can leave a majority of aging individuals in need of a dental insurance plan at an affordable cost. We have put together a list of the top dental companies based on their availability, the number of in-network providers, coverage options, and cost. Here is our updated listing of the top senior dental plans for 2023.

How We Chose Our Top List

Shopping for a quality dental plan? Our list covers everything you need to know. We researched the best dental insurance plans for seniors, looking at premiums, benefits and discounts, convenience, wait periods, account portals, and more. Don’t go another day without the perfect dental plan in place, especially if you’re a retiring senior.

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  • 1. Spirit Dental & Vision

    Spirit Dental is a standout amid dental insurance providers for a number of reasons that will specifically appeal to seniors. In addition to plans with in-network provider options and those where you can pick your own dentist, Spirit Dental has no waiting period for basic dental care or even major services such as bridges or crowns. Customers receive two free exams and three annual cleanings with every plan, which is rare for the industry. Moreover, the longer you maintain policies, the higher your savings. Spirit Dental offers vision, life, and disability add-on policies in addition to dental benefits. It doesn’t deny any application, but it does exclude certain pre-existing conditions such as broken dentures, teeth, or implants.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • No applications are denied
    • Senior-specific plan called the Senior Preferred Network
    • Extremely senior-friendly policies
    • $100 lifetime deductible
    • Up to $5,000 annual benefit maximum is higher than most competitors
    Cons
    • Only covers dental issues obtained during coverage periods
    • Out-of-network providers cost more

    Pricing

    Spirit Dental plans cover two people, but the company also offers family plans. Rates for couples are very dependent on the plan you choose and your location, with averages ranging from $45 to $200 per month. Family plans cost more, but include up to $5,000 maximum coverage with a lifetime $100 deductible. Preventive care is 100 percent covered, and vision insurance can be added for as little as $7 monthly.

    The Bottom Line

    Seniors looking to stick to a single dental provider long-term will enjoy greater benefits with Spirit Dental than with other companies. Its policy rates are affordable, with most basic procedures covered at up to 65 percent in the first year. These savings can increase to 90 percent by the third year of coverage. You can also save on more expensive treatments and dental implants.

  • 2. Humana

    Humana is one of the nation’s largest dental insurance providers, offering plans for employers, groups, and individuals. Besides having highly rated customer service and affordable plans, Humana is popular with seniors because it offers special veterans’ programs and a remarkable loyalty program to most consumers. These plans may include discounts on hearing exams, alternative medical therapies, and prescription discounts, and they can even be combined with vision insurance. With 335,000 dental care providers in its network, finding care with Humana is a breeze online, via the mobile app, or by calling customer service.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • Benefits increase annually for three years under Humana’s Loyalty Plus Dental Plan
    • Combining dental and vision coverage gets policyholders great discounts on multiple services
    • Patients can see specialists without consulting a primary-care dentist with a PPO plan.
    • Convenient online features and a mobile app streamline the experience
    • Special discounts and packages for veterans
    Cons
    • Higher fees for smokers
    • Standard enrollment fees
    • Not all plans are available in every state

    Pricing

    Humana offers numerous programs, the most affordable of which is the Dental Savings Plus Discount Plan. It isn’t insurance, but a simple rate plan accepted by participating dentists. Customers pay a flat monthly rate of $6.99 and a $15 enrollment fee with an average of $14 savings on copays for non-emergent office visits. A few of the plans have a $35 enrollment fee, and costs vary depending on your home state, age, smoking status, and the package you choose. Top options include Humana Bright Plus for Veterans, Preventive Value, and Loyalty Plus. The latter has a one-time deductible rather than an annual one, making it the most comprehensive (and expensive) plan.

    The Bottom Line

    Convenient and cost-effective, Humana dental insurance is the best deal on today’s market for people who have served in the military under the Bright Plus for Veterans plan. Only a one-year commitment is required to enjoy the immense benefits of this exclusive program. Seniors can easily find a dentist, review benefits and coverage, access their account information, claim statuses, check on prescription prices, locate a pharmacy, and even refill prescriptions through the MyHumana app.

  • 3. Cigna

    With more than 92,700 dentists and over 309,000 provider locations nationwide, Cigna is a well-known dental insurance provider. People who love to travel or are considering living abroad for an extended period will find Cigna to be a top choice for dental insurance. Cigna offers three coverage options, including an affordable preventive care package that covers 100 percent of associated costs such as exams, X-rays, basic cleanings, and fluoride treatments. The package has no deductibles or copays for office visits. Many seniors appreciate that Cigna Dental PPO plans don’t require patients to self-submit claims or pay the entire cost of treatments up front. Cigna’s dentists always file claims, and you simply pay the remaining balance. Another benefit is that there’s no need to choose a primary dentist if you prefer not to.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • Coverage is available nationwide through a large provider network
    • Biannual exams, cleanings, and X-rays are included in plans
    • No primary dentist required for patients with a PPO
    • No claims for patients to file
    • Easy-to-navigate patient portal app
    Cons
    • Coverage and benefits vary depending on your state
    • One-year waiting period before higher-level coverage is active
    • Payout percentages for basic services are lower than other providers

    Pricing

    The Cigna Dental Preventive plan covers the cost of cleanings, fluoride applications, oral exams, X-rays, sealant, and non-orthodontic space maintainers. These are covered 100 percent twice per year. The Cigna Dental 1000 plan maxes out at $1,000 per person annually and has a $50 and $150 deductible for individual and family plans, respectively. The plan with the highest amount of coverage, The Cigna Dental 5000 plan, is capped at $5,000 per person per year and has a maximum $250 deductible per person. Both plans have a one-year waiting period for major procedure coverage, but they cover a portion of dental work, including root canals, crowns, and fillings. The Cigna Dental 5000 plan covers orthodontics, while the Dental 1000 plan does not, but Cigna has you covered with a range of plans and coverage levels between the two. Specific plan pricing varies tremendously by state, but typically ranges from $20 to $60 per person per month.

    The Bottom Line

    Seniors seeking flexible dental insurance at great rates with global coverage should give Cigna serious consideration. As a PPO, you have no primary dentist and have a large network of providers. Cigna also pays a portion of most services from out-of-network providers, making it very convenient. Older adults will find the company’s website easy to navigate and will never have to worry about processing claims or paying out of pocket for covered expenses.

  • 4. Guardian

    Guardian offers four primary dental insurance plans that can help seniors enjoy better oral health without breaking the bank. Of all the companies we reviewed, Guardian appears to offer the best coverage at the best rates. It has an extensive network of providers and service locations, but there is a catch: Guardian has over 120,000 providers in 400,000 locations nationwide, about half the offering of many other providers on this list. Older adults residing in those states can use Guardian’s “search by ZIP code” function to find some great deals and dental coverage. Plans often cover the full cost of preventive care, such as standard cleanings and X-rays, and offer up to 80 percent discounts on basic procedures such as extractions or fillings.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • Preventive care is wholly covered with in- and out-of-network dental providers
    • Guardian has more than 100,000 in-network dental providers
    • The dental cost estimator online is accurate
    • Easy-to-use online account portal
    Cons
    • Some of the plans are currently only available in select states
    • Waiting periods for nearly all plans

    Pricing

    Guardian has four dental plans: Diamond, Achiever, Core, and Starter. Plan costs vary depending on the state you live in and the type of coverage you need. On average, the plans range from a budget-friendly $20 per month to comprehensive coverage expenses around $65 per month, but the cost will also vary between individual plans and family plans.

    The Bottom Line

    Seniors not only appreciate the value of Guardian dental plans, but they also find that navigating the company’s online system is rather easy and safe. Using a tablet, computer, or smartphone, policyholders can quickly access a list of providers, track claims, get dental work cost estimates, and explore the more than 120,000 participating dentists with Guardian. This provider also requires minimal claim forms (if any) and pays out claims rather quickly, with turnarounds averaging two to 14 days.

  • 5. Careington

    Careington offers a dental discount program called the Careington 500 Series, which is not to be confused with traditional insurance. Rather, this type of program allows just about anyone to receive discounts ranging from 20 percent to 60 percent on an array of dental procedures. Most preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures, such as dentures and implants, that aren’t typically covered are discounted with a Careington 500 plan. Customers simply pay an annual fee to gain immediate coverage and access to a network of thousands of participating dental offices who offer discounted services for members. There are no annual spending caps, and you can change dentists at any time as long as the provider is listed in the network.

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    Pros
    • Low one-time enrollment cost
    • Unlimited benefits
    • Free benefits for hearing and vision needs, prescriptions, and some specialty health care
    • No referral necessary to see specialists
    • No waiting periods or health restrictions
    Cons
    • May not be as comprehensive as traditional insurance
    • Plan members pay all costs not covered by the program

    Pricing

    Careington offers straightforward monthly prices, starting at $9.95 for most enrollees, depending on the plan you choose. There is also a one-time nonrefundable $20 processing fee when you sign up. Benefits are available for immediate use. Fee schedules and actual savings for each procedure are listed by the individual providers and vary from dentist to dentist. If you aren’t happy with your plan, then you can cancel at any time within 30 days.

    The Bottom Line

    Careington’s dental plans are great for seniors looking for a low-cost alternative to traditional insurance. They are excellent for people who don’t require major dental work, as well as people who need dentures. There are no health checks, age requirements, or pre-authorizations needed before seeking treatment under the Careington program. There is also no long waiting period, so you can seek care right away. You’ll also enjoy the extra discounts for vision, hearing, and prescription services. Sign up today to enjoy significant savings without dealing with insurance paperwork.

  • 6. Aetna

    Aetna, with its nationwide network of 420,000 providers, is one of the most popular insurers in the U.S. Aetna is a solid dental insurance provider with numerous options to consider. Older adults may be tempted by benefits such as coverage for dentures after a waiting period and low monthly rates for individuals and families.

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    Pros
    • Plans cover 100 percent of preventive treatments
    • Easy-to-navigate website with convenient online claim forms and tracking
    • Coverage for dentures after a waiting period
    Cons
    • Waiting periods range from six months to a year and a half
    • Payments must be made online

    Pricing

    Premiums vary depending on your state of residence and current health condition. On average, the lowest premiums cost between $20 and $31, while upgraded plans average $45 to $70. Those are some of the most reasonable rates on the market, making Aetna dental insurance a great deal for people who are eligible.

    The Bottom Line

    With low rates and exceptional coverage through a wide network of top-notch dentists, Aetna dental plans offer a great way to save money and maintain oral health. Seniors with Aetna will enjoy up to 50 percent coverage for denture repairs and generous coverage for new dentures and replacements.

  • 7. Delta

    Delta Dental policyholders can choose from over 152,000 network providers across the country. Delta is the one of the largest providers in the nation, and it offers both an HMO-type plan, with which you choose providers and see up-front costs, and a PPO plan, with which you can get extra discounts by using the preferred provider network and choosing a primary dentist. Seniors can save up to 80 percent on basic and major services with Delta Dental plans. A truly unique benefit of choosing Delta Dental is that it has the ability to dictate the maximum out-of-pocket costs within several of its plans. For example, it may specify that a crown will cost policyholders a maximum of $300.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • Customers can choose between a PPO- or HMO-type plan
    • Up-front fee listings are available from providers
    • Some services have maximum out-of-pocket costs
    Cons
    • Fairly high monthly rates
    • Rates increase for people over the age of 50
    • Available in a limited number of states

    Pricing

    There are too many potential cost factors in determining a monthly average for Delta Dental’s policies. Delta Dental Premier coverage, however, averages $50 for one person, $100 for two people, and $154 for a family plan. The averages depend on whether you choose the HMO- or PPO-type plan, as well as the age of the people listed on the policy. Most packages fully cover two preventive sessions annually.

    The Bottom Line

    Delta Dental is ideal for seniors looking for a reliable program with a large network of providers to choose from. Budget-minded seniors can see up-front costs of services with potential providers before making a choice, so there are no surprises at the dentist’s office. If you need major dental services such as dentures, root canals, and crowns, then Delta Dental deserves to be a candidate on your list.

  • 8. UnitedHealthcare

    As one of the nation’s most recognized health insurance providers, it stands to reason that UnitedHealthcare would have a strong dental network that is larger than most of its competitors. The savings are consistent and predictable with dental insurance from UnitedHealthcare, but prepare to pay a pretty penny for comprehensive and premium plans. There are, however, cheaper plans with higher copays and lower coverage limits for seniors on a budget.

    One of the most important things to keep in mind before enrolling in a UnitedHealthcare dental insurance plan is that there are long waiting periods for procedures beyond preventive care. A four- to six-month wait is required for fillings and extractions, for example, and major services such as root canals aren’t covered for 12 months. There are also strict limitations on treatments for pre-existing conditions such as broken dentures or teeth.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
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    Pros
    • Senior-specific plans are available
    • Deductibles are low for most programs — especially family plans
    • One of the largest selections of in-network providers
    • Preventive care is available immediately
    Cons
    • Long waiting periods for major services, between four months and a year
    • No coverage for pre-existing conditions such as dentures, broken teeth, and bridge issues

    Pricing

    UnitedHealthcare’s four main dental plans have starting prices ranging from around $40 to $70. Just remember prices will vary by age, state, and health status. We recommend contacting the company directly for its latest rates. If the rates fall in line with UnitedHealthcare’s health insurance rates, then expect them to be on the higher end of the spectrum.

    The Bottom Line

    Seniors who prefer an in-network provider will enjoy the flexibility of UnitedHealthcare, since it offers several deductible and premium levels. There are options to use out-of-network providers, but procedures may cost you more out of pocket. One of the greatest benefits for seniors with this company is that it offers age-specific plans designed for older adults. These policies specifically cover common senior dental needs such as dentures, bridges, and dental implants.

  • 9. MetLife

    MetLife is best known for dealing with small and large enterprises to handle group life, dental, and other types of insurance for their employees. MetLife, however, also offers family and individual programs through its MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans. Essentially, these plans are designed as “portable” dental insurance that can be transferred between jobs and even into retirement via a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) through MetLife. That gives seniors the option to choose a lower-cost provider in the network while still enjoying the freedom to choose any dentist or specialist they prefer at higher rates.

    Ease of use Service & Response Pricing
    Average Average
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    Pros
    • Coverage for 24/7 emergency care and services
    • Retirees under an existing plan can easily transition into a PPO individual or family plan
    • Expanded diagnostic benefits for procedures like brush biopsies
    • Set fees for multiple service procedures and materials to minimize fee confusion
    Cons
    • Very few options for individual dental plans
    • Pricing disclosure is limited online
    • Web portal is more designed for businesses and employee members

    Pricing

    There are no fixed prices for MetLife TakeAlong Dental plans, since it depends on several factors including age, health, and smoking habits. MetLife Dental PPO Plans offer 100 percent preventative care coverage and up to 80 percent coverage for most basic dental procedures.

    The Bottom Line

    MetLife’s dental programs are a great way to enhance retirement benefits and keep a smile on your face. With coverage for services such as implants, dentures, veneers, and other commonly needed procedures for seniors, MetLife may be the right option to meet your needs.

Why Is Dental Insurance Important for Older Adults?

Taking care of our oral health becomes more important as we age. Older adults have specific needs, such as dealing with gum disease, root decay, broken or lost teeth, and even arthritic conditions that can lead to dental problems. People near retirement age, especially, need to begin looking for a plan to avoid costly coverage gaps, since Medicare doesn’t offer dental coverage.

Most dental insurance companies offer an array of plans, ranging from basic preventive-only coverage and discount savings plans to comprehensive traditional packages and “gold-level” plans. Except for dental discount plans, most programs have at least a six-month waiting period for coverage to kick in, especially for major dental work. That makes finding a new policy before losing any current coverage essential for older adults.

How Much Is Senior Dental Insurance?

Stand-alone dental insurance plans can range anywhere from $30 per month to over $100 monthly for individual plans, and family programs average triple those estimates depending on coverage levels. Deductibles typically average between $50 and $150 per year, but some plans offer a one-time deductible for premium policies. The most affordable option for people seeking temporary or low-cost care is to invest between $75 and $150 in a dental insurance discount program that offers enrollees substantial discounts on all services within days of signing up. Costs vary for different types of coverage by state, age, the number of enrollees, and your selected plan.

Senior Dental Plans and Dentures

Dentures are often covered under dental insurance plans and dental savings or discount programs. Under most traditional dental insurance programs, however, members will have to wait a year or more to qualify for denture-related services. The good news is that most dental discount plans offer some level of denture coverage within days of enrollment for a small annual enrollment fee. It’s important to check each plan carefully to see if there is a pre-existing condition clause that prohibits dentures and repairs unless the teeth are lost or broken during a period of coverage under the policy.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt