Tips And Guide

Dental Insurance For College Students

With demanding school schedules and ever-changing lifestyles, dental insurance for college students frequently struggles to find the time and money for routine dental care.

Regular dental appointments are just as important as your everyday brushing and flossing habits. However, for students, even routine dental check-ups can be costly, especially without the benefit of dental insurance for college students.

Plans for individuals are specifically designed to alleviate this strain. Whether it’s a routine checkup, a cavity filling, or more complex operations, our plan assures you prioritize your dental health without worrying about costs.

If you’re a college student or living on your own for the first time, there are several factors to consider when choosing the best dental plan. You might have a few inquiries, like:

Best Dental Insurance for College Students

There are numerous student dental insurance plans to pick from; it’s simply a matter of browsing and selecting the best one for your budget and oral health needs.

Having said that, have a look at the following plans, which all feature decent options for college student dental insurance.


Humana dental insurance policies offer numerous discounts. This is a reputable insurance company with a diverse selection of dental policies for students and a network of over 260,000 dentists.

There are no pre-enrollment fees, and no underwriting is required to obtain coverage.

For example, they provide a Bright Plus PPO plan for $30.52 per month. It covers all cleaning charges and 60% of filling expenditures. There is no waiting period for preventive care, but a 90-day waiting period for basic coverage. This plan excludes coverage for major restorative therapies.

The Delta Dental

Delta Dental is one of the most well-known dental insurance carriers in the United States, with a network of over 150,000 dentists.

There are numerous possibilities for dental insurance for students on a budget, including dental insurance for college students attending specific universities. To see if you might acquire a lower-priced Delta Dental plan, contact your university.

Delta Dental offers one general dental plan: the Dental for Everyone Gold plan. It costs $47.25 a month and covers 60% to 100% of cleaning expenses and 50% to 80% of fillings. There is no waiting period for preventive treatment, but a 6-month wait period for basic care. Major services are also covered by this plan, with a 12-month waiting time.


Ameritas provides dental plans with no waiting periods and coverage starting the next day. There are no enrollment costs, and preventive visits such as exams and cleanings are fully covered.

Additionally, some Ameritas dentistry plans may include vision care, orthodontic care, and hearing care.

The Hollywood Smile Premier 1500 PPO costs just $29.07 per month and covers 80% to 100% of cleanings and 50% to 80% of tooth fillings. There are no waiting periods for this plan, and the maximum amount is $1,500.

Dental Healthcare Services

The SmartSmile plan is part of Dental Health Services, an employee-owned dental benefits organization that serves California, Washington, and Oregon.

They strive to deliver high-quality care at a low cost to their customers, which is why they frequently provide dental insurance to college students.

The SmartSMile DHMO was designed specifically for college students on a tight budget. It costs just $6.95 per month, which includes $15 cleanings, $44 fillings, and $490 crowns. There are no plan maximums or waiting periods.


Careington is not an insurance company; instead, they provide a dental savings plan (sometimes known as a discount plan).

We included this in our recommendations because a dental discount plan is an excellent method to receive affordable dental care for the service you require when you need it.

The Careington 500 Series Dental Savings plan is only $8.95 per month, with $49 cleanings and fillings starting at $77. There is no plan maximum and no waiting period for dental discounts and savings plans. Learn more about this type of dental service in our dental discount guide.

Compare the best dental insurance for students.

Take a look at the table below for an overview and comparison of the student dental plans discussed above.


Type of plan

Monthly premium


Waiting period


Bright Plus PPO



  • Preventive: None

  • Basic: 90 days

  • Major: No coverage

Delta Dental

Dental for Everyone Gold PPO



  • Preventive: None

  • Basic: 6 months

  • Major: 12 months


Hollywood Smile Premier 1500 PPO




Dental Health Services

SmartSmile DHMO





500 Series Dental Savings Discount Card




Is there free dental treatment for college students?

Dental treatment is not always free, but there are economical options available. These plans typically include emergencies as well as regular checks and are the least expensive choice.

Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, college students under the age of 26 may receive dental and health insurance through their parents’ plans.

Certain universities may give plans to their students, or at least provide information that can be useful when looking. If your university offers dental coverage, look into them, as they will be tailored to your budget.

A university may also have its clinic on campus, which provides free care to students, however, these clinics often focus on reproductive and general health rather than dental health care.

Dental Insurance for International Students

Just because you are studying away from home does not mean you should forego regular dental checks or have access to dental care when needed. Fortunately, dental insurance is available for overseas students in the United States.

But first, before you begin looking for a plan, you should consult with your university, as they are likely to have information that will be useful in your search. They may even provide their dental care plans to international students.

Before we talk about international student dental insurance, we should first discuss ordinary health plan coverage for overseas students. Regular health insurance policies will not give full dental care, although they may include the following important benefits:

  • Accidental dental: It not only rolls off the tongue, but it can also assist you cover the price of tooth restoration if your tooth or teeth are destroyed in an accident.
  • Dental discomfort: Plans for international students may include an acute onset dental pain benefit. This is a restricted benefit that covers treatment costs for severe dental discomfort.

However, if you require additional dental coverage, which is especially important if you intend to study in the United States for an extended time, dental insurance for international students in the United States is available.

As a foreign student on an F1 or F2 visa, or a visiting scholar, you can obtain either a standalone dental insurance plan or a combined medical and dental insurance plan.

There are several providers of dental insurance policies for overseas students studying in the United States. We’ll give you an example of two of them: NRIOL and Visitorguard, so you can see what services they provide.

NRIOL is a private insurance business established in Virginia that provides travel and health insurance services, including medical insurance for international students. They provide two options for students: dental insurance-only plans and a medical and limited dental plan.

The dental plan includes the following:

  • Choose from three levels of coverage.
  • There are no waiting periods for most services offered.
  • There’s no enrollment charge.

Ameritas offers this plan, and to receive a price, you must complete some basic information on their website.


VisitorGuard, another US-based insurance company, attempts to provide affordable dental insurance to overseas students.

Just like NRIOL, they provide international students with two options: a dental and vision plan or a medical and restricted dental coverage plan.

Primestar offers a dental plan that looks virtually identical to the one described above and provides the same benefits. This plan costs $20 per month.

Dental insurance for students under 26

Fortunately, under the Affordable Care Act, you can continue to enjoy the advantages given by your parents’ health and dental insurance policies until you are 26, even if you get married.

If you aren’t covered by your parent’s plan, you can receive dental insurance through the ACA by visiting to and perusing the options there.

However, unless you experience a life-changing event (marriage, divorce, aging out of your parent’s plan, pregnancy, income shift, etc.), you are unable to enroll through outside of the open enrollment period, which typically runs from November to January each year.

You may also be eligible for Medicaid, which you can apply for at Your income must be below a specific threshold, and your parents cannot intend to claim you as a dependant on their tax returns; otherwise, their income would be considered as well.

Dental insurance costs for college students

The cost of dental insurance for college students varies based on the plan, each individual’s needs, and the state in which they live. Fortunately, dental insurance is less expensive than ordinary health insurance, with monthly payments as low as $7.

Affordable dental insurance for college students

If you’re seeking low-cost dental insurance for college students (and, let’s be honest, who isn’t?), you should think about an HMO.

If you’re interested in the details, we’ll go into what an HMO is below, but in general, an HMO has a primary care dentist who you must visit or you may be charged additional expenses.

HMO plans normally do not have deductibles, but you will be required to pay a copay at the time of your visit. In summary, HMO plans often have the lowest monthly rates and may not have annual maximums, but they are the most limiting in terms of provider options. If you’re looking for the most economical choice, this could be it.

Why is dental insurance for College students so important?

We all want a terrific grin. However, brushing and flossing every day is often insufficient. Routine dental check-ups, which include teeth cleanings and X-rays, can help identify dental problems before they worsen.

Dental insurance normally covers regular dental checkups and cleanings. Here are a few reasons why dental examinations are essential for young adults.

  • X-rays can detect cavities before progressing to more serious issues requiring a root canal. Root canals can cost hundreds of dollars without dental insurance.
  • Untreated gum disease can cause major health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, jawbone infection, and more.
  • Injuries and emergencies occur. A fractured or lost tooth can be painful. However, without dental insurance, receiving dental care to treat a dental accident could cost thousands of dollars.
  • An infected tooth or other surgical procedures, such as wisdom tooth extraction, should not be overlooked. If not treated, these can lead to more serious health problems.
  • If you already have or need orthodontics, you should look for a plan that includes orthodontic coverage.

How can you obtain dental insurance as a college student?

Here are a few methods to receive dental coverage as a college student:

  • Your school – Check with your college or university. They may offer dental and health insurance to students through the school. These plans are often tailored to a student’s budget.
  • Your employer – If you started working, your employer may provide dental insurance as part of your health insurance package. Coverage and expenses may differ depending on the plans available.
  • Your parents – Depending on how your parents’ dental insurance works, you may be able to remain on their plan until the end of the year when you turn 26.
  • On your own – You can purchase your dental plan from a health insurer such as Cigna HealthcareSM* or through the health insurance marketplace. Coverage and expenses may differ based on the plan you select.

What should I look for in a dental insurance policy for young adults?

When searching for a dental plan, here are some popular features to consider.

In-network vs. Out-of-Network Dentists

In-network dentists might help you save money. Some plans require you to see a dentist in their network for services to be covered. Out-of-network dentists will cost you more money.

Waiting Periods for Dental Plans

How soon will you require treatment? Dental plans may require you to wait a particular amount of time before receiving more expensive treatment coverage. However, other policies provide comprehensive coverage without a waiting time.

Preventive-only vs. Full-coverage Dental Plans

Are you in need of a preventive-only dental plan? These plans cover regular oral exams (typically every six months), dental cleanings, and routine x-rays.

Do you require a full-coverage dental plan? Depending on the plan you choose, the following services and treatments are covered:

  • Basic restorative care consists of fillings, extractions, and non-routine X-rays.
  • Bridges, crowns, and dentures are all examples of major restorative care procedures.
  • Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, spacers, and Invisalign, can help straighten your teeth.

Out-of-pocket costs

Think about the whole cost of your dental plan. These may include a monthly premium, deductible, coinsurance, and additional fees for procedures that are not covered.

How Dental Insurance Works?

First, you enroll in a dental plan through a dental insurance company. You agree to pay a monthly premium, which is simply a fancy phrase for a fee, and your dental insurance will cover a portion of your treatment costs.

Some dental insurance policies provide all preventive procedures, such as cleanings and exams, while only covering a portion of other services, such as 50% for fillings and 30% for root canals.

Other key terms to understand about dental insurance include

  • Annual maximum: This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay for your coverage in a given year. If your maximum is $1,500, that implies that once your insurance provider has paid $1,500 of your dental expenditures, you will be responsible for the remainder out of pocket.
  • Deductible: Your deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance will kick in. For example, if you need a $2,000 root canal operation and have a $1,000 deductible, you will have to pay $1,000 out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • A copay is a minor cost that you may be required to pay when visiting a clinic to obtain service.
  • Coinsurance: This is the percentage of costs that your insurance will cover. For example, if the coinsurance for a filling is 50%, your insurance will cover 50% of the cost, leaving you to pay the remaining 50% (after you’ve met your deductible).

There are several types of insurance plans:

  • Dental Preferred Provider Organization (DPPO): These plans often include an annual deductible and coinsurance, and seeing a dentist in your network will save you money.
  • Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plans are more economical. They frequently have no deductibles and charge a flat rate for non-preventive therapy. There is often only one primary care dentist to select from, giving you less freedom.
  • Dental Indemnity: You can see dentists both in and out of the network, and references are not required to see specialists. These plans are often more expensive.
  • Dental Exclusive Provider Organization (DEPO): This type of plan allows you to see either a general dentist or a specialist. You do not require a primary care dentist, but you must visit in-network dentists.
  • Dental Point of Service (DPOS): You can see dentists both in and out of the network, but you must select a primary care dentist who can refer you to specialists.
  • Dental discount/savings plans do not have maximums, deductibles, or waiting periods because they are not insurance plans. You pay a monthly or annual fee to receive discounts on all treatments.

What dental plans are suitable for students and young adults?

There are numerous types of dental plans available, each with its own set of benefits and prices. The sort of plan you select is determined by the type of dental care you anticipate needing in the future year.

Coverage for routine preventive care

If you have healthy teeth and expect to simply require routine cleanings and exams, a preventative dental plan may be appropriate. Preventive dental programs offer all routine dental care.

This normally consists of two dental exams every six months, routine x-rays, and cleaning and polishing. They also provide inexpensive monthly premiums.

Coverage for Orthodontics

If you have braces or retainers, seek a dental plan that includes orthodontic services. This information is included in the plan summary or details. Orthodontics are not covered by all insurance policies, so shop carefully. These plans cost more because they provide additional coverage.

Coverage for More Complex Oral Health Concerns

If you anticipate requiring more advanced dental care and treatments (such as oral surgery or gum disease treatment), look into the different classes or categories of coverage offered by various plans.

These are commonly known as preventative, basic restorative, major restorative, and orthodontia.

Before purchasing a dental plan, make sure to read the fine print. These agreements may include specifics regarding what is and is not covered (also known as limitations and exclusions). They may also contain information regarding probable waiting periods.

How much does dental insurance for college students cost?

The charges will vary according to the plan type you select. Generally, dental insurance costs are divided into three categories:

  • Your monthly premium – This is the amount of money you pay per year for your plan, which varies depending on the type of plan and its coverage. However, premiums are only part of your total cost.
  • Your deductible is the amount you pay for dental care before your insurance begins to share the cost of services.
  • Coinsurance is a share of your medical expenses after your deductible has been reached.

Dental plans may include:

  • Additional out-of-pocket expenditures – If you receive services that your plan does not cover, you will most likely have to pay for them yourself. If your plan has an annual maximum (or limit) on the amount it will cover, you may be responsible for any charges that exceed that level. This is why it is critical to review the specifics of any dental plan before purchasing or enrolling.
  • Savings for dentists in the network If your dental plan requires you to visit a dentist within a specific network, you will save money as well. Visiting an out-of-network dentist will cost you much more.

How much do dental services cost without insurance?

Depending on the dental professional, you may be able to pay for your dental care without insurance.

However, the cost of dental care can quickly add up when combined with other student expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, and food.

Discounted Dental Care for Students

Depending on where you reside, you may be able to receive cheap dental care through a local dental school. Dental students will provide the services, while licensed dentists will oversee the process.

This may be an excellent way to save money, but you should do your homework completely before selecting this choice for dental services and treatment. Make sure that dental schools take your dental insurance as well.

When is it possible to buy dental insurance for students?

The duration for obtaining dental coverage varies on how you buy the plan.

  • If you buy dental insurance via your institution or university, they may have their deadlines. Please contact your admissions office for further information.
  • If your workplace provides a dental plan as part of your health coverage, you must enroll during the open enrollment period.
  • You can sign up for a dental plan with an insurer like Cigna Healthcare or on the Health Insurance Marketplace at any time of year.

When deciding on the type of dental insurance plan you need, consider your lifestyle, your budget, and your plans for the future year. There are numerous dental plans available to meet your needs.

What is the best dental insurance for students?

The best dental insurance plan for students depends on their unique dental needs and budget limits. It is critical to evaluate and contrast various plans and providers, focusing on those that provide the coverage you require while remaining affordable.

Prioritize plans that provide preventative care, basic and major treatments, and even orthodontic care if it is on your radar. Deductibles, co-payments, and annual restrictions are all important considerations.

What can I expect to pay for student dental insurance?

The cost of dental insurance can be determined by factors such as location, age, and plan type. Spirit Dental offers a variety of programs to accommodate a wide range of budgets.

When you choose a plan designed for students, your monthly expenses could range from $36 to $70, depending on your area and the plan’s specifics.

Along with monthly charges, each of our plans includes a $100 one-time deductible. Plus, our dental insurance has significant annual maximums ranging from $1,200 to $5,000. If you have any additional questions concerning our student dentistry insurance coverage caps, please contact us.

Any suggestions for selecting student dental insurance?

Certainly! This is a brief guide:

  • Evaluate oral Requirements: Understand your existing oral situation and plan for any impending treatments.
  • Examine coverage: Seek out plans that meet your needs, from preventive to advanced treatments.
  • Contrast Different Plans: Compare insurance from various sources, taking into account deductibles, copayments, and annual limits.
  • Survey Provider Networks: If you have a favorite dental clinic or practitioner, make sure they are part of the plan’s network.
  • Customer feedback: Use internet reviews and personal testimonies to assess the insurer’s service quality.

What is the activation time for individual dental insurance?

It’s critical to note that various dental insurance companies provide policies with waiting periods ranging from a few months to more than a year.

This implies that after registration, there may be a gap before your benefits begin, which could be problematic for those students who require dental insurance right immediately.

These insurances often cover preventive measures, necessary procedures, and in-depth therapies. Depending on the plan, some may include waiting times for all dental visits, while others only apply to specific procedures.

For individuals who want to avoid any delays and uncertainty, explore solutions with instant coverage, like as what Spirit Dental offers. Once your policy is in force, you can arrange that dentist appointment.

Spirit Dental offers individual dental plans for the modern student!

Are you looking for comprehensive student dental insurance plans that meet your specific demands and budget? Dive into Spirit Dental’s student-focused plans and enroll online in minutes. Getting quotations is a breeze!

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