Dental insurance NZ: What is it?

Co-Author: Michelle Norton

Dental insurance is a type of cover usually included in an Extras type private health insurance policy.

What does dental health insurance cover?

Although the exact dental care covered will vary between providers and policies, dental care covered can include teeth extraction, dentures, endodontic (root canal surgery) periodontic (gum treatment) and orthodontic treatment (braces).

As with all insurance policies, make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted line for dental health insurance. Plans might cover oral surgery, such as the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, but then exclude day-to-day dental costs, such as getting a filling.

What are the dental insurance costs?

Dental insurance costs depend on whether you are purchasing a Hospital and Extras policy that includes dental insurance cover or an Extras Only policy that includes dental.

Most insurers will offer a range of plan levels, ranging from standard policies that only cover surgical procedures, through to more extensive policies, that cover a wider range of services. In many cases, insurers will offer plans with add-ons, including for dental cover. In addition, most insurers will provide a range of excess options, with higher excesses linked to lower premiums. This way, you can tailor the level of cover you need to your own specific circumstances.

Of course, price isn’t everything when it comes to health insurance – features and coverage are just as important, if not more so. And not having coverage can also be very pricey; wisdom tooth removal can cost anywhere from $1000 to $5800, according to HFANZ. But whatever you choose does need to be affordable. The Sorted website provides some tips on how you can cut down on the costs of health insurance.

What about dental tourism insurance?

Some travel insurance policies include cover for emergency dental procedures that are required during an international trip, for example if you break a tooth on a pretzel in Germany. But these polices usually do not cover someone travelling to get treatment for a pre-existing dental condition.

Cover for dental treatment as part of travel insurance may include pain relief, temporary dressings or extraction. Policies may also include the cost of treatment for any acute dental pain caused by an injury.

Here’s what you need to know about medical tourism if you are considering taking your teeth to another country.

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