The Need for Dental Insurance in India

This article covers the need for dental insurance in India, types of plans, key benefits, top providers, aspects to consider before choosing a policy, exclusions, tips for buying dental insurance and the future outlook of this sector.

Dental treatments can be expensive in India, especially procedures like root canals, crowns, braces and implants. Some estimates suggest that dental care expenses are the second largest out-of-pocket health expenditure for Indian households. This highlights the importance of having dental insurance to cover procedures and mitigate financial stress.

Types of Dental Insurance Plans in India

There are two main types of dental insurance plans offered in India:

Comprehensive Dental Plans

These plans provide wider coverage for procedures like regular dental checkups, X-rays, fillings, root canals, crowns, braces, dentures etc. The premium is higher but they cover a larger portion of dental treatment costs. Many of them have co-payment clauses.

Basic Dental Plans

These plans provide coverage only for basic dental care like extractions, amalgam fillings and medication. The premium is lower but coverage is limited. Such plans are best suited for prevention and diagnosis rather than treatment.

Key Benefits of Dental Insurance

  • Covers cost of dental procedures and treatments
  • Cashless facility at network dentists
  • Coverage for family members can be included
  • Tax exemptions on premium paid
  • Covers regular dental checkups and cleaning
  • Fixed allowance for dental implants or braces

Top Insurance Providers for Dental Coverage

Several health and general insurers in India offer add-on dental insurance plans. Some of the leading options are:

  • Star Health – Star Smile Dental Insurance Policy
  • Apollo Munich – Dental Insurance Plan
  • ICICI Lombard – Complete Health Insurance Plan
  • Max Bupa – Health Companion Benefit Plan
  • Bajaj Allianz – Health Ensure Plan
  • HDFC Ergo – Complete Health Insurance Plan

These plans can be opted on individual basis or as group policies for corporate employees. The premium varies based on sum insured, number of family members covered and age group.

Aspects to Consider Before Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan

When selecting a suitable dental insurance plan, some key aspects to consider are:

Waiting Period

Most dental insurance plans have an initial waiting period of 2-3 years for certain treatments. Major procedures are covered only after this period.

Network of Dentists

Choose a plan with extensive network clinics so that cashless facility is available when required.

Premium Payment Mode

Compare premiums for monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual payment modes. Opt for longer frequency to avail discounts.


Check if there are any sub-limits on coverage for implants, braces or dentures. Higher sub-limits ensure better coverage for such expensive treatments.


Go for life-long renewal option so that renewal after retirement age is smoother and waiting period is not reset.

Key Exclusions in Dental Insurance Policies

While dental insurance significantly covers costs, there are some exclusions such as:

  • Dental treatment not prescribed by a dentist
  • Cosmetic surgeries, restorations or implants
  • Experimental procedures
  • Orthodontic appliances replacement
  • Teeth cleaning/polishing
  • Fluoride treatments

Tips for Buying Dental Insurance

When purchasing a suitable dental insurance plan, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Analyze your specific dental needs and anticipated costs
  • Check for exclusions and waiting periods
  • Evaluate network of dentists in your location
  • Compare premiums of different insurers for similar cover
  • Opt for higher coverage amount if you expect major treatments
  • Consider adding critical illness rider for enhanced protection

The Road Ahead

While dental insurance currently has low penetration levels in India, the situation is expected to improve going forward. With rising costs, growing awareness about oral health and insurers launching specialized plans, dental insurance should see better traction in the coming decade. For middle class households it can significantly reduce out-of-pocket healthcare spending.

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