Dentist and a young patient during a checkup

Health insurance for general dental

What treatments are included in general dental and what costs will be covered by health insurance?

General dental cover is one of the most crucial inclusions in an extras cover policy from Australian private health funds. Some common general dental treatments include the following.

  • Annual check-ups
  • Minor extractions
  • Dental x-rays
  • Minor fillings
  • Teeth cleaning, plaque removal and fluoride treatment

However, there are plenty of other dental costs that will not be included in an extras policy that only covers general dental, such as crowns, bridges and root canal treatments. These will only be covered if you choose a policy that includes major dental.

Private dental cover options from $3 per week

We’ve rounded up a few of the finder.com.au panel for general dental policies. They can be an affordable way to get your teeth sorted or just shined.

ProviderPolicyLimitWait PeriodCost Per MonthApply
HCFBronze Extras$3502 Months$11.67Go to Site
ahmBlack 50 saver$4002 months$13.05Go to Site
Australian UnityBasic Extras$3502 Months$21.48More info
health.com.auPulse 50$5002 Months$21.65More info
nibCore Extras$6002 Months$30.16More info
Transport HealthSingle Healthy Choice$5002 Months$37.67Go to Site

*prices based on a single male living in NSW. Always check extras for combined limits

Use the comparison tool to filter by dental service for 30+ funds

Tired of trawling through multiple policies trying to work out which type of dental treatment is covered? Simply enter your details on our health insurance tool, hit Search Policies and use the blue filter button in the top right-hand corner to sort policies by general dental, major dental, endodontic and orthodontic.

What are the differences between general and major dental?

What is and isn't covered under general dental and major dental in an extras policy differ greatly. Below you can find a list of treatments that will be covered by each service. This is not exhaustive, and treatments may vary depending on the health fund and the policy you select, so be sure to check your cover details for more information.

General dental

    • Dental check-ups
    • Cleaning and scaling
    • Removal of plaque
    • Removal of calculus
    • Fillings
    • Simple extractions (excluding wisdom teeth)
    • Tooth whitening
    • Dental x-rays

Major dental

    • Wisdom teeth removal
    • Inlays/onlays
    • Crowns
    • Bridges
    • Dentures
    • Orthodontics
    • Root canal therapy
    • Treatment of gum disease
    • Braces
    • Major restorative fillings (eg veneers)

Does Medicare pay a benefit for general dental?

Medicare does not provide cover for the vast majority of dental examinations and treatments. Instead, Australians need to rely on their private health insurance to provide the cover they need for dental treatment costs.

Dental cover is included in most extras cover from Australian private health funds, but your level of dental cover will be dependant on how comprehensive the policy is.

What should I consider when choosing dental health insurance?

There are several factors you will need to take into account when choosing health insurance for general dental, regardless of whether you want cover for minor or major dental.

The level of cover you want. Take a moment to consider your overall dental health and how much cover you need. Do you need the complete peace of mind and high level of financial protection offered by a policy that covers major dental, or will general dental cover be sufficient for your needs?

  • Your age. The older you are, the higher the level of dental cover you will most likely need. Keep this in mind when deciding on the right policy for your requirements.
  • Your financial situation. If you’re wealthy or if you’re already covered by corporate dental insurance from your employer, consider whether the financial benefits offered by extras cover would really be worth it for you.
  • What’s covered and what’s not. Next, take a look at the fine print of your policy to see exactly which services are covered and which aren’t. Are there any services that are excluded from one policy that are included as a standard in another?
  • Waiting periods. Take a closer look at the length of the waiting period you will need to serve before you can access any benefits. This is usually two months for most general dental services, but it’s worth checking just so you don’t get any nasty surprises.
  • Benefit limits. Check the PDS for information on the maximum amount of benefits you are eligible to claim on a policy. Do those benefit limits apply annually or over the lifetime of your policy? If there is more than one person covered by your policy, do the listed limits apply per person or per policy? Finally, if there is no overall benefit limit specified, check to see what benefit limits apply to individual procedures.

Compare extras policies that cover general dental

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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