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.

Which Australian health funds cover general dental?

Health fundExtras policies and annual benefit limits*Waiting periods
HIF health insurance
    • Premium Options. $1,500 per person
  • Super Options. $1,150 per person
  • Special Options. $800 per person
  • Saver Options. $750 per person
  • Vital Options. $800 per person
  • 2 months
health.com.au health insurance
    • High. $750 per person
  • Middle. $700 per person
  • Base. $600 per person
  • Simple Essentials 60. $500 per person
  • Extras 50. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Health Care Insurance
  • Premier Extras. No annual limit
  • Active Life Extras. $500 per person
  • 6 months
teachers health fund
  • Restricted health fund
  • Top Extras. No annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
CBHS Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund
  • Top Extras. No annual limit
  • Intermediate Extras. $500 annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $170 annual limit
  • 2 months
AHM health insurance
  • Super Extras. No annual limit
  • Family Extras. $500 per person
  • Lifestyle Extras. $500 per person
  • Black 60. $650 per person
  • Black 50. $400 per person
  • 2 months for Black 60
  • 2 months for Black 50
  • None for the rest
Australian Unity
  • Gold Extras. $800 per person
  • Silver Extras. $600 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $600 per person
  • Basic Extras. $350 per person
  • 0-2 months for Gold Extras
  • 0-2 months for Silver Extras
  • 2-12 months for Bronze Extras
  • 2-6 months for Basic Extras
GMHBA health fund
  • Gold Extras. $2,000 per person
  • Silver Extras. $1,500 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $1,000 per person
  • 2 months
HCF health insurance
  • Platinum Extras. $900 per person
  • Gold Extras. $600 per person
  • Silver Plus Extras. $500 per person
  • Bronze Plus Extras. $400 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $350 per person
  • 2 months
nib health insurance
  • Top Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Core Plus Extras. $700 per person
  • Core Extras. $600 per person
  • 2 months
Transport Health insurance
  • Top Extras. $800 per person
  • Healthy Choice Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months

*The policies listed in this table are extras only. However, most can be combined with hospital cover.

Health fundExtras policies and annual benefit limits*Waiting periods
ahm
  • Super Extras. No annual limit
  • Family Extras. $500 per person
  • Lifestyle Extras. $500 per person
  • Black 60. $650 per person
  • Black 50. $400 per person
  • 2 months for Black 60
  • 2 months for Black 50
  • None for the rest
Australian Unity
  • Gold Extras. $800 per person
  • Silver Extras. $600 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $600 per person
  • Basic Extras. $350 per person
  • 0-2 months for Gold Extras
  • 0-2 months for Silver Extras
  • 2-12 months for Bronze Extras
  • 2-6 months for Basic Extras
Budget Direct
  • Top Extras Cover. $2,000 per person
  • Basic Extras Cover. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Bupa
  • Platinum Extras. No annual limit
  • Gold Extras. No annual limit
  • Silver Extras. No annual limit applies
  • Your Choice Extras. $700 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $350 per person
  • 2 months
Cessnock District Health Fund
  • Gold Extras. No annual limit
  • Silver Extras. No annual limit
  • Bronze Extras. $400 per person
  • 2 months
CUA Health
  • Total Extras. No annual limit
  • Classic Extras. $700 per person
  • Essential Extras. $400 per person
  • 2 months
Frank Health Insurance
  • Lots Extras Cover. $2,000 per person
  • Some Extras Cover. $500 per person
  • 2 months
GMF
  • Complete Extras. $850 per person
  • Mid Extras. $850 per person
  • Lite Extras. $500 per person
  • 6 months
GMHBA
  • Gold Extras. $2,000 per person
  • Silver Extras. $1,500 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $1,000 per person
  • 2 months
HBF
  • Flexi Extras Plus. No annual limit
  • Flexi Extras Mid. No annual limit
  • Flexi Extras. No annual limit
  • Saver Flexi Extras Plus. $900 per person
  • Saver Flexi Extras Mid. $700 per person
  • Saver Flexi Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
HCF
  • Platinum Extras. $900 per person
  • Gold Extras. $600 per person
  • Silver Plus Extras. $500 per person
  • Bronze Plus Extras. $400 per person
  • Bronze Extras. $350 per person
  • 2 months
Health Care Insurance
  • Premier Extras. No annual limit
  • Active Life Extras. $500 per person
  • 6 months
health.com.au
    • High. $750 per person
  • Middle. $700 per person
  • Base. $600 per person
  • Simple Essentials 60. $500 per person
  • Extras 50. $500 per person
  • 2 months
hif
    • Premium Options. $1,500 per person
  • Super Options. $1,150 per person
  • Special Options. $800 per person
  • Saver Options. $750 per person
  • Vital Options. $800 per person
  • 2 months
Latrobe Health Services
  • Premier Gold, Family Care Gold. No annual limits
  • Premier Silver. $1,200 per person
  • Premier, Premier Plus. $1,000 per person
  • Dental. $1,000 per person
  • 3 months
Medibank
  • Top Extras. $800 per person
  • Growing Family Extras. $750 per person
  • Basic Extras. $750 per person
  • Healthy Start Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Mildura Health Fund
  • Five Star Extras. $360 per person
  • Dental. $300 per person
  • 2 months
nib
  • Top Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Core Plus Extras. $700 per person
  • Core Extras. $600 per person
  • 2 months
onemedifund
  • Extras Plus. No annual limit
  • Basic Extras. $550 per person
  • 2 months
Peoplecare
  • Premium Extras. No annual limit
  • High Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Mid Extras. $750 per person
  • Basic Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Queensland Country Health Fund
  • Premium Extras. $1,400 per person
  • Essential Extras. $900 per person
  • Young Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
St. Lukes Health
  • Super Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Budget Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Transport Health
  • Top Extras. $800 per person
  • Healthy Choice Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Westfund
  • Platinum Extras. No annual limit
  • Gold Extras. No annual limit
  • 2 months
ACA Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Complete Ancillary. $1,700 per person
  • Ancillary Lite. $700 per person
  • 9 months
CBHS health fund
  • Restricted health fund
  • Top Extras. No annual limit
  • Intermediate Extras. $500 annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $170 annual limit
  • 2 months
Defence Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Premier Extras. No annual limit
  • Value Extras. No annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Doctors Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund
  • Total Extras. No annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $800 per person
  • Basic Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Navy Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Premium Extras. No annual limit
  • Healthy Living Extras. No annual limit
  • Saver Plus. $600 per person
  • Basic Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Police Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • SureCover Extras. No annual limit
  • 2 months
Reserve Bank Health Society
  • Restricted health fund
  • Extras Cover. No annual limit
  • 2 months
RT Health
  • Restricted health fund
  • Premium Extras. No annual limit
  • Smart Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Value Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
Teachers Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund
  • Top Extras. No annual limit
  • Essential Extras. $500 per person
  • 2 months
TUH
  • Restricted health fund
  • Comprehensive Extras. No annual limit
  • Healthy Options 60% Extras. $1,000 per person
  • Mid Range Extras. $600 per person
  • Basic Extras. $400 per person
  • 2 months

*The policies listed in this table are extras only. However, most can be combined with hospital cover.

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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.com.au. He is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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