What is a Waiting Period for Dental Insurance?

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
January 20, 2022

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Updated March 2023

When shopping for a dental plan, it’s wise to read the fine print carefully so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying. When you do that, you might notice that many options come with a waiting period. What is a waiting period for dental insurance? Keep reading to learn about this restriction and how you can avoid it.  

What is a waiting period for dental insurance?

Put simply, a waiting period is the length of time that you’ll need to wait before your dental insurance policy fully kicks in. During this time, your dental insurance may not cover some procedures.

Waiting period lengths will vary by insurer, policy and type of insurance. The waiting period can be as little as a few months, up to a whole year.

This waiting period requirement can stand in the way of you receiving necessary professional care sooner rather than later. Imagine having a dental emergency and being unable to use the insurance you purchased—now that’s scary! 

Why is there a waiting period for dental insurance?

Insurance providers that impose waiting periods are trying to protect themselves and keep costs down for consumers. This tactic helps prevent people from signing up for a plan, receiving care, and then dropping the plan. In other words, it’s a way for insurers to dissuade people from signing up for coverage only when they know they have an oral health concern that needs to be treated.  

What does a no waiting period mean in dental insurance?

No waiting period means your dental coverage is active as soon as your application is approved. No waiting weeks or months before you can take care of that emergency dental procedure for you or your family.

Don't worry, you can find dental insurance with no waiting periods

Thankfully, there is dental insurance with no waiting period restrictions. It’s just a matter of finding the right plans available in your area. So, as you browse policies that give you the coverage you need, check the details regarding waiting periods.

You can indeed find dental insurance with no waiting period for major services. But also consider other factors, such as the cost of the plan and whether or not you need to use a dentist who’s in-network to receive the benefits you want.  

Dental insurance waiting period FAQs

Waiting periods can be frustrating, so many consumers choose insurers that won’t impose limits on the care they can receive after signing up. If you’re interested in learning more about dental insurance without waiting periods, check out the FAQs below. 

Can I Use Dental Insurance Right Away?

Depending on a plan’s details, you might be able to get coverage for all categories of care (preventive, basic, and major) immediately. But if you also need other types of coverage, keep that in mind.

For example, if your child needs orthodontics, it’s a great idea to search for companies that provide dental insurance for braces with no waiting period.

As another example, if you’re a senior looking for dental insurance with no waiting period for dentures or implants, you can narrow your options down based on this requirement.

How long does dental insurance take to kick in?

If you don’t go with a plan that provides comprehensive coverage without any waiting periods, you’ll be limited in terms of the types of treatments you’ll be able to receive at first. But not all plans with waiting periods are identical.

Waiting periods might be different for the various categories of care that are covered by an insurer. For instance, you might not need to wait to receive preventive care, but you might need to wait months for basic services coverage or even up to a year or more for coverage of major services. Yikes!

For this reason, it’s wise to consider your needs as you shop for insurance. For example, if you need dental insurance with no waiting period for a root canal, you can search specifically for plans that give you that coverage.

Can I get dental insurance with pre-existing conditions?

It is possible to find dental insurance plans that will cover pre-existing conditions. As is the case with waiting periods, it’s important to read the fine print so you’ll know what is and isn’t covered.

Some plans might not cover pre-existing conditions at all. Others might not have any restrictions. And some insurers might limit the types of pre-existing conditions that will be covered. For instance, missing teeth or severe pre-existing conditions might not be covered at all, or you might just need to fulfill a waiting period before coverage kicks in.

Can I get dental insurance right before surgery?

Yes, you might be able to find a plan that won’t impose restrictions on the types of procedures you can undergo after enrollment. For example, you might be able to get dental insurance with no waiting period for wisdom teeth removal.

Basically, if there aren’t any pre-existing condition exclusions or waiting periods on major services, you might be able to enroll in insurance and get support for surgery right away.

Can you get dental insurance at any time?

Yes, you can sign up for dental insurance at any time. You don't need to wait for an open enrollment period or a new year to start.

Spirit Dental has the dental insurance with no waiting period you need

Do you want to go with an insurance company that won’t impose annoying waiting periods? Spirit Dental offers a variety of plans to suit the needs of individuals, families, and seniors. And the best part is there aren’t any waiting periods for preventive, basic, or major services! Signing up is simple, and you can contact us anytime with questions about our plans.

Let Spirit Dental help you discover a no-waiting-period dental plan that can fit your dental needs. Get started with a free instant quote today.

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