Health insurance dental cover offers protection for unforeseen expenses relating to dental treatment. Dental cover also provides a way to budget for preventative as well as unexpected dental treatments.

Health insurance dental cover can mean specific dental insurance or the dental health aspect of a general health insurance policy, and the two are not the same.

Specific dental insurance covers dental check-ups, preventative dental work, dental treatment such as fillings, extractions, crowns and veneers, and orthodontic treatment depending on the level of cover you choose.

Some general health insurance policies include cover for dental treatment, usually either emergency dental work or by way of a contribution to dental visits and consultations.

Health cash plans also offer protection for expenses related to dental treatment, depending on the plan and level of cover.

Health Insurance Dental Cover

Who offers health insurance dental cover?

Specific dental insurance offers protection for dental treatment only. This form of dental insurance is provided by:


General health insurance that offers cover for dental treatment is also available. The cover provided for dental work is usually not generous and may also be subject to an outpatient excess. General health insurance is provided by:

irish life

Health cash plans can offer protection for expenses related to dental work. Health cash plans are provided by:


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What is covered under dental cover?

Health insurance policies vary in the types and levels of cover they provide. Not all general health insurance policies offer cover for dental treatment. Some offer a contribution towards emergency dental treatment, and some policies offer a set contribution towards dental visits with yearly limits applied.

Health insurance dental cover generally reimburses you for treatments that you have already paid for.

What is covered under dental cover

Irish Life

Some Irish Life policies offer cover for emergency dental treatment and some, usually those with day to day benefits, offer a set contribution towards dental consultations. Here are some examples:

irish life
Day to day focus
  • €78.24 monthly
  • €30 per visit for 4 visits per year
  • Emergency dental cover €450 per year
Level 1 Hospital
  • €99.99 monthly
  • €450 emergency dental care
  • If you purchase some Irish Life health policies, you can add a personalised Dental & Optical package (from €54.40 per year) which includes these dental benefits:
  • Emergency Dental Care €350 contribution
  • 20 % discount on teeth whitening at The White House.
  • Xray, check up, scale, and polish €50 for 1 visit.
  • Retainers and fitted gum shields €25 contribution.
  • Orthodontic cover €100 per year


These VHI plans offer contributions towards dental expenses, although they don’t offer any emergency dental cover.

Public Plus Care Day-to-Day
  • €46.87 monthly
  • Dental practitioner visits €20 per visit for 3 visits.
PMI 2410
  • €151.47 monthly
  • Dental practitioner visits €40 per visit for 12 visits.


Laya plans vary in the cover they offer for dental expenses. With Laya dental cover, routine dental work is covered per year rather than per visit.

Assure Ideal
  • €107.88 monthly
  • Routine dental €60 per year
  • Emergency dental €450 per accident
Precision 300 Connect
  • €81.61 monthly
  • No dental cover
Optimum Premium
  • €156.46 monthly
  • Routine dental €300 per year
  • Emergency dental €750 per accident

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What does specific dental insurance cover?

Specific dental insurance is intended to provide cover for emergency and routine dental work, as well as basic and major dental treatments.

Basic dental treatments would include fillings, simple extractions, and treatment of gum disease for example. Major dental treatment would include crowns, root canal treatments, and dental implants and dentures.

Plans are provided at different levels with both providers, with more basic plans covering routine, emergency, and basic dental treatment and higher level plans covering major dental treatment, orthodontics, and an oral cancer benefit.

It is possible to buy plans for an individual, a family, or for a child independent of an adult.

Emergency overseas dental work is covered by dental insurance.

Dental insurance varies on whether they pay the dentist directly or whether you must be reimbursed for treatment that you have paid for.

VHI Dental

VHI dental insurance is provided with a 10% discount for VHI members.

There are two levels of plan Dental Plan and Dental Plan +.

Dental Plan offers cover for:

  • Full cover for 2 check ups and cleanings per year, and X Rays (immediate cover)
  • 70% benefit towards basic dental treatment (3 months waiting period)
  • 70% towards children’s treatment i.e. space maintainers, sealants, and stainless steel crowns. (3 month waiting period)
  • 50% benefit towards major dental treatment (12 month waiting period)
  • Worldwide emergency dental treatment (immediate cover)
  • Orthodontic benefit for adults and children (2 year waiting period)

There are some annual and lifetime limits in the plan which increase after two years on the plan, and again after 5 years on the plan (€1,000 – €1,500).

Crowns, onlays, inlays, veneers, and root canal treatments have an annual limit of €500 (Dental Plan Plus €750), while dentures, bridges, and implant supported crowns have an annual limit of €750 (€1,000 on Dental Plan Plus). Orthodontics has a lifetime limit of €500 (€1,250 on Dental Plan Plus)

Dental Plan Plus covers the same treatments as the more basic Dental Plan but also includes a dental implant benefit of €2,000 following an accident (up to 5 a year), and an oral cancer benefit of €5,000.


Dental cover is available at 4 levels and includes:

  • 100% cover for exams, cleaning and X Rays (all levels)
  • 100% cover for emergency treatment (all levels)
  • 70% cover for fillings, extractions, and gum disease (levels 2,3,4).
  • 70% cover for children’s treatments i.e. sealants, space maintainers, and stainless steel crowns (levels 2,3,4)
  • 60% cover for root canals, crowns, and dentures (levels 3,4)
  • Up to €5,000 oral cancer benefit (levels 3,4)
  • Up to €1,000 towards orthodontics (level 4)

Waiting periods with DeCare:

  • Investigation and prevention – no waiting period (all levels)
  • Emergency treatment – no waiting period (all levels)
  • Basic treatment – 3 months waiting period (level 2,3,4)
  • Major treatment – 12 months waiting period (levels 3,4)
  • Orthodontics -2 year waiting period (level 4)
  • Oral cancer benefit – no waiting period (levels 3,4)

Annual maximum benefit limits between €500 and €2,000 apply, depending on the level of cover you choose. The orthodontic benefit has a lifetime maximum of €1,000.

For major dental treatment (levels 3,4) there is an excess of €100 which you must contribute.

How much does specific dental insurance cost?

The cost of dental insurance varies, depending on the level of cover you choose and your age.


VHI members receive a 10% discount. These prices are for non members.

23 year old:

  • Dental Plan €29.11 per month
  • Dental Plan Plus €32.80 per month

46 year old:

  • Dental Plan €32.13 per month
  • Dental Plan Plus €35.56 per month


  • Healthy Smile Level 1 age 18- 39 €16.44 per month
  • Healthy Smile Level 1 age 0-17 €10.60 per month

Health Insurance Cash Plans for dental cover

Health cash plans provide some benefit towards dental treatment. Health cash plans can only reimburse you for treatments that you have already paid for.


HSF cash plans for individuals will reimburse up to €125 to €600 for dental and optical treatment (combined), and up to €500 to €1,500 for dental trauma. These upper limits depend on your level of cover.

HSF cash plans for families offer either 50% or 100% reimbursement of costs, depending on your plan. 

The total family limit for claims for dental and optical treatment (combined) is up to €80 to €800, depending on your level of cover. 

The total family limit for dental trauma is up to €500- €1,500, again depending on your level of cover.

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Laya Money Smart Cash Back schemes are available for individuals and families and offer some reimbursement of dental treatment. Like HSF, Laya offers a benefit for dental and optical treatment combined.

Laya schemes for individuals offer €20 to €40 per visit for 6 visits a year for dental and optical treatment. Laya schemes for families offer €20 to €40 per visit for 10 visits per year for all family members.

How much do health cash plans cost?


Money Smart Family 30 costs €35.20 per month and provides €30 for up to ten visits per family per year (dental and optical combined).


HSF OSD2 scheme for an individual costs €34.46 per month and provides €300 towards dental and optical treatment (combined), and €750 towards dental trauma.

How do I choose which dental cover is best?

It is important to consider various factors when choosing what insurance cover is best to protect you against unexpected dental expenses.

If your budget allows, specific dental insurance will enable you to plan for routine dental treatment and preventative treatments, as well as have cover in place should you, or a child, need orthodontic work or major dental treatments.

However, health insurance with cover for everyday expenses or a health cash plan will also offer some protection against unexpected dental expenses and will allow you flexibility if, for example, you need to spend more on dental treatment one year and more on another form of medical treatment another year. Specific dental insurance will only cover dental treatment.

Your choice will largely be determined by your budget but it is worth considering specific dental insurance if dental treatment and care of your teeth is a priority for you.

choosing the best dental cover quote

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With appropriate dental cover in place, you will have one less reason to dread dentist’s visits!

Whether you wish to budget for routine and preventative treatment or you would like some cash back on dentist’s visits, our insurance experts are available to discuss your dental and health insurance needs with you.

We can outline your options with you and advise you on dental cover that works for you and your budget.

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