AARP Dental Insurance Plan: Comprehensive Dental Coverage for Seniors

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: July 18, 2023
Last updated: November 11, 2023

As seniors age, maintaining good oral health becomes increasingly important. Regular dental check-ups and treatments are essential for preventing oral health issues and ensuring overall well-being. However, traditional Medicare typically does not cover routine dental care.

For seniors seeking comprehensive dental coverage, the AARP Dental Insurance Plan is an excellent option. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the features, benefits, and FAQs related to the AARP Dental Insurance Plan, designed specifically to meet the oral health needs of seniors.

Why Dental Insurance Matters for Seniors

As seniors enter their golden years, dental health becomes a crucial aspect of their overall well-being. Poor oral health can lead to various health issues, impacting nutrition, self-confidence, and quality of life.

Medicare, while essential for many medical needs, does not generally cover routine dental care, leaving seniors responsible for expensive out-of-pocket dental expenses. A reliable dental insurance plan can offer seniors the peace of mind and financial protection they need to maintain optimal oral health.

Introducing the AARP Dental Insurance Plan

The AARP Dental Insurance Plan is a comprehensive dental insurance option specifically designed for seniors aged 50 and older. Administered by Delta Dental Insurance Company, the plan offers a range of benefits and coverage options to suit different oral health needs.

Features and Benefits of the AARP Dental Insurance Plan

Let's explore the key features and benefits that make the AARP Dental Insurance Plan an attractive choice for seniors:

1. Wide Range of Coverage Options: The AARP Dental Insurance Plan provides various coverage options, allowing seniors to choose a plan that best aligns with their individual dental health needs and budget. Whether one needs basic coverage for preventive care or more comprehensive coverage for major dental procedures, there's a plan to suit every requirement.

2. Coverage for Preventive Services: Routine dental check-ups, cleanings, and X-rays are critical for early detection and prevention of dental problems. The AARP Dental Insurance Plan covers these preventive services, encouraging seniors to prioritize regular visits to the dentist.

3. Coverage for Basic and Major Procedures: In addition to preventive services, the AARP Dental Insurance Plan offers coverage for basic dental procedures such as fillings and tooth extractions, as well as major procedures like crowns, bridges, and dentures. This comprehensive coverage ensures seniors have access to a wide range of dental treatments as needed.

4. Large Network of Dentists: The AARP Dental Insurance Plan boasts an extensive network of dentists across the United States. Seniors can choose from a wide selection of dental providers, making it easier to find an in-network dentist and potentially reducing out-of-pocket costs.

5. No Waiting Period for Preventive Care: The plan provides immediate coverage for preventive services, eliminating the need for seniors to wait for essential check-ups and cleanings.

6. Affordable Premiums and Cost-sharing: The AARP Dental Insurance Plan offers competitive premiums and cost-sharing options, ensuring that seniors can find a plan that suits their budget.

7. Added Vision Benefits: In some states, the AARP Dental Insurance Plan may also offer additional vision benefits, making it a comprehensive option for overall health and well-being.

Exploring Alternative Options for Dental Coverage

While dental insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage for oral health needs, there are alternative options available that may suit individuals who prefer different approaches or have specific requirements. Here, we delve into some alternative choices for dental coverage:

1. Dental Discount Plans: Dental discount plans are an attractive alternative to traditional dental insurance for individuals seeking cost-effective dental care. Unlike insurance, which involves paying monthly premiums for coverage, dental discount plans require members to pay an annual or monthly fee to access a network of participating dentists who offer discounted rates on various dental services. While the discounts may vary depending on the procedure and provider, these plans can result in significant cost savings, particularly for individuals who do not require extensive dental work.

2. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): For individuals with high-deductible health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can serve as a viable alternative for dental expenses. HSAs and FSAs allow individuals to set aside pre-tax funds to cover qualified medical expenses, including dental treatments. Seniors can contribute to these accounts and use the funds for dental services, thus reducing their out-of-pocket expenses. However, it's essential to check the specific guidelines and eligible expenses associated with each account.

3. Dental Savings Plans: Dental savings plans are membership-based programs that offer reduced rates on dental services through participating providers. Similar to dental discount plans, dental savings plans do not involve deductibles, copayments, or waiting periods. Instead, members pay an annual or monthly fee for access to the discounted rates. These plans are particularly beneficial for seniors who require immediate dental care and want to avoid waiting periods.

4. Public Assistance Programs: Seniors with limited financial resources may find assistance through public programs that offer dental care services. Medicaid, for instance, provides dental benefits to eligible low-income seniors, although the extent of coverage may vary by state. Additionally, some states offer specific dental assistance programs for seniors or seniors with disabilities, which can provide essential dental care at reduced or no cost.

5. Dental Financing and Payment Plans: Many dental practices offer financing options and payment plans to assist patients in managing the cost of dental treatments. These arrangements allow seniors to spread out the expense of major procedures over time, making necessary dental care more accessible and affordable. It's crucial for seniors to discuss available financing options with their dental providers to determine the best arrangement for their needs.

6. University Dental Schools: For seniors seeking quality dental care at reduced rates, university dental schools can be a valuable resource. Dental schools often provide supervised dental services offered by dental students, allowing seniors to access treatments at a lower cost than private practices. Although services are provided by students, they are closely overseen by experienced dental faculty, ensuring the quality of care.

While dental insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage, seniors have various alternative options to consider when seeking dental care solutions. Dental discount plans, HSAs, FSAs, dental savings plans, public assistance programs, dental financing, and university dental schools provide viable choices for seniors with diverse needs and budget considerations.

Each alternative comes with its unique benefits, offering seniors the flexibility to choose an option that aligns with their preferences and financial circumstances. Whether seniors opt for dental insurance or explore these alternative options, prioritizing oral health is essential for maintaining overall well-being and enjoying a fulfilling life in their golden years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the AARP Dental Insurance Plan?

The AARP Dental Insurance Plan is available to AARP members aged 50 and older. AARP membership is open to anyone who meets the age requirement, regardless of whether they are retired or still working.

Does the AARP Dental Insurance Plan have a waiting period for all services?

The plan provides immediate coverage for preventive care, eliminating any waiting period. However, some services may have waiting periods before coverage begins. It is essential for seniors to review the plan details to understand any waiting periods that may apply.

Can I keep my current dentist with the AARP Dental Insurance Plan?

The AARP Dental Insurance Plan has a vast network of dentists across the country. While you can use an out-of-network dentist, choosing an in-network dentist may offer cost-saving benefits.

Is there a maximum coverage limit with the AARP Dental Insurance Plan?

The AARP Dental Insurance Plan generally provides an annual maximum coverage limit, which is the maximum amount the plan will pay for covered services within a calendar year. It is crucial to check the specific plan details to determine the annual maximum.

Can I enroll in the AARP Dental Insurance Plan without being an AARP member?

No, the AARP Dental Insurance Plan is available exclusively to AARP members aged 50 and older. Seniors interested in the plan must first become AARP members before enrolling.


The AARP Dental Insurance Plan offers comprehensive dental coverage tailored to the specific needs of seniors, ensuring they can maintain good oral health and overall well-being.

With its wide range of coverage options, affordability, and extensive network of dentists, the AARP Dental Insurance Plan stands as an excellent choice for seniors seeking reliable and comprehensive dental insurance coverage.

By enrolling in this plan, seniors can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are protected from unexpected dental expenses, allowing them to focus on living their best lives in their golden years.

Explore financial assistance options, community-based programs, national resources for oral care and volunteer dentist initiatives aimed at supporting the aging population.

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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