Dental benefits

Graduate to your own dental plan

If you recently graduated, you may soon need your own dental plan (or to at least start thinking about it!). Here’s what you need to know about this time of change.

Federal law allows you to stay on your parents’ health care plans until you’re 26 years old. If you are under your parents’ dental plan and are turning 26, make sure you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

Emergencies such as tooth pain or a chipped tooth can happen to anyone — and major dental work like fillings or crowns can be costly. Dental coverage can help safeguard your mouth and your wallet. Not only will it help you stay healthy, it also gives you access to cost savings and tools to help you find a dentist or estimate out-of-pocket costs.

Skipping routine dental visits because of a lack of coverage could lead to problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Eighty-two percent of adults ages 20 to 34 have cavities.1 Preventive dental care including exams, cleanings and X-rays help catch dental issues early and are completely covered by most plans.

Identify the dental treatments you may need in the near future and determine a plan that best meets your needs and budget. Most employers will allow you to sign up for benefits when you start a new job, during open enrollment or after a qualifying life event like marriage. Ask your employer about the dental benefits your company offers. Your payments may even be automatically taken out of your paycheck, which could result in pre-tax savings.

If employer coverage is not an option, most Delta Dental companies offer plans for individuals with the same comprehensive benefits and access to the nationwide network. Some states also have a discount program called Delta Dental Patient Direct® that provides access to participating dentists at a discounted fee.*

If you’re moving somewhere new, be sure to find a dentist in your dental plan’s network. Going out of network will likely mean paying higher out-of-pocket costs. Visit or use our Delta Dental mobile app to search for a dentist or plan.

1National Center for Health Statistics,

*States with Delta Dental Patient Direct include Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma.