Employees like working for a company that offers dental benefits. In fact, 75% of employees consider dental insurance very important.After all, it can help keep them healthier. 

Without good oral care, people are:

67% more likely to have heart disease

50% more likely to have osteoporosis

29% more likely to have diabetes

Source: https://www.guardianlife.com/dental-insurance/group

Make sure to offer employees a plan that focuses on overall health

Look for a dental plan from an insurance company that helps keep members healthier by lowering the cost of important oral health care procedures and treatments. That's why Guardian covers oral cancer screenings, enhanced periodontal treatments, dental implants, and an additional cleaning after the annual maximum is met. Guardian also helps members save on byte® at-home orthodontia treatments and provides access to urgent dental care through teledentistry.

A broker is key to getting the right plan

Why not shop for a dental plan quote from an insurance company online? Because group coverage is a little more involved than individual coverage. Every business is different, and no "standard" plan can be right for every business' needs. 

That's why Guardian offers administrative and dental care options for all kinds of businesses – even for those with only two employees. Dental benefits can be employer-paid, voluntary (i.e., employee-paid), or you can even choose Administrative Services Only (ASO) option 2. Brokers work with you to design the plan - or plans - that best meet your needs. 

Choose between Dental PPO and Dental HMO plans, or offer both: the Dual Choice option

Dental PPO: More Dentist Choice

Dental HMO: Less Dentist choice

Similar to a PPO health plan, these dental insurance plans typically have an extensive network of providers but also let you see out-of-network dentists. But when employees stay in-network, they pay less and don't need to submit claims. Want to see if a dentist is with Guardian? Find out here.

These dental plans tend to offer lower premiums, but there's also less flexibility with a limited network of providers. Like HMO health care plans, you choose a Primary Dentist and have to go through him or her for all your care, including specialist referrals. Many DHMO dental plans have no deductibles or maximums – and while there are copayments for most non-preventive treatments, your overall costs will likely be lower.

(Available in select markets.)

Here's what your dental benefits can cover

Even a basic dental plan will cover regular checkups at little or no cost, and plans with greater dental coverage can help your employees pay for major services that might otherwise cost thousands. Your insurance professional can explain the plan options and types of services that may be covered under your company's plan:

Preventive care

Checkups, cleanings, routine x-rays, and fluoride treatments

Basic restorative care

Fillings and extractions

Major restorative care

More complex treatments such as root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures

Orthodontic treatment

Braces and other types of teeth aligners  

What will employees have to pay?

Good question! There are premiums (whether paid by employers or employees) that will automatically deduct each month. They're typically more affordable than they would be for an individual plan with the same level of benefits. Also, there will be other costs when you or your employees visit the dentist.


The yearly amount you have to pay before the insurance carrier starts to cover services (but typically, plans cover preventive care without a deductible)


The percentage of costs you owe for services once you've met your deductible


Fees charged for specific services or treatments

Annual Maximums

A cap on what's covered; the most the insurance carrier will pay for dental services in a given year - you are responsible for all charges over the maximum 

When members see an in-network dentist, they get discounts on each procedure. Guardian group dental plans also offer an array of plan options to extend the annual maximum, adding more value to benefits, including:

  • Preventive Advantage lets members get dental exams, cleanings, X-rays, and fluoride treatments without the cost applying to their annual maximum.
  • Maximum Rollover helps members save by rolling over a portion of the unused annual maximum for future use. This helps promote annual dental visits and helps make future treatments more affordable. Rewards increase when a contracted dentist is visited.

Over 8 million people have Guardian dental coverage.

One of the largest dental networks

When you shop for a dental carrier, you want your employees to have the reassurance of a wide choice of dentists. Guardian is among the largest dental insurance carriers. Our plans give employees access to one of the nation's largest and strongest networks, built to ensure that the dentists employees want to see are in our network. And our network is constantly growing. Our unique approach includes local dentist recruiters who work with you to attract dentists based on your company's location(s) and claim activity.1

Guardian makes it easy for employees to use their benefits

Members can easily find a dentist or access their ID card from their smartphone or tablet with our mobile app. They can also manage their benefits online at Guardian Anytime, which lets them:

  • Find a dentist
  • Submit and check claims
  • Download forms
  • Learn about oral health
  • Get dental care cost estimates

Could an ASO dental insurance plan be right for your business?

With an Administrative Services Only plan, your company funds the plan, and the insurance company provides all the administrative services, including claims processing, access to network providers, and more. It's an option that could make great sense, for companies with 25 or more employees. Guardian's ASO Dental offering is:

  • 13% – 17% cost savings, on average (savings vary by company)
  • Better cash flow
  • No ACA taxes
  • Fewer state regulations

A commitment to service that small businesses can appreciate

Our members have expressed a 99% satisfaction rate with Guardian-contracted dentists. And they enjoy a consistent level of service, including a claims process that takes an average of just two days with 99.7% accuracy. This is higher than the industry average1.

Frequently asked questions about dental insurance for small business

How much does dental insurance cost employers?

As with health plans, average cost estimates vary widely depending on business size, location, plan type, and coverage levels. Even so, the cost of quality, employer-paid coverage is much lower than a health plan, commonly in the range of $20 to $50 per person per month.3 Plus, you could qualify for a tax credit.4 It's also important to note that dental insurance can also be offered as a voluntary (i.e., employee-paid) benefit, with minimal costs to the business. Employees still come out ahead because employer plans offer affordable group rates and may have more features than a comparable individual plan.

What is the best dental insurance for self-employed?

"Shop eligibility" for group plans typically starts at companies with 2+ employees; if you are self-employed, you'll likely have to get individual dental coverage. Plans vary in their combinations of benefits, features, rates, and coverage options. Generally speaking, the best dental insurance for an individual or family is the plan that provides the most value by letting them see a dentist they like and offers coverage for the treatments they're likely to need at a price that fits their budget. While dental discount plans may seem like an attractive alternative, you should note that they only offer discounts and don't encourage preventive care by paying for the entire cost of routine checkups.

Can I purchase dental insurance alone?

Yes, absolutely. If a group plan isn't available through your employer, you can find a quality dental insurance plan. Major insurance companies like Guardian make it easy for individuals and families to compare quotes and buy a plan directly online

Need dental insurance?
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1 Guardian Count on the value and power of a dental insurance leader, Last accessed March 2021


2 ASO Dental is available for groups with 25 or more employees.

3 https://www.zenefits.com/workest/the-true-cost-of-employee-benefits-packages/

4 https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/942

Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof.

DentalGuard Insurance is underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. Optional riders and/or features may incur additional costs. Plan documents are the final arbiter of coverage. This policy provides DENTAL insurance only. Policy Form #GP-1-DG2000, et al.

Individual Dental Insurance products are underwritten by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York or by one of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. The actual limitations and exclusions that apply to your Dental Plan are governed by the policy forms approved for use in your state. Please refer to your policy for a complete list of limitations and exclusions. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control. This policy provides DENTAL insurance only. Policy Form IP-DEN-16 ET. AL. FLORIDA Policy Form IP-1-MDG-DHMO-FL-OFF-17, NEW YORK Policy Form IP-MDG-NY-FP-OFF-17, NEW JERSEY Policy: IP-MDG-DHMO-NJ-17, TEXAS Policy: IP-1-MDG-DHMO-TX-17, ILLINOIS Policy: IP-FCW-DHMO-IL-17.

GUARDIAN® is a registered service mark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® 

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