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For dental you just buy it like auto insurance. AFAIK there is no underwriting process like what is involved with health insurance. But there is waiting period which usually prevents existing conditions from being fixed.
Also check with your dentist to see if they offer a "basic" plan. Our dentist has a $149/yr plan that covers 2 cleanings/exams and x-rays with 20% off any other services needed. At least it covers the basic preventative items. We opted for this plan for our 13 yr old when our insurance wanted to double our costs from 2 to 3 people by bumping us up to a family (up to 6) plan instead of 2 adults.
We pay $64/mo for 2. Our coverage is $1500/yr (w/ $50 ded). After a root canal, tooth extraction and getting/replacing crowns and fillings, insurance makes sense for us.
I'm happy to self insure for dental, as long as I can get the same prices my current insurer is paying. Mostly yearly preventative costs and not a lot of risk that some high cost disaster might happen.
That said, DS gets his wisdom teeth out in August, before DW finally, hopefully, retires. Don't want to pay for that if we don't have to!
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