What Is a Waiting Period for Dental Insurance?

When you purchase something new, you probably want to use it right away. Dental insurance doesn’t always work that way. Some plans come with a “waiting period.” What does that mean, and does Beam have a waiting period? Allow us to explain.

What is a waiting period?

A waiting period is the length of time a member has to wait before they can use their dental benefits. It begins on the effective date (the day the dental policy begins) and lasts for a time specified by the plan, which could be 30 days or one year. 

Waiting periods may only apply to certain procedures. For instance, some plans could allow the member to get preventive procedures (e.g., cleanings) right away but have a waiting period for major services such as crowns, implants, or bridges. A member can still visit their dentist during a waiting period. However, if they get a procedure that isn’t yet covered by their plan, they’ll pay the full cost out of pocket.

As an example, let’s say a member has a dental plan that goes into effect on June 1 with the following parameters:

  • Preventive and diagnostic (cleanings, X-rays, etc.): no waiting period
  • Basic (fillings, root canals, etc.): six-month waiting period
  • Major (bridges, crowns, implants, etc.): one-year waiting period

This member could get a teeth cleaning and X-rays on June 1 and have it covered by insurance. However, their policy wouldn’t cover basic procedures until December 1 or major procedures until June 1 of next year.

Why do waiting periods exist?

Dental insurance companies usually implement waiting periods so customers don’t wait until they need extensive dental work done to sign up for a plan and then cancel the policy after the procedure is done.

Does Beam have waiting periods?

Fortunately, standard Beam plans do not come with waiting periods*. An employer may choose to implement a waiting period, but Beam does not require one. We want our members to be able to use their benefits as soon as their policy begins!

This is one of several plan features that separates Beam from other insurers. In addition to no waiting periods, we also offer plans with:

Want to learn more about dental insurance? Check out these articles, too!

*Actual coverage and costs may vary. Check your dental plan to see what services may be covered.

For informational purposes only and not intended to be relied on as complete information, or to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. This is not a sale of or an offer to purchase a benefits plan from Beam. For more information on benefits plans, contact quotes@beam.dental.

Dental insurance products underwritten by National Guardian Life Insurance Company† (NGL), marketed by Beam Insurance services LLC, and administered by Beam Insurance Administrators LLC (Beam Dental Insurance Administrators LLC, in Texas). Dental policy form series numbers NDNGRP 04/06, NDNGRP 2010, and NDNGRP 2020. Not all Products Available in All States. Dental in New York is underwritten by Nationwide Life Insurance Company.
† National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a.k.a. The Guardian, or Guardian Life.


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Matt Wilkes

Author Matt Wilkes

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