Dental Insurance Information

Why doesn't UNC offer dental insurance?

The UNC System and UNC-Chapel Hill intentionally do not offer or endorse a dental insurance plan. After a thorough evaluation of options, it has been determined that neither development nor endorsement of a University-sponsored plan provides premium or coverage advantages beyond what students can secure on their own. In addition, because all dental plans have more limited benefits and coverage than health insurance plans, a plan endorsement by the University would likely result in students viewing the University in a negative light when some dental services are not covered to the extent students expect. Therefore, the University only provides information and guidance to students toward securing dental insurance and services.

Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance generally covers two cleanings per year and then a percentage of the cost of fillings, crowns, x-rays, extractions, and other dental procedures based on the policy benefits. Most dental insurance policies have a waiting period before you can receive any extensive care such as an extraction or crown.

  • For example: If you need your wisdom teeth pulled, you may have to wait six (6) months after purchasing your dental plan before having the procedure done. This depends on the nature of your coverage, so read through the policy benefits carefully.

If you have dental insurance on your own or through a family/spouse plan:

Ask your dentist the following questions before making an appointment:

  • Do you file dental insurance claims? If so, how quickly do you file them?
  • Are you in-network with my insurance?

Be clear on your financial responsibility before you have a procedure done.  Ask the dentist to provide you with a quote based on your insurance benefits.

If you don't have dental insurance, but want to have it:

Consider your needs. When shopping for dental insurance, be sure to look carefully at each plan for waiting periods, exclusions, and maximum payouts. Also, verify that there are providers in the area that participate in the plan you are considering purchasing.

These are major dental insurance vendors:

These websites offer you the ability to compare plans:

If you need dental care/treatment (with or without insurance):

The UNC School of Dentistry is a great resource. There are several clinics based on your needs. The first one is a Student Clinic. Dental students provide treatment in all areas of dental care and are supervised by a faculty member at all times.

The Graduate/Resident Clinic provides dental care by practitioners who are enrolled in advanced education programs in dentistry. They are receiving additional training in general dentistry or a dental specialty. Specialties include Endodontics, Orthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontology, and Prosthodontics.

The third group is the UNC Dental Faculty Practice. This is a group of practitioners who provide comprehensive oral health care for patients of all ages in all practices and specialties. They are dentists who are faculty members at the UNC School of Dentistry.

There are also many options for dental care in the UNC area. These dentists work with students on a regular basis and may be able to set up payment plans:

Holman Family Dental

Sunrise Dental

Do you have a dental emergency?

If so, you may have to: pay out-of-pocket for your care depending on whether or not you have dental insurance, meet your waiting period limit, or have coverage for the type of complaint you are experiencing.

These are clinics that accept reduced payments or perform free care if you qualify:

Student Health Action Coalition

UNC School of Dentistry
919-537-3737 – Select Option 1 for emergencies

Carrboro Dental Services

Lincoln Health Services Dental Clinic

For more specific information about the above clinics and other resources in the area, visit: UNC Emergency Department Dental Options Sheet