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Dental Disability Insurance: How to Find the Best Policies

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

What is Dental Disability Insurance?

Simply, if you get injured or sick and can no longer practice as a dentist then you get paid monthly to do nothing. It's like receiving social security but you are not old enough yet. Sounds pretty easy right?

Well with the proper help and planning it is. But you have to have the right team in place to make sure that you can benefit the most from a plan.

Like all insurance, you don't know how good your insurance is until you use it. Have you heard a patient sit in your chair and say, "Oh yea I have really good dental and health insurance that covers everything," only to find out their "good insurance" only covers an exam and radiographs? Well, disability coverage can be just like that with the wrong policy. Need some guidance start here and we can help you out.

Background Information

According to the Social Security Administration, One in four people in their 20s will suffer a disability before they retire. Most disabilities are caused by illnesses, not accidents. So it's important to have disability insurance in case something happens and you can't practice dentistry anymore or afford your current cost of living.

Thankfully, there are affordable options for dental disability insurance. So be sure to check out your options and find the best plan for you.

When Is the Best Time to Get a Policy?

For dental professionals, the best time to lock in lower premiums is before 30 years old and/ or while in dental school. Sure you haven't made your first paycheck yet but you will thank yourself in the long run and have peace of mind while practicing. Check out our new grads pageif you are in school or just graduated.

What Disability Policies Do Dentists Need?

If you are a dentist, you know that your livelihood depends on your ability to work. Disability insurance can help you receive the income you need if you are unable to work due to an illness or injury.

When looking for a plan, it's important to find a policy that fits your needs. Some things to look for include:

- Coverage for both illnesses and injuries

- A long waiting period before benefits begin

- Benefits that continue even after you reach retirement age

Disability insurance can be a lifesaver if you are unable to work. Make sure you are fully protected by finding a policy that meets your needs.

Does The Bank Require a Disability Policy to Get a Loan?

In short, it depends. Dental disability insurance is vital for professionals who have taken out loans to finance their dental practice. Without disability insurance, they would be at risk of not being able to repay their loans if they were unable to work due to an illness or injury.

The bank is well aware of this so in many cases a policy is required. Just think of it as protecting their investment.


For dentists, an own-occupation policy is essential. This type of policy considers you disabled if you can't work as a dentist and treat patients, regardless of what other job you might be able to do.

An own-occupation definition of disability is different. You’ll receive benefits as long as your disability keeps you from being able to practice dentistry. If you can’t do your normal dental work, an own-occupation policy will pay out, even if you’re able to perform other types of full-time work and earn income. Own occupation even applies to dental specialists.

Coverage until retirement

The disability benefit period is the length of time that the benefit will be paid. The most common disability benefit periods are two years, five years, 10 years, and until age 65. Make sure that your policy has a disability benefit period that will last until retirement, so you know that you will be covered no matter when you become disabled.

Another important thing to look for in a disability policy is the non-cancellable clause. This means that the insurer cannot cancel your policy or raise your premium. This gives you peace of mind knowing that you are always covered.

Future increase option

If you're a dentist, disability insurance is essential. That's because your income may be high one day, but the next day you could find yourself out of work due to an illness or injury. Disability insurance can help protect your income in case something happens with a future purchase option,

One great option for disability insurance is a future increase option. With this option, you can lock in your policy at a young age. But at the same time, you'll have the freedom to increase your benefit amount down the road. So if your income increases or your cost of living rises, you can adjust your coverage to match.

Disability insurance is important for dentists, as it can help protect them in the event of a disability that limits their work capacity. Typically, you need a loss of income of at least 15% before residual protection will kick in. if the disability policy you're looking at doesn't automatically include residual protection, you may be able to add it as a rider.

Long waiting period

Most disability insurance policies have a waiting period, or elimination period, of 30 to 90 days. This is the amount of time you need to be disabled before receiving benefits. The longer the period, the more affordable your policy premiums will be.

There are two main types of disability insurance: short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance.

Short-term disability insurance typically has a shorter waiting period, while long-term disability insurance has a longer waiting period. However, long-term disability insurance typically offers more benefits than short-term disability insurance.

When choosing a disability insurance policy, it is important to consider the elimination period. The elimination period is the amount of time you need to be disabled before you receive benefits. The longer the elimination period, the lower your policy premiums will be. It is a good idea to choose an elimination period of at least 90 days if you want to keep your policy affordable.

Where can you buy disability insurance?

Here are a few places where you can purchase disability insurance:

  • Through your work

  • American Dental Association

  • Online

  • From an independent agent

Through your work (Not Recommended)

You can purchase dental disability insurance through your employer, or specific insurance providers. However, be aware that your employer's dental disability insurance coverage plan may not offer adequate protection. If you want to be fully protected against long-term dental disabilities, it's a good idea to purchase your own policy.

It could be short-term disability insurance, which won’t adequately protect you. And even if your employer offers long-term disability insurance, you’ll lose that coverage if you change jobs.

For these reasons, you’ll probably want to buy your own separate policy to protect against long-term disabilities.

Online comparison sites (Not Recommended)

Shopping for disability dental insurance can be overwhelming, and trying to compare policies online can seem convenient but can also be confusing.

When you look up a policy online the insurance company may be sponsoring that site so the results are tailored to that one company. Also when simply comparing online some of the fine details can be overlooked which would be of utmost importance when it's time to cash out the policy.

You can find non-cancellable, own-occupation policies with residual protection and future increase options from most insurers. But if going the online comparison route it is best to compare quotes from multiple sites.

Independent Agents (Recommended)

Finally, you may want to contact some independent agents in your local area. Ask some of your dentist friends if they have any recommendations.

The overall idea is to make sure that you shop around for dental disability insurance at multiple places. By doing this, you’ll usually be able to find better offers than the ones offered by insurance representatives who visit dental schools. InDent ( shines most in this area.

Insurance Company tips

It's important to choose a policy from a company with a good financial rating. AM Best is the agency that rates the financial health of insurance companies, and you'll want to stick with companies that have an AM Best rating of A- or above. This will ensure that your policy is with a company that is less likely to go out of business.

Does Disability cover Student Loan Payments?

student loan riders

The average student loan debt for a dentist has now reached almost $300k. Many disability insurance policies offer a student loan rider, which will assist in student loan payments but only up to a certain limit per month. This can be a few hundred dollars to $2,500 a month, depending on the policy.

If you have large student loan balances, this can be a great way to help manage your payments and keep up with your lifestyle. This is what the insurance companies refer to as a student loan rider.

Cost of Living Rider

The protects your benefits from inflation, ensuring that you receive the same level of coverage over time.

Catastrophic Disability Rider

A catastrophic disability rider on your insurance policy can help pay for care if you suffer a catastrophic injury or illness. A catastrophic injury causes you to lose the use of one or more senses or the use of both hands or feet. If you have this rider on your policy, your disability benefits will include more than your regular monthly payments for total disability.

Partial Disability Rider

Dentists should consider disability insurance policies that offer a partial disability rider. This is a disability in which you are still able to practice, but suffer an income loss due to the disability. The Policy will pay out if a dentist has a 15%–20% loss of income.

Under this rider, you can qualify if you had nerve damage, breathing issues, can't feel your hands, or anything that decreases your ability to practice at 100%.

How Much Does Disability Coverage Cost?

The Insurance companies can vary in cost and benefit amounts. But a recent survey of the top disability insurance companies for dentists showed the following ranges for monthly premium rates:

  • 30-year-old: $145 - $200 per month,

  • 40-year-old: $220 - $320 per month

  • 50-year-old: $320 - $530 per month.

These were rates for male non-smokers in New York purchasing a $5,000 per month benefit amount.

What does InDent do that is different?

Since InDent was created by dentists for dentists we married some of the best methods to help ensure that dentists get the best plans. We streamlined the application process to a few questions then we go to work and our team of independent agents looks at all the different companies, options, and plans to give you the policy that best meets your needs. Pretty simple.

Our secret sauce is; experience. We have done policies for thousands of dentists who had no idea where to start.


There are many different disability policies available, so it's important to consider what you may need before you buy. Some factors to consider during your dental career include the amount of coverage you need, how long you want the policy to last, and whether you want extra coverage for student loans or other riders.

Either you know what you need or you need some guidance our agents with InDent can guide you through the way. Just fill out the form and we will start shopping policies for you.

About InDent:

Designed by dentists, InDent provides top professionals of contract attorneys, student loan attorneys, independent insurance agents, and CPA’s, who specialize in dentistry. InDent is designed to follow your career as a dentist. Wherever you are in your career, we have streamlined, flat-rate, services to support you.

Are you a dental student, resident, or new graduate?

You can make some extra income by becoming an affiliate.


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