Supplemental health insurance

Supplemental dental insurance in Switzerland: 8 key questions and answers

Source: iStock / andresr

The cost of dental and orthodontic treatment can soon add up to tens of thousands of francs. Basic insurance only covers the cost if the treatment is required as a result of an illness and is medically necessary. It can therefore be useful to take out supplemental dental insurance.

Comparis answers the most important questions on the subject of supplemental dental insurance.

The best way to avoid high dental bills is to practise good oral hygiene. Although supplemental dental insurance can provide some protection, there are a few things to watch out for. Comparis answers the most important questions on the subject of supplemental dental insurance.

1. What is supplemental dental insurance?

Supplemental dental insurance pays a contribution towards dental costs not covered by compulsory basic insurance, disability insurance or accident insurance. Basic insurance only covers dental costs in the following cases:

  • Accidents
  • Serious, unavoidable diseases of the masticatory system
  • Serious general medical conditions (e.g. leukaemia)

2. What does supplemental dental insurance cover?

Supplemental insurance covers some of the cost of dental treatment caused by illness or accident when it is not covered by another type of insurance. Such treatment includes:

  • Preventive (prophylactic) treatment and dental hygiene
  • Conservative dental treatment
  • Tooth extractions
  • Dental protheses such as crowns, pivot teeth, bridges and dentures
  • Correction of misaligned teeth
  • X-ray diagnostics

3. For whom is supplemental dental insurance useful?

Parents should definitely consider taking out supplement dental insurance for their offspring. Many children and adolescents need braces to correct misaligned teeth. Such orthodontic treatment can quickly add up to 10,000 francs or more.

4. When should I take out supplemental dental insurance?

Any supplemental insurance product should be taken out as early as possible. Health insurers will only contribute towards the cost of orthodontic treatment if the need is diagnosed after the insurance has been taken out. Some health insurers stipulate a qualifying period (waiting period), which can be anything from six months to three years.

However, like with many other supplemental insurance products, health insurers can reject your application. Before you can take out a supplemental insurance policy for dental treatment, insurers establish your state of health by means of a “health declaration”. You also need to enclose a certificate from a dentist with your application for supplemental dental insurance. This makes it difficult for adults to take out such a policy.

5. Dental insurance for children: what do I need to know?

You should take out supplemental dental insurance for children as early as possible – ideally before they need a dentist's certificate. Please note: some insurers require a dentist's certificate for children as young as 3 years old. If there is any misalignment, cover may be partially or completely refused.

6. How much does supplemental dental insurance cost?

For children, premiums vary between 5 and 20 francs per month. Adults pay around 25 to 40 francs per month.

Comparis tip: some health insurers require you to take out this supplemental insurance separately. This can be more expensive than choosing a package containing other supplemental outpatient insurance products as well.

7. How much will supplemental dental insurance pay out?

The benefits payable under supplemental insurance depend on the scope of cover. Some health insurers focus on orthodontic treatment, others on prosthetics. The proportion of the cost covered also varies. Some insurance companies only cover a percentage of the cost of particular treatment, such as braces. The limit on the benefits payable per year is another factor that differs from insurer to insurer. Given the relatively high costs involved, it should be no less than 5,000 francs.

Supplemental health insurance benefits vary considerably. It is therefore particularly important to compare products carefully:

8. Is supplemental dental insurance valid abroad?

Private supplement dental insurance is usually only valid for treatment in Switzerland. Some insurers will also cover the cost of cheaper treatment in neighbouring countries.