The dental plans offered by Extend Health are just about the worst plans in the marketplace. Even some of the EH agents have told retirees what EH offers stinks! That's not to say other plans in the marketplace are much better. It seems the one AARP offers is the best of the lot but even then - the premiums are high and they will only cover cleanings and simple fillings for the first 6 months you own the policy. So, if a tooth fails you are SOL to have it fixed before June. And it caps at $1500 payout for the year.
Someone just told me about a group plan that is interesting ---- IF your dentist accepts it (mine accepts no plan). You pay Cigna a flat fee for the year (something like $130) to become a member of Cigna's dental insurance group. That entitles you to get the Cigna negotiated dentist rates from a dentist in their network. You pay the dentist whatever the negotiated rate is for a given procedure. For example, if a typical cleaning is $120 but the Cigna rate is $90 that's what you will pay the dentist - again, only if the dentist accepts the plan.
If you want to know more about the Cigna plan go to www.dentalplus.com
There is another website that describes the myriad of dental insurance plans available to individuals but, as I said, none are particularly great --- http://www.insurancecompany.com.
I already posted a blog entry about the VA dental plans available if you or your spouse are veterans. Those are the best plans I have seen so far because they are group dental insurance plans. It turns out they are available no matter what your income level is as long as you were in the military. But you have to register with the VA health system and prove you served.
It's a pity that IBM wouldn't even give us the option to buy into the MetLife group plan since they had to full well know the individual dental plans stink. I am not surprised - just doing wishful thinking.
I, personally, will skip buying dental insurance and basically self insure for as long as I can afford to use my existing dentist.