Dental Insurance Information for Graduate Students
Why doesn't UNC offer dental insurance?
The UNC System and UNC-Chapel Hill do not offer or endorse a dental insurance plan. However, dental care is offered in the Campus Health building by Campus-Smiles, and Campus-Smiles has partnered with a low-cost dental insurance plan.
Campus-Smiles accepts all major PPO dental insurance plans.
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. There are no waiting periods with the dental insurance plan endorsed by Campus-Smiles.
Once you have dental insurance and before you visit the dentist:
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. The plan endorsed by Campus Smiles is BrightSmiles for students.
Other major dental insurance vendors:
These websites offer you the ability to compare plans:
If you need dental care/treatment (with or without insurance):
- Campus-Smiles, conveniently located in UNC Campus Health, provides checkup exams, emergency care, cleanings, x-rays, fillings & crowns, root canals, whitening, bridges, mouthguards, extractions, and Invisalign orthodontics. Open Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm beginning Fall 2021. For more information, visit Campus Health Dental Services.
- Carolina Dentistry, powered by the experts at UNC Adams School of Dentistry, is a great resource for all dental care, from routine cleanings to complex surgeries. There are three provider levels at Carolina Dentistry: student, graduate students/resident, and faculty member. No matter which provider level you choose, your Carolina Dentistry care team is there for you every step of the way. For more information, visit carolinadentistry.org.
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:
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:
- Campus Smiles Dental
- Student Health Action Coalition
- UNC School of Dentistry
919-537-3737 – Select Option 1 for emergencies
- Carrboro Dental Center
- 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