While many of us understand the need for regular dental care, a surprisingly large number of people still will not see a dentist regularly. Oftentimes, this is a result of concerns about cost. When asked why they have not seen a dentist recently, more than one-third of individuals asked, reported that it was due to the price of care.While dental insurance is able to reduce these costs, a lot of people have difficulty getting a plan that is both affordable and comprehensive. In 2008, nearly 45 million people had no dental insurance. Of people with health insurance through work, nearly 80% also received dental benefits. Only 30% of those people also had a dental plan.As these numbers indicate, having a good dental insurance plan is directly correlated with better health. The better your insurance, the less likely you are to have cavities or more serious issues with your teeth. Even if you do not get dental insurance by your employment, you must find an individual plan that will make it affordable to see a dentist.Fortunately, you can find individual dental insurance plan policies that can help. However, prior to choosing a plan, there are a few key elements that you should bear in mind. Otherwise, you may end up with a plan that will not provide you with the coverage that you need.If you are already a patient of a particular dentist, and you are happy with using this type of care, you should choose a plan that he accepts. Otherwise, either your new insurance will not actually save you any money or you will have to get a new dentist. Before you start shopping, talk to your dentist’s office to find out which plans he accepts.Consider your personal needs and the needs of your family when you are looking for a plan. Are you simply looking for insurance for yourself, or are there other members of the household who need coverage as well? For example, if you have children, you need to look for a plan that covers pediatric dentistry.Additionally it is a good idea to consider the future cost of orthodontics when choosing a plan. The odds are that at least one of your children will need braces. More than 80 percent of orthodontic treatment is done on patients under the age of 18. Look for a plan that gives generous benefits for such treatment.Make sure to balance the cost of the monthly premiums against your own out-of-pocket obligations. Many people automatically choose the plan with the lowest premiums, only to be shocked when they learn how much they have to pay before their benefits kick in. It may be worthwhile to pay a bit more each month so you pay less later on.There is a lot to consider when you are shopping for individual dental insurance. Take your time and don’t make any hasty decisions. This way, you can find a plan that works for you.