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What our health insurance covers

Dental insurance
for expats

  • Emergency restorative treatment covered by all plans
  • Upgrade to Dental Basic or Dental Plus
  • Cover for screening, crowns and dental implants available

Why do I need dental insurance as an expat?

Oral health is one of the world’s biggest health concerns. Despite the fact that many dental conditions can be easily prevented, most low-income and middle-income countries worldwide are unable to provide a high standard of dental healthcare. That’s where dental insurance can help.

This is something expatriates must be conscious of if they are planning to move, or are already living, abroad.

It’s practically guaranteed every expat will need to visit the dentist at some point – and when that time comes, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best possible treatment.

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What is dental insurance cover for expats?

Dental insurance for expats covers non-national residents for a range of dentistry treatments administered at a private dental practice. Some of the treatments that may be covered include:

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Where a lost tooth is filled in with a porcelain or metal replacement.

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A crown is a cap, made from porcelain or metal, that is placed on top of a damaged tooth.

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Fillings are used to repair holes in teeth left behind by decay.

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Root canal

A root canal removes infected tissue from the centre of a tooth and replaces it, sometimes finishing with a crown.

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Scale and polish

This is when your teeth are professionally cleaned by a hygienist.

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False teeth, custom-made to fit the size and shape of your mouth.

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Emergency medical evacuation
William Russell have been an absolute pleasure to deal with and will be on the top of my referral list whenever I hear the word 'expatriate'.
C.J., Canada
William Russell Member

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What dental treatment does William Russell cover?

When you take out international health insurance through William Russell, you have the option to select cover for a wide range of dental treatments.

We offer two types of upgradable dental insurance plans: Dental Basic and Dental Plus.

What do all our insurance plans cover for dental treatment?

Even if you don’t upgrade to Dental Basic or Dental Plus, you will still be covered for:

Emergency restorative treatment as an in-patient

This means you are covered for emergency treatment to repair natural teeth lost or damaged in an accident, within 15 days of the accident, as an in-patient. Levels of cover for in-patient restorative treatment are:

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold

Full cover
Up to US$5,000/£3,300/€3,750 per period of cover
Full cover

Full cover

Emergency restorative treatment as an out-patient

This covers treatment for natural teeth lost or damaged in an accident, received within 72 hours of the accident, as an out-patient. Levels of cover for out-patient restorative treatment are:

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold
Up to US$500/£330/€375 per period of cover Up to US$1,000/£660/€750 per period of cover
What Sharon, our medical expert, says
"All the plans come with some cover for dental treatment. With the SilverLite, Silver and Gold plans, you can add more benefits."

What does Dental Basic cover?

Dental Basic is included as standard on all Gold plans and is an optional extra for SilverLite and Silver plans.

Dental Basic requires a six-month waiting period.

With Dental Basic, in addition to the above, members are covered for the following dental costs:

  • Screening (including checking for and assessment of diseased, missing and filled teeth, including X-rays where necessary) (twice per year)
  • Scaling and polishing and sealing (twice per year)
  • Fillings (composite and amalgam)
  • Simple extractions
  • Root canal treatment

The policy limits are:

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold
Up to US$500/£330/€375 per period of cover, subject to 20% co-insurance Up to US$1,000/£660/€750 per period of cover, subject to 20% co-insurance Up to US$1,500/£1,000/€1,125


What does Dental Plus cover?

Dental Plus is optional for Silver and Gold plan policyholders. Silver plan holders wishing to choose Dental Plus must also select Dental Basic.

Dental Plus provides an additional benefit covering:

  • Denture repair
  • Full/partial dentures
  • Dental bridges
  • Crowns, inlays, and onlays
  • Dental implants

The policy limits are:

Bronze SilverLite Silver Gold
Up to US$1,500/£1,000/€1,125 per period of cover, subject to 20% co-insurance Up to US$2,000/£1,330/€1,500 per period of cover, subject to 20% co-insurance

Please note that Dental Plus requires a 10 month waiting period.

Our international health insurance plan also covers restorative
dental treatment following chemotherapy or radiotherapy
Find out more about our cancer coverage

Why choose
William Russell?

At William Russell, we have nearly 30 years of helping expatriates settle into their new lives overseas by providing world-class international health insurance.

Any time you need us

You can call our 24/7 emergency medical helpline

Choose your hospital

You're free to choose which hospital you visit for treatment

Worldwide network

We have a worldwide network of hospitals and doctors to call upon

Enjoy peace of mind, no matter where you live and work abroad

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How to choose the right international health insurance cover

Here are some of our top tips:

  1. Make sure the plan covers the country where you live. Insurance companies sometimes limit your cover in certain countries. Make sure you’ll be fully covered where you and your family live and work.
  2. Pick the right plan. Health insurance gives you access to private healthcare. Your health plan sets the rules and limits of your access. That’s why it’s important to find a health plan with the benefits you need.
  3. Personalise your plan. Most insurance companies allow you to personalise your health plan. You’ll have options to increase your cover for certain benefits, e.g., dental cover, doctor visits. William Russell also gives you options to save money on your premium.
  4. Pick an excess. After choosing your plan, the excess you select is the most important factor affecting your premium. Most of our members choose a US$250 per annum excess, but larger excesses give a bigger discount on your premium. We offer excesses up to US$10,000 per annum.

FAQs on dental insurance

The statistics surrounding dentistry and oral health highlight that this is an area of growing concern. The UK’s Oral Health Foundation reported in 2020 that:

  • Around 1 in 3 British adults (31%) have tooth decay
  • There are over 8,000 new cases of mouth cancer each year in the UK
  • Over three million Brits suffer from regular oral pain

Worldwide, the scale of the problem is even greater. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that oral diseases affect roughly half the global population, with oral cancers the third most common type of cancer in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, the WHO reports:

  • Tooth decay is the most common health condition worldwide
  • 1 in 10 people will experience periodontal gum disease, which often results in tooth loss
  • The danger is greater for the one in seven adults worldwide who regularly smoke cigarettes, as well as for those who drink fizzy drinks and alcohol

The scale of the global oral health crisis cannot be under-stated.

More frequently asked questions on international health insurance

Unfortunately, we can’t provide coverage for orthodontic and periodontic consultations and treatment.

In some countries, many types of dental treatments are only available privately

Even in countries with subsidised or public dental healthcare, you may still have to pay a share of the cost for certain procedures.

As of 2019, the ten most expensive countries for dental care worldwide, based on the average price of dental implant, are:

Country Cost in US Dollars
Singapore 2,700
USA 2,500
Thailand 1,720
Malaysia 1,500
South Korea 1,350
Israel 1,200
Colombia 1,200
Turkey 1,100
Poland 925
India 900

Source: Statista

Global health insurance (also known as international private medical insurance) gives you access to private healthcare around the world.

While most domestic health plans only cover you in one country, international health plans cover you in multiple (or even all) countries. They’re great for people who live and work abroad, or who spend lots of time travelling. Some international medical plans also include emergency medical evacuation cover so you can access urgent treatment even if it’s not available in your location.

Find out more

Some countries cover dental care under their universal healthcare policy, which includes students. Other countries may ask you to pay for dental treatments but offer free or discounted dental care for students.

If you’re a university student, you may also be eligible to receive free or discounted dental treatment through your institution.

However, generally speaking, it’s advisable for students to take out dental healthcare cover when living abroad. This will help in certain situations, for instance where emergency dental treatment is needed.

Dental care is subsidised but not free in the United Kingdom. If you have an NHS number, you will be eligible to sign up at an NHS dentist. This is assuming you can find one – many British dentists have long waiting lists for new patients.

An NHS dentist will ask you to pay certain fees, but you may not need to pay the full amount for certain treatments.

Private dental care in the UK is notoriously expensive. Depending on the treatment required, you may be expected to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a treatment.

It is therefore highly recommended you take out international healthcare cover with dental insurance if you are planning to move to the UK.

In most cases, we can only provide insurance to expats. By expat, we mean people living and working outside of their country of nationality (e.g., a Dutch national living in Taiwan or a Canadian national living in India).

Typically, our members reside permanently in a foreign country. But we can sometimes provide cover to people expecting to spend at least 6 months of the year living or travelling abroad. In certain countries, we can cover people living in the same country that issues their passport. These countries are Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Estonia and Malawi.

We can provide plans to people of all nationalities in most countries around the world. You must be under age 76 when your plan starts, and you must be living or working in a country different from your country of nationality.

Definition of an 'expat'

Making a claim with us is really easy.

If you need to claim for a benefit or treatment for which you must obtain pre-authorisation, you must contact us in advance of starting your treatment and give us all the information we require to assess if your proposed treatment will be eligible for cover under your plan. If your proposed treatment is eligible for cover, we will pre-authorise all eligible expenses. We will not pay for any treatment costs or expenses that have not been preauthorised by us in advance.

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