Dental insurance is generally a waste of money, but there are some exceptions.
If your employer offers dental, and the premium is heavily subsidized, it might be a worthwhile investment on your part.
Most individual plans are like throwing money out the window. They have waiting periods, caps on benefits, deductibles, coinsurance . . . all designed to keep you out of the carriers pocket.
There are a few exceptions. In some cases a discount dental plan (PPO) such as Toothplans is an option.
You can view several plans and pick the one that best suits you. There are no waiting periods or caps. Discounts are available when you use a par provider.
Another option is a DHMO. These plans have fewer dentists than the PPO approach referenced above, but you will also get more bang for your buck. Like the PPO, you do not have to go through a waiting period or have your benefit limited by artificial caps.
If you don't want to pay a premium or network fee, a third alternative is calling around for prices.
If you are going to check local dentists, you will need to know the procedure codes. Dentists use CDT coding in their billing practice. The codes change slightly each year. Here is a 2005 list that will at least point you in the right direction.