Dental implants are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option available in dentistry. A dental implant can replace a single tooth, or act as an anchor for a bridge or dentures. It consists of a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw to replace the root of the missing tooth. Then a crown, bridge, or denture can be attached to the implant to provide a natural function and appearance.
The technology behind dental implants comes at a cost, which bears the question: are dental implants covered by dental insurance? As with many insurance related questions, the answer is not exactly simple. Here’s what you need to know about dental implants and insurance coverage.
Do Basic Dental Insurance Plans Cover Implants?
Most basic dental insurance plans do not cover dental implants. Insurance providers consider dental implants to be a cosmetic procedure in most cases, and cosmetic dentistry is not covered by insurance. Your plan may cover a bridge to replace a single tooth or a few teeth in a row, or a partial denture to replace multiple teeth missing in various locations in the mouth. Insurance rarely covers anything 100%, so you can expect just a percentage or a portion of bridges or dentures to be covered.
Do Premium Dental Insurance Plans Cover Implants?
You can purchase premium dental insurance plans that will cover dental implants. However, most plans require you to have the coverage in place for a certain amount of time before certain procedures will be covered, meaning your dental implant procedure may need to wait until you are eligible for coverage.
Does Medical Insurance Cover Implants?
In some cases medical insurance will cover dental implants, but only the root portion of the implant, not the crown, bridge, or dentures. There must be a medical need for the dental implants, such as replacement for teeth lost due to oral cancer or another medical complication that may have resulted from tooth loss.
How Can I Pay for Dental Implants Without Insurance?
If you don’t have insurance or if your dental insurance doesn’t cover dental implants, there are still ways to make them affordable. We recommend financing dental care through CareCredit, a credit card that is designed for out of pocket medical expenses. CareCredit offers a promotional rate of 0% interest when the balance is paid in full by the end of the promotional period. After that you will be charged interest, but you can still continue to make payments on a monthly basis.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
The quality of dental implants is far superior to other tooth replacement options for a variety of reasons:
- Natural function. Once they have fused with the bone in your jaw, dental implants provide a naturally functioning tooth that allows you to chew effectively. You also brush and floss a dental implant just like a natural tooth.
- Natural appearance. A dental implant attaches to your jaw the same way a natural tooth would, and with a porcelain crown it blends in with the rest of your teeth.
- More secure dentures. Traditional dentures can slip out of place when you talk and eat, but implant supported dentures stay put.
- No damage to healthy teeth. A traditional bridge consists of two crowns that fit over your healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth with an artificial tooth (pontic) suspended between them. For these crowns to be placed, the healthy teeth must be filed down to make room for the crowns, which causes permanent loss of enamel. And the bite force exerted on the healthy teeth can sometimes cause damage. A dental implant or implant supported bridge allows you to avoid all of that.
Total Dental Care Provides Dental Implants
Whether or not your insurance covers dental implants should not be the biggest factor in your decision. If a dental implant is the best quality replacement option and your preferred method, put yourself first and choose the care you prefer. Total Dental Care can provide you with information about financing options that can make implants more affordable.