Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
After your routine six-month cleaning and inspection, your dentist may recommend dental implants. These implants are used to help replace missing or cracked teeth, as well as their roots. They’re also more effective and comfortable in the long-run compared to dentures.
Still, any surprise dental expense can come as a shock to both you and your pocketbook. Unfortunately, dental insurance policies can vary, and your provider might not cover the cost of implants. However, you’ll want to confirm this information before your dental implant appointment.
If you’re curious about dental implants and their cost, read on to learn more about the procedure and to see how you can ensure your procedure is covered.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are essentially artificial roots to help keep crowns in place. During the procedure, the implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone. Such stability can’t be matched by other alternatives such as dentures, which require adhesives. After the implant is in place, you will need to wait a few months for your jawbone to natural adhere to the anchor.
Once your dentist says your implant is secure, they will then insert a crown on top. Crowns are artificial teeth that are cut and molded to look like real ones. While you’ll only be able to see the crown once the procedure is complete, it’s the dental implant that’s helping the new fixture stay in place. With this set-up, you’ll be more confident in your own smile and be able to eat any foods you want without the fear of your tooth falling out of place.
How much do they cost?
When all is said and done, the dental implant process can take several months to complete. This means you’ll need to see your dentist a few times for each of the steps required to get you from a broken or missing tooth to a brand-new one.
Aside from office visits, the costs of dental implants will also include any anesthesia and tools needed for the procedure, not to mention the actual implants themselves. While the actual cost can vary, $3,000 is the average per implant. Keep in mind that these costs are separate from crowns as well as any follow-up appointments your dentist will recommend.
How do I know if I’m covered?
Due to the importance of dental implants on your overall oral hygiene and your quality of life, this type of procedure makes the most sense compared to bridges and dentures. The downside is that dental insurance may cover crowns, but not the implants themselves. This all has to do with differences in terminology, where a carrier might consider a crown to be medically relevant, but an implant to be aesthetically so.
The only way to determine if your procedure is covered is to call your dental insurance provider. As a courtesy, your dentist’s office can also help determine whether your implants are covered by insurance. The more teeth needed to be treated, the more the procedure will cost.
Other ways to offset costs
If your dental insurance doesn’t cover all or some of your implant procedure, now’s not the time to give up on replacing your teeth. Talk to your dentist about other ways you might offset the costs of your treatment, including financing, payment plans, and manufacturer discounts. Remember that your dentist recognizes that your teeth mean more than just a function of eating—they impact your entire life.