If you’ve ever lost a tooth, you probably were given a choice between 3 options: a bridge, a dental implant or dentures (depending on how many teeth you needed to…

Teeth
Photo by Shelley N. / CC-BY-NC-ND

Why Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Dental Implants

If you’ve ever lost a tooth, you probably were given a choice between 3 options: a bridge, a dental implant or dentures (depending on how many teeth you needed to replace). Many dentists highly recommend getting a dental implant; however, cost can be a problem.

In comparison to the other options, the price of a dental implant is sky high. So why doesn’t dental insurance cover dental implants? Continue reading to find out.

1. What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants Dental ModelGenerally speaking, a dental implant is an artificial tooth made to replace a lost one. A person can get a permanent implant, or one that is removable.

A complete dental implant is made up of…

  • A Titanium Rod – Acting as the tooth root, the rod is inserted into the jaw to firmly hold the crown in place.
  • A Crown – The crown is made to match the missing tooth in size and color. It also comes with an abutment to attach the crown to the implant (rod).

Since these teeth are artificial, they will not be susceptible to bacteria or decay like other teeth. And unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants won’t shift or slip when you talk or chew.

2. The Cost of Dental Implants

There are a lot of advantages to having dental implants, but one of the major disadvantages is the cost. On average, a single implant can cost more than $3,000 dollars – while multiple dental implants could cost you more than $45,000.  To read more about the cost of implant procedures, check out this guide.

For most, this price is not anywhere near what they can afford. Even with insurance, dental implants may cover part of the procedure (at just $1,500) before maxing out.

So why doesn’t dental insurance cover dental implants? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • The Reason for Tooth Loss – For teeth that are lost from an accident or trauma, such as a car crash, the cost of a dental implant will be covered by medical insurance and not dental insurance.
  • Deemed a Cosmetic Procedure – If the cost isn’t covered for a medical reason, then most other dental implants are viewed as a cosmetic treatment, along with veneers and teeth whitening.
  • Number of Professionals Involved – The type of dental insurance you have will determine who you go to in order to have dental procedures done. Occasionally, dentists will send you to an oral surgeon for the implant. If the surgeon is not in your insurance’s network, however, the implant procedure will not be covered.

3. How to Save Money on Dental Implants

As we’ve stated, dental implants do not come cheap. How can you get the procedure you need without paying such an immense amount?

Paying for Dental Implants

Photo by RikkisRefuge Other / CC-BY

Take a look at these options for paying less on dental implants:

  • Check with Insurance – If you have insurance, go ahead and see what it will cover and weigh that against some of the other options.
  • Check with Your Dentist – Make sure your dentist can perform every step of the procedure so you won’t have to see them in addition to an oral surgeon.
  • Talk to Your Dentist – Some dentist offices provide a payment plan for expensive procedures such as dental implants. Others may offer dental implant packages that involve discounted rates.
  • Consider a Dental Implant Center – Some places that only provide dental implants may offer them at a cheaper price since it is their regular practice.
  • Consider a Dental School – At colleges and universities, the dental schools often offer dental care at a cheaper cost. Check to see if they do dental implants.
  • Look into Cheaper Dental Options – While the initial cost of dental implants is more expensive than bridges or dentures, it is a worthwhile investment over a long period of time and will end up saving you money. If you simply can’t afford implants, however – or need a temporary fix – bridges or dentures may be a better option.
  • Get a Discount Dental Plan – A discount dental plan is not dental insurance. These plans are designed to help you get the dental procedures you need at a reduced rate and, unlike dental insurance, the plans include implants. Take a look at the comparison of prices – with and without the reduced rates of our Careington Care 500 Plan. For the most up-to-date treatment prices in your area, please visit the 1Dental fee schedule and enter your zip code.

Dental Implants ADA Codes and Pricing

To sign up for a plan, go to 1Dental.com for the Careington Care 500 Plan and click “Join Now” or call 800-372-7615.

We hope this post has been valuable to you in your investigation into the cost of dental implants. If you found this article helpful, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ – or simply comment down below. We’d love to hear from you!

Katie is 1Dental’s copywriter and social media marketer. She aims to promote dental health through new blog posts heavily researched and sourced by topic and social media updates and outreach. Katie has completed her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. You’ll find her posting regularly on 1Dental’s social pages: Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

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