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Dental Implant Insurance Coverage

When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth, it’s wise to replace them. But you don’t need to settle for dentures. Instead, you can talk to your doctor about dental implants, which look and function just like real teeth. So, how do you know if you have dental insurance that covers implants?

A Look at Dental Implant Costs

How much do dental implants cost, on average?

When comparing dental implants to other tooth replacement options, one thing you’ll notice is that they’re more expensive. 
 
To replace one tooth, it might cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. 
Replacing up to four teeth might cost as much as $10,000. 
Full mouth implants might cost $34,000 or more. 
 
Dental implant costs will depend on various factors, such as whether or not you need a bone graft or a tooth extraction first, as well as what materials will be used for the implant and crown. Even where you’re located, the dental professional you use, and whether or not you have insurance that covers implants will all play a role in how much you’ll pay out of pocket.  

What are dental implants, and why are they so expensive?

A dental implant is similar to a screw. It’s surgically placed in the jaw, where it will act much like the root of a natural tooth, helping to maintain the strength of the jaw and the position of nearby teeth. 
 
The procedure is pretty straightforward. To start, your dentist will examine your mouth and evaluate the health of your jawbone to determine if an implant would be the right type of tooth replacement. Then, during this procedure, after the implant is set, an abutment is placed on top of it. This then allows the dentist to set a custom crown in place that will look, feel, and function like a real tooth. 
 
Keep in mind that dental implant procedures may take months from start to finish because they’re usually completed in stages, allowing for healing in between those stages. 
 
Once complete, when it comes to maintaining an implant, you can simply brush, floss, and see your dentist for cleanings just like you would for the rest of your chompers. 

Dental implants vs. dentures

A dental implant is a permanent fixture in your mouth, unlike dentures that need to be taken out of your mouth to be cleaned with a special solution overnight. 
 
Also, dentures can be uncomfortable, they might slip out of place while speaking and chewing, and you might need to use denture adhesive. With implants, you don’t need to worry about any of those problems. 

So, does dental insurance cover implants?

Not always. That’s why finding dental insurance plans that cover implants is wise. 
 
Wait, why doesn’t dental insurance cover implants like it covers other procedures, like fillings and root canals? Well, it might be because implants are so expensive and an insurer doesn’t want to cover the costs. Or, it might be because the insurer considers implants a cosmetic procedure that isn’t really necessary.   

A note about the missing tooth clause: Most dental insurance companies have what is called a "missing tooth clause". It is important to be aware of for prosthetic devices such as bridges, dentures and implants. The Missing Tooth Clause states that teeth that are missing from the mouth prior to your policy effective date are not eligible for insurance coverage.

How to get dental implants covered by insurance

1. To figure out if you’ll incur any out-of-pocket costs to get dental implants, contact your medical insurance provider. That’s right, your health insurance might help cover the costs of medically necessary dental implants. If, for example, you lost a tooth and it’s causing other health problems, you might be covered, at least to some degree. 
 
2. If you have dental insurance already, you can contact them to find out if they’ll cover all or part of the bill. You might be responsible for out-of-pocket fees like a copay or deductible, or your plan might have a lower annual maximum that will result in you having to cover the rest of the bill. Also, the amount of coverage might be based on the reason why you need an implant (e.g. you lost a tooth in an accident).  
 
Bottom line: getting in touch with your medical insurance and dental insurance providers is the only way to figure out if these plans will help you.  
 
What if your medical insurance won’t step in to support you and you don’t have dental insurance? Then it’s time to start shopping!

How to Find the Best Dental Insurance for Implants

If you’re considering dental implants, you’ll need to see a dental professional to receive a personalized quote based on your unique needs. From there, having the right dental implant insurance will help you save a lot of money. 
 
The key is to find high-quality, affordable dental insurance plans that cover implants. To begin your search, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace. There, you can easily compare plans and narrow your options down to those that will help cover the cost of implants so you don’t need to sacrifice your smile, or your bank account, to get what you want.    
 
 
  
 
 
 
Sources:
https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/all-about-dental-implants.html
 https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/how-to-find-dental-insurance-that-covers-implants
https://myoms.org/what-we-do/dental-implant-surgery/does-insurance-cover-dental-implants/