Dental implants cost more than most people can pay out-of-pocket, especially when more than one tooth needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, dental insurance plans have not always been generous when it comes to covering the costs of dental implants. As the benefits of implants become clearer, this is beginning to change, but dental insurance plans can vary significantly when it comes to what they cover. Here’s what you should know.
Dental Implants May Be Covered After an Accident or Injury
If you suffered facial trauma due to an accident or injury and it resulted in the loss of one or more teeth, your dental insurance plan may cover the cost of your dental implants even if they don’t cover the costs in other circumstances.
Some Dental Insurance Plans Cover Parts of Dental Implant Restorations
There are three pieces involved in most dental implant restorations: the dental implant post, the restoration (crown, bridge, or denture), and the abutment that connects the two. Many dental insurance plans will cover the cost of the restorations, not the implants or abutments.
Supplemental Procedures Are Often Covered
Do you need teeth extracted before getting dental implants? Does your jaw need to be augmented with bone grafting? These supplemental procedures may be covered by your dental insurance, especially if they are treatments that would be needed regardless of whether or not you’re getting dental implants as well.
Keep in Mind Your Annual and Lifetime Limits
Even when dental insurance covers the costs of dental implants, their annual and lifetime limits apply. If you have annual maximum coverage of $5000, for example, that can cover the cost of a single-tooth dental implant restoration, but may leave you having to pay a significant portion of implant-supported dentures out-of-pocket.
Teeth Lost Before Your Coverage Started May Not Be Covered
Just like medical insurance that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, there are dental insurance plans that will pay for dental implants, but not for teeth that you lost before you were covered by their insurance. If you’re currently looking for dental insurance specifically to cover the costs involved in getting dental implants, it’s important to read the fine print and make sure the plans you’re considering will cover preexisting tooth loss.
Check With Your Medical Insurance Provider
Dental implants prevent and reverse bone loss in the jaw, so more medical insurance plans are starting to offer some form of coverage for the procedure, particularly in cases where patients have already experienced bone loss or other medical complications after losing their teeth. Medical insurance may also cover the costs of dental implants when they are needed due to oral cancer, radiation treatment, congenital conditions, or other medical situations that have caused tooth loss.