I have been trying to find an answer on this for a while, but maybe I am just not looking in the right places. I am trying to find a dental insurance plan that will help cover the cost of dental implants. I am missing all of my upper teeth. I’ve been wearing a denture for many years, but it is just not working for me anymore. My dentist has suggested dental implants, but the cost is way out of my league. Can you suggest any dental insurance companies that might help me with the costs?
Tim in Greenfield
Though I am not intimately familiar with every dental insurance policy out there, I can with some authority say that you are not going to find a company that will pay for implants. If you consider it from a business perspective, it makes sense. They could not sell you a policy and then immediately pay for treatment that far exceeds the cost of the policy, not and hope to stay solvent.
Dental insurance works best when it is sold to an employer, who then provides dental insurance as a benefit of employment, paid with pre-tax dollars. However, even if you had dental insurance through an employer, they would almost certainly not pay for dental implants. Insurance will cover the cost of the cheapest treatment, and dental implants are not cheap. Finally, most policies include a cap of $500 to $1000 per year, which does not make much of a dent in the cost of extensive restorative dentistry.
The sad thing is, most people do not realize that dentures may not be a permanent solution. The bone at the site of a lost tooth begins to be reabsorbed into the body almost immediately. If ALL of your teeth are missing, you can suffer from a condition called facial collapse. The bone of your jaw deteriorates so badly that your face seems to “fold in” on itself, and wearing dentures can become incredibly uncomfortable or even impossible. In some cases, even dental implants aren’t the immediate solution – the patient must have bone grafts before any implant root forms can be placed. As you might imagine, surgery of this type can be intensely demanding, both physically and financially.
Dental implants stop the reabsorption of the bone, and help you maintain good oral health. If you are simply unable to finance the full set of implants, your dentist may suggest mini-implants, which are small implant root forms used to “anchor” a full denture in place. Not all implant dentists will do this procedure, so you would need to locate a skilled, educated dentist who provides the full range of dental implant services.
Good luck to you.