Will Health Insurance Pay for Dental Implants?

Your teeth play an important role in your overall health and well-being. If you are missing any of your teeth, there is no doubt that you are experiencing problems. Not only does missing teeth impede your ability to eat and speak properly, but your self-confidence is likely suffering. Additionally, missing teeth can lead to additional dental health problems.

Crowns, bridges, and dentures are all options that can be used to replace missing teeth; however, they are not a permanent solution. Furthermore, there are certain issues associated with these tooth replacement options; for example, dentures can be uncomfortable and may not restore your ability to eat or speak properly. There is a better solution for missing teeth: dental implants.

What are Dental Implant?

dental implantsDental implants are posts that are constructed of metal and are surgically implanted into the jaw underneath the gums. Once a post is placed, a replacement tooth is affixed to it. Essentially, dental implants serve as a replacement root for missing teeth. Since they are permanently affixed to the jawbone, they are a more permanent solution than traditional bridges or crowns, as well as dentures. The artificial teeth that are attached to dental implants don’t shift or slip, they’re easier to care for, and they restore your ability to eat and speak. In other words, dental implants are a more natural tooth replacement solution than traditional crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Because of the benefits that dental implants provide, many people opt for this solution as a way to replace their missing teeth. For some people, they may be the only tooth replacement option, as conventional bridges, crowns, braces, or dentures may not be possible.

Will Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

There’s no denying the benefits that dental implants provide; however, there is one downside: they can be expensive. If you have insurance, you might be assuming that your policy will cover the cost of dental implants; but as with everything associated with health insurance, it’s important to find out if, in fact, your carrier does provide coverage for dental implants.

Every insurance carrier – and every policy – is different; while some may offer coverage for dental implants, not all will. Furthermore, if your policy does cover dental implants, it may only provide coverage in certain situations. Additionally, while your health insurance carrier might cover implant surgery itself, it may not cover other procedures that you may require to prepare for dental implants, such as the extraction of a decayed tooth or bone grafting to strengthen the jawbone.

Generally, patients are required to prove that dental implants and the procedures that are associated with them are medically necessary in order for treatment to be covered. For instance, you will likely need to provide documentation from your dentist and/or oral surgeon that highlights the need for dental implants. You may also need to illustrate that you have attempted other tooth replacement options and that those treatments were not successful.

How to Find Out if Dental Implants are Covered

Before you make arrangements to have dental implants placed or any other procedures that may be required, make sure you contact your insurance provider. Don’t assume that just because you have insurance that treatment will be covered. Speak with your health insurance company to find out the details of your policy; ask them to provide you with written documentation that details the specifics of your policy. Review your policy to find out what aspects of dental implant placement are covered, if any. If treatment is covered, find out if there is any information that your carrier requires to certify the need for dental implants. Additionally, it’s important to review the annual limit of your plan, as there may be out-of-pocket expenses that you will be responsible for, even if your policy does provide coverage.

If your current insurance policy does not provide coverage for dental implants, you might want to consider speaking with an insurance agent to find out if there are policies available that do cover implant placement and any associated procedures. If there are plans available that will meet your needs, you may want to invest in coverage. Another option is to discuss costs with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to find out if there are any financing options available; most surgeons will work with you to help you find options to cover the cost of dental implants.

In Summary

Dental implants are a long-term solution to missing teeth; but, while they are certainly beneficial, they can be costly. Make sure you speak with your health insurance carrier to find out if treatment will be covered by your policy. If it isn’t consider investing in a policy that does offer coverage or speak to your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to see if there are affordable financing options available.

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