If you’ve lost your tooth due to tooth decay, in an accident, or a medical condition, you might be able to get a replacement in the form of an implant or denture.
If you’re thinking of getting a dental implant, you might want to first check-in with your insurance company. Dental implants can cause anywhere from $3000 to $4500, according to a report by The New York Times. There are a number of costs to cover, like the pre and post-op consultations and dental visits, the components involved like the screw, the crown, and any anesthesia to be administered. The price can vary depending on your oral hygiene and the extent of damage in your gums and the surrounding teeth, plus any underlying medical conditions. Does dental insurance cover anchored dentures or implants? It can if you choose the right dental insurance that covers implants and dentures.
Why Are Dental Implants So Expensive?
A dental implant is essentially a very natural-looking replacement for your actual tooth. It consists of an anchor and a post, topped with a crown. The anchor, usually made of titanium, is inserted into your jawbone and allowed to stay there for a couple of months so that your gum and bones can grow around it and secure it in place. Some dentists can also attach the post at the same time. Once the anchor is secured in place and firmly attached to your jaw, the dentist will place a post and cement the crown or the visible part of your new artificial tooth at the top. The anchor acts as the root for your new tooth. The whole procedure can take up to 9 months!
The components involved in a dental implant procedure and the potential risks of a complication contribute to the costs of the procedure, making dental implants one of the most expensive dental procedures. Sometimes, the surgeon may have to perform a bone grafting procedure before he proceeds with the implant itself. For many people, though, the benefits of having a tooth that does not need to be replaced after every few years like a denture outweighs the cost of getting a dental implant.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Implants?
Dental insurance will generally not cover procedures it considers as only aesthetically pleasing, like an implant. A standard insurance policy for oral health will cover things like dental examinations for diagnostic and preventive care, x-rays, fluoride application, fillings, scaling, tooth extractions, providing periodontic care to treat the bone and gum around an infected tooth, and sometimes might also cover costs of comparatively expensive procedures like bridges, root canals, and tooth extractions. It is unlikely that your standard insurance will cover implants. If you were in an accident and damaged your tooth, the medical expenses may be covered under a medical emergency insurance plan. If you are facing medical problems due to tooth loss, they may be covered under your medical plan as well. However, your insurance provider might consider the implant as an elective procedure and refuse to pay for it if you’ve already lost your tooth.
How To Get Dental Implants Covered By Insurance?
Insurance can help cushion the heavy costs of getting a dental implant. Some insurance providers consider dental implants as an elective procedure and can decline to cover the costs of the implant. However, this is changing fast as dental implants become the go-to procedure for replacing teeth. Your insurance may not pay for the implant itself but may cover some of the costs of the treatment.
How do you get implants covered by insurance? The first step is to choose an insurance that offers dental implants under its covered services. You should also check with the insurance provider what the upper limit to your dental insurance is per year. If the limit is less than the cost of the surgery, you may not be able to pay for the entire surgery in the same year. Talk to your dental health care provider if there are any insurance limits on your dental plan and plan your surgery accordingly. For instance, you could have it done in two parts, with the first part taking place ner the end of the year in November or December and the next one at the start of the next year in January or March.
Some insurance providers will cover partial costs of the implant which can take a huge load off of your shoulders. For instance, a dental health plan may cover the cost of the crown attached at the top of the implant, plus any consultation fees, but might not give coverage for the implant itself. You may also go for some other options that can help pay for the implants and dentures.
You might opt for a dental indemnity plan to help shoulder dome of the costs for the implant surgery. A dental indemnity plan is a cost-effective, hassle-free way for getting your oral hygiene in top position. You are not required to go to a particular doctor that is on the insurance provider’s panel – you can go to any licensed dentist you feel comfortable with. After you have met your deductible and passed the waiting period, you pay the coinsurance and the plan covers the rest of the costs up to the limit on your insurance. Some dental indemnity plans also pay for your dental implants, though they may cost a little more than standard dental insurance. You can choose a plan that best fulfills your financial requirements.
If you feel you need cannot postpone your surgery till the waiting period ends and you get the insurance coverage, you may tap into your health savings account. The health savings account can provide the funds necessary for your dental implant surgery. You may even ask your dentist to help you pay for the surgery on a monthly basis so that you don’t use up the funds altogether, and can keep replenishing your health savings account at the same time.
Some of the best dental health plans for implants in 2020 are listed below:
- Delta Dental Insurance
- Denali Dental
- Spirit Dental
- Cigna Dental
- Aetna Vital Savings
Best Dental Insurance For Implants No Waiting Period
The waiting period is the time period in which the insurance is not available to you. Any claims or requests for coverage are not entertained. If you’ve just brought your insurance and want to get the implant, the waiting periods will not allow you to get the treatment straight away. This may be troublesome for some people who are in an urgent need to get the implant due to medical or other reasons.
Luckily, there are several insurance companies that provide dental insurance that covers implants immediately. The monthly premiums on these no waiting plans vary by state, and some have pre-purchase exceptions and conditions as well. Read ahead to learn more about a few of these plans and their brief descriptions.
Spirit Dental is the best insurance company for avoiding waiting periods. The Better Business Bureau has awarded it an A+ ranking to Direct Benefits Inc, the company operating this dental insurance service. The insurance gets extra points for having the underwriting managed by Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation, which itself has an A or ‘Excellent’ ranking with A.M Best rating agency.
You can choose from two different insurance options:
- Spirit Dental Network Insurance
- Spirit Choice Dental Insurance
Both plans cover dental implants. You will receive an ID card within ten working days after you sign up online for the insurance. You can use your insurance on the effective start date, which is as less as 3 working days. That is a huge difference from the waiting periods set in place by other insurances, that can range from six months to a year. The deductible, which is $100, is paid only once.
There are a few limitations, though. Firstly, Spirit Dental does not provide any insurance for teeth that are already missing. For teeth that were already lost prior to the effective date, the insurance only pays for the tooth that has to be removed or extracted to fix the already missing tooth. There is also an annual limit of $5000 in insurance. You can only go to a specific dentist that is on the list of health care providers of the insurance plan.
DentalPlans.com is an online health plan provider that offers dental savings plans instead of insurance. They offer more than 30 different plans from healthcare providers like Cigna and Aetna.
How does a dental savings plan work? You pay a fee, typically ranging from $80 to $200 depending on your plan, to get access to discounted rates for maintaining your oral hygiene. There are no annual limits and no waiting period. You can save from 20% to 55% on dental implants if you’re covered by DentalPlans.com. However, at the time of writing of this article, the company had only 3.6 stars on ConsumerAffairs with a total of 103 reviews.
Aetna Vital Savings
Aetna is one of the oldest companies in the insurance business. It has 13 million members in its dental health insurance plans. However, Aetna suggests users go for its Vital Savings plan instead of its dental insurance plan, known as Dental Direct. The Vital Savings plan does not have any waiting period and no annual limits as it is a savings plan. Unlike Spirit Dental which does not allow already broken or missing teeth, Aetna Vital Savings has no such conditions. You can choose from different cards:
- Dental Only
- Dental Plus Rx
The Dental Only card offers discounts from over 262,000 providers and you can save 15% to 50% from your bill. This plan is for people who already have a prescription plan. If you do not have a prescription plan, you may go for the Dental Plus Rx that provides discounts on generic as well as brand-name medicines. 68,000+ pharmacies accept the Dental Plus Rx card, including popular chains like CVS and Rite Aid.
It is the least expensive out of all the options listed here, though ConsumerAffairs rates it at 2.2 stars based on 26 reviews.
Does Delta Dental Cover Dentures?
Delta Dental is the largest provider of dental health plans in the United States and has its operations in Puerto Rico as well. It provides coverage to 80 million Americans so they can have the best oral health. From root canals to fillings and extractions, Delta Dental also covers dentures depending on your plan. It is categorized as a major procedure, with the insurance covering 50% of the procedure and the customer paying the rest. You must also be aware of the annual limit on the plan, which can prohibit you from having the entire procedure carried out in the same year.
In a nutshell, there is plenty of dental insurance that covers implants and dentures. Like all other insurances, it is best if you get the insurance before you need it so you can reap the benefits of a better priced and cost-effective plan, without the hassle of waiting periods at crucial times.