Dental implants offer the best long-term solution to replace missing teeth, but the procedure can prove to be a hefty investment for most people. While dental insurance plans often cover a portion of your total treatment costs, finding the right type of insurance provider could prove to be a challenge.
Before you choose a dental insurance plan for your implant procedure, it is important to know the different steps involved in the treatment and the costs incurred at various stages. Talk to your oral surgeon about the details of the procedure and then get in touch with your insurance provider to know what aspects of your treatment will be covered.
Steps in a Dental Implant Procedure
- The first step for getting dental implants involves a thorough initial consultation to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for receiving implants. Apart from a general and oral health examination, this may include a number of diagnostic tests like X-rays, CT scans and even bloodwork in some cases.
- Once you are deemed fit for dental implants, your dentist will schedule an appointment for your surgery. The surgical step includes the placement of the implant post into your jawbone, which is usually done under local anesthesia and is an outpatient procedure. In some cases, your dentist might recommend doing the procedure under general anesthesia, depending on your health status and personal preference. The type of anesthesia used during the procedure can incur additional costs.
- Some patients may need to undergo some extra procedures to ensure the longevity of their dental implants. This can include extraction of teeth that may cause hindrance in the success of the procedure. Some patients may also need a bone graft surgery to augment the jawbone in patients who do not have adequate bone quality and quantity.
- After a wait period of 3-6 months to allow the implant to integrate into the jawbone, the abutment and dental crown that will replace the missing tooth are screwed into place.
Choosing a Dental Insurance Plan
There is always a possibility that your insurance provider may consider dental implants to be a cosmetic procedure, which is usually not covered by dental insurance plans. Additionally, a dental implant procedure may consist of several steps apart from the standard surgery involving the placement of the implant into the jawbone. Depending on the need and importance of these additional steps, you may or may not be provided coverage for these procedures.
Insurance providers that do provide coverage for dental implants usually cover only part of the total costs. The rest of the treatment costs usually need to be paid out of pocket. Different types of plans may consist of co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.
Keep in mind that deciding on the best dental insurance plan for your implant procedure also depends on several factors apart from what part of your treatment costs will be covered. The reputation of the company, their policy coverage, waiting period to avail their services, annual or lifetimes caps etc. should all be taken into consideration before you make your decision.
If the insurance company of your choice does not provide any form of coverage for dental implants, all hope is not lost. Dental bridges and dentures are often covered by most dental insurance plans since they form a part of essential dental care. You could ask your company to give you an allowance that is equivalent to the cost of either dentures or bridges and pay the rest of the amount yourself.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Cost?
There is no denying that dental implants cost more than other types of tooth replacement options like dental bridges and dentures. But the advantages of choosing dental implants far outweigh their cost concerns.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Dental implants are a type of permanent dental restoration. They remain anchored into the jawbone, which prevents the dental implant from shifting under chewing and biting forces. This makes them superior to dentures that may shift or fall out while talking or eating.
- Soaking overnight in water, using special cleaning products etc. are usually an essential part of denture maintenance. Since dental implants remain fixed inside the mouth, there is no need for additional care measures commonly used for dentures. Cleaning of dental implants can be done exactly the way you clean your natural teeth; by regular brushing and flossing.
- Compared to other forms of tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges, dental implants have the longest lifespan. With a properly done procedure, dental implants can essentially last a lifetime and do not require frequent replacements like dentures and bridges. This, in turn, saves you added costs incurred by the need to constantly replace your old restorations.
- Dental implants also have the closest resemblance to natural teeth in comparison to dentures and bridges. This makes them a preferred option for those looking to not just replace their missing teeth but also restore the esthetic of their smile and overall appearance.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
As long as you have good general and oral health, you may be the perfect candidate for receiving dental implants. With a success rate of almost 90%, dental implants are usually well-suited for individuals of all ages. The primary component that dictates the success of a dental implant procedure is gum health and bone structure of the jaws.
People with diabetes and osteoporosis may need some additional procedures to be carried out before they can be considered ready for dental implants. Additionally, habitual teeth grinding and smoking are considered detrimental to the longevity of dental implants. If you are someone who falls under one or more categories mentioned above, get in touch with your dentist for a thorough consultation before deciding on a dental implant procedure.
With the help of affordable dental implants, you no longer have to worry about living with missing, misshapen or decayed teeth. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, dental implants are an investment worth making for the future of your oral health. Visit RiverRock Dental and get in touch with our dentists to know various payment options available to you for the dental implant procedure.