Dental insurance can help you pay for dental implants.
Your dentist might recommend a dental implants if you have missing or damaged teeth. However, a dental implant can be expensive without insurance. This is especially true if you have a fixed income.
Without insurance, a single implant can run between $3,000 and $4,500.
Insurance coverage for dental implants
Dental implants can be expensive. The cost of dental implants can be high. However, they last a lifetime and function just like natural teeth. Implants also give you a beautiful smile that will allow you to eat and talk confidently.
Implants are more expensive than bridges due to the cost of surgery and the price of the implant itself. Implant placement requires that your dentist has the right equipment and training to do the job.
You should look into dental insurance if you are unable to afford dental implants. A portion of the cost for dental implants may be covered by some dental insurance plans.
Depending on your reason for needing implants, either your dental insurance or your medical insurance might cover you. These are some things that you should consider when financing implants.
- Ask about your dental insurance’s annual limits if you have implants coverage. It is possible that you will need to plan for one stage of treatment and another phase at the end one year.
- Your dental insurance may cover the crown or bridge that attaches the implant to it, but not the actual implant. Your medical plan might cover the implant.
- Some medical insurance plans will cover implant costs if there are any medical issues related to the loss.
- If your tooth loss was due to an accident or injury, the implant might be covered through an accident insurance policy or medical plan.
Costs for implants and implant-supported reconstructions can vary widely from one region to the next. Only your dentist will be able to give you an accurate cost estimate for your case. After a consultation, contact your dental insurance company to find out if you have coverage and, if so, how much your out-of-pocket expenses will be. Many dentists and orthodontists offer financing options, as well as payment plans.
How Guardian Direct insurance covers dental implants
Guardian Direct(r), dental insurance, can assist with the cost for implants. After a 12-month wait, Guardian Direct Dental Advantage Gold or Silver PPO plans will cover 50% of the cost of implants.
What is a dental Implant?
Dental implants are one of the most powerful devices to replace missing teeth. They support dentures, bridges and crowns. Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth. More than 500,000 Americans get them each year.
The foundation of natural teeth is the tooth root. Roots are what anchor the teeth to the jawbone. A dentist can replace the root that has been removed due to a diseased tooth or other reasons with an implant. Implants provide the support required for a dentist in order to create a false tooth. After the implant has been placed, an artificial tooth can be attached to it. It will look and function like a natural tooth.
An implant is placed by a dentist into the jawbone, where the original tooth was removed. The implant is then anchored in place by the bone and gums that grow over a few weeks. The implant is then covered by a crown, bridge or denture.
Different types of dental implants
There are many types of dental implant. The type of dental implant that you choose depends on your health, your gum condition, bone and location, as well as how many teeth you want to replace. These are the types of dental implant:
- Endosteal : Implants are similar to screws and are placed directly in the jawbone. This type of dental implant uses cylinders or screws as the foundation. These screws are made from metals like titanium. These are the most commonly used type of implant in the United States.
- Subperiosteal: Subperiosteal implants made of a metal framework and sit on top of the jawbone and under the gums. Subperiosteal implants are not inserted directly into the bone like the endosteal. They sit on top of your jawbone and have small posts that protrude from the gums. These posts can be attached to crowns, bridges, and full dentures. Subperiosteal implant are typically recommended for patients who cannot tolerate removable dentures and are not eligible to receive endosteal ones. A subperiosteal implant may be necessary if you have severe bone loss, or another advanced oral disease.
- All on-4(r) If all of your teeth are missing and you need a complete denture, an All-on-4 (r) implant may be the right choice. The bone is drilled with four implants and the angles are adjusted to maximize the thickness of the bone. Your dentist will place a temporary denture on your implants the same day as the All-on-4 procedure. While you wait for healing to occur, the temporary denture can be used for several weeks so that you can speak and eat normally. Your dentist will attach a permanent denture to the implants after you heal. This ensures that your denture is secure and won’t move around in your mouth.
- Mini Implants: Because they are so small, almost like a toothpick and require less surgery, mini implants can be placed in the jaw. Because of their small size, mini implants are ideal for patients with little bone structure. These are used by many dentists to stabilize dentures that have been worn for many years. Patients who can no longer chew or speak properly due to dentures moving around in their mouths will benefit from them.
- Immediate Load Implants: Also known as Teeth-in a-Da(r), the type of implant allows the dentist to place an implant and a crown right after pulling the natural teeth. Patients will see a reduction in the time it takes to have their teeth pulled and then have an implant placed. Patients with strong, healthy jawbones are a good candidate for this procedure.
What are the steps involved in getting an implant?
Although there are many options available for replacing missing teeth in the future, most dentists agree that implant therapy is the best option. Implants preserve the natural bone and support the cheek and facial muscles and function just like natural teeth. These are the main aspects you should expect when you get implants.
- Consultation Your dentist will first examine your gums, teeth, and bone before they begin any treatment. They will need to take X-rays and 3-D scans in order to determine the best areas for placing the implants. This consultation should include information about insurance benefits and costs. It may take two visits to the dental office to collect the necessary x-rays and scans for the dentist to use in evaluating your case. The second trip will be to discuss their recommendations with you, as well as the options available and the anticipated costs.
- Surgery Once you have decided if you are a candidate for implants, and figured out which type of implants will best suit your needs and preferences, you will schedule your next appointment to have the surgery to place them. To ensure your comfort during surgery, your dentist may administer local anesthesia or IV sedation. The dentist will insert the implants into the jawbone, and then use special dressings and stitches to protect the area for several more days. Some bruising and soreness are normal, but most patients go back to work the next morning. Most patients will only need to take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any soreness or lingering discomfort.
- Bone Regrowth: This refers to the process in which your implant and jawbone are joined. It can take weeks, or even months depending on how your jawbones are performing before surgery. You can continue with your daily activities, but avoid eating hard foods or gum damage during this time.
- Placement of an Abutment: Once the implant is fully integrated into your jawbone, abutment (a small knob-shaped connector) is placed on top. This abutment can be attached the same day as the implant is placed for some patients.
- Placement of a crown: After your gums have healed, your dentist will take impressions of the implant abutments, remaining natural teeth, and your denture to create a custom-made crown, bridge or denture. They may take several days to make. Once they are finished, your dentist will permanently attach them to the implant abutments.
- Maintenance: Implant supported crowns and bridges need to be maintained as normal. Your dentist will recommend regular cleanings and checkups to ensure that implants and crowns last a lifetime.
Dental implants have many benefits
Missing teeth is not a cosmetic issue. Missing teeth can lead to misalignment in your bite and jaw, making it more difficult to chew properly. Your face can look sunken or drawn if you have missing teeth. A dental implant can replace missing teeth or multiple teeth. There are many advantages to this procedure.
- A natural look, feel and fit: They are fixed in place and do not move around in your mouth when you speak or eat. With confidence, you can give a presentation at work while enjoying a buffet.
- High success rates: Implants have a long history of being one of the most effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Researchers found that implants had a success rate of 98% over five years in a 2018 study. The patient satisfaction rate was 98%.
- Better ability to bite and chew. It is difficult to chew food properly when teeth have to be pulled because of decay, gum disease or trauma. Implant-supported bridges, crowns, and dentures are available to restore this ability.
- Improved facial tissues and bone support: Natural natural teeth provide support for the cheeks, facial muscles, and upper and lower jawbones. This support is lost when teeth have to be pulled. The cheeks and facial muscles then begin to sag. Implant-supported bridges or crowns can be used to replace those teeth. This restores facial tone and firmness, and protects tissue and bone from premature aging and sagging.
- It’s easy to clean a tooth that has been replaced with an implant or crown. You can clean between and around the teeth with a toothbrush and dental floss.
Dental implants can pose risks
Although surgery to place an implant can be completed in just one visit, sufficient healing may take weeks to allow for the final cementing of the implant-supported restoration. Implants have this disadvantage in comparison to fixed bridges that can be completed in two visits, approximately one week apart.
Implants offer many benefits, and are often the best option to replace missing teeth. They are not for everyone. Before you consider dental implants, here are some possible side effects and risks.
- Implant integration may be difficult for patients with weak jawbones or chronic gum disease. Patients who had to have bone grafts done or have narrow ridges and patients who smoke may have difficulty with healing after surgery.
- Broken or loose implants: Implants can become loose or broken from the pressure of biting or chewing, and over time, motions like chewing or eating can cause them to break. Your dentist can tighten loose attachments or abutments during routine visits if they are not tightened properly. Your dentist may have to remove the implant if the jawbone fails to fully integrate. In this case, a bone graft can be performed.
- Broken Framework: Subperiosteal Implant Designs include implants that are connected under the gums using connector rods known as the framework. Broken frameworks are similar to loose or broken screws. A subperiosteal Implant may require additional surgery to fix or replace the framework.
- You can recement the crown if the cement that holds the crown to the implant is loosening from the pressures of biting and chewing. This is quite common and will not result in the need to replace the entire implant.
- A shift in your bite: An implant that isn’t perfectly aligned with your teeth can cause your bite shifting, which can lead to discomfort. You may feel pain when you bite. You can often fix this problem by simply changing your bite.
- Broken or chipped porcelain coating: The white coating of a crown or bridge that is covered by porcelain can crack or chip during normal chewing. It is often a cosmetic issue that can be easily fixed.
- Jaw pain after surgery: The aching or soreness of the jaw after an implant is installed usually disappears once the site has healed and settled. Some people still experience intermittent jaw pain. Your dentist might be able to help if the pain persists after you have tried all other medications.
- Cost: Although the cost of implants is a concern, there are many ways to get financial assistance. Many dental insurance plans can help cover the costs.
Are dental implants right for you?
Do your research about dental implants and make an appointment with your dentist to schedule a consultation. Your dentist will be able to help you determine if implants are right for you.
You might also want to review your dental insurance coverage to determine if you are covered for implants. This information can help you and the dentist decide if implant is a good option.
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This information is provided by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York. The information provided is for illustration purposes only. It is not intended to be used as legal, investment, tax or medical advice. This information is not intended to replace regular consultations with your dentist. Please contact your dentist if you have questions about your oral health.