Health and dental insurance coverage can be confusing, especially when it comes to specialty procedures such as dental implants. Many patients ask us if their dental insurance covers dental implants, and the answer is that it depends on your insurance and type of implant treatment you receive. Dr. Brent Engelberg of Arlington Heights, IL dental office AH Smiles will work with you and your insurance company to create a treatment plan that fits your needs and budget.
Understanding Dental Insurance Coverage
Many insurance companies do not consider dental implants a medically necessary procedure, viewing it as purely cosmetic. But, those with missing teeth know that replacing them is vital to their oral health and overall wellbeing. Depending on the reason you need implants and/or any health issues missing teeth may be causing, you may be able to use both medical and dental coverage to minimize your out-of-pocket costs for your implants. Review your insurance policy materials to see if dental implants are listed as covered by your policy. Before getting any procedure, it’s important to ask your insurance company detailed questions about coverage to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises after the fact when it comes time to pay your dental bill.
- Does the plan cover implants?
- What percentage of the procedure does the policy cover?
- What is my annual maximum out-of-pocket cost?
- Do I need a referral before receiving dental implants?
The staff at your dentist’s office will be able to work directly with the insurance company to determine your coverage based on the treatment plan.
Are Implants Covered By My Insurance?
To determine whether your insurance covers implants, it’s important to understand the different parts of the treatment and how much mouth preparation will be needed before the actual surgery. The amount of coverage may also depend on whether you are receiving a full arch of restored teeth or just replacing one or two missing teeth.
Tooth Extraction: Depending on whether you are already missing teeth or if the tooth needs to be extracted, this procedure will be part of your dental implant treatment. Fortunately, most insurance companies cover all or most of a tooth extraction.
Bone Grafting: Some patients need their underlying jawbone tissues strengthened prior to the implant procedure. This ensures the implant will remain in place once installed. This part of the procedure may not be covered, despite it being a crucial step in the implant process.
Placing the Implant: The implant placement procedure is considered a “major” dental procedure. However, don’t fear the word “major,” though — this is a term insurance companies use that does not always reflect the intensity of treatment or the discomfort. Some plans cover up to 50 percent of major procedures.
Placing the Artificial Tooth: The artificial tooth that provides the appearance and functionality of natural teeth is also considered a major procedure. Some plans consider this the same as crowning a natural tooth and may cover more of the cost, so check directly with your insurance company.
Dental Implants in Arlington Heights, IL
We understand that working with insurance and a budget can be difficult. The AH Smiles staff will work with you, your dentist, and your insurance company to offer you the best treatment based on your needs and budget — and a long-lasting smile. Schedule a consultation online or call (847) 230-9703 today.