Cost is often a primary concern for our patients when they begin to consider dental implants. Many of our patients have Medicare, so whether or not Medicare insurance covers dental implants is a common question we receive. Below, we’ll see exactly what costs to expect with dental implants, as well as which of those costs Medicare may cover.
What are dental implants
Dental implants are a permanent solution to damaging, unhealthy, or missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth or a few teeth, though procedures like 4-on-1 full arch dental implants that replace an entire row of teeth are usually more efficient.
To receive dental implants, titanium screws are placed into the upper or lower jaw (or both). Then, the new, prosthetic teeth are permanently attached to the screws. After patients have healed from the surgery required to place the screws, and after the permanent, custom-made teeth have been placed, patients will have teeth that look and feel like natural teeth.
If patients get a comprehensive procedure like 4-on-1 full arch dental implants, they will receive a temporary prosthetic the day of the surgery. The new, permanent teeth will be placed after healing from the placement surgery is complete.
What is the cost of dental implants
The cost of dental implants will depend on what specific dental implant you’re getting. Let’s take a look at the most common types of dental implant options.
Cost of individual implants
Individual dental implants will usually cost between $3,000 – $6,000 per implant. An individual dental implant may be a good option for patients who are only missing a single tooth and have an otherwise healthy row of teeth. For patients needing multiple implants or even entire rows of teeth replaced, individual implants quickly become cost prohibitive.
Cost of 4 on 1 full arch dental implants
The national average cost of 4-on-1 full arch dental implants will range between $25,000 to $45,000 per arch (or row) of teeth. Our office offers a Low-Price Guarantee of $14,950 per arch, which is an all-inclusive cost that covers all aspects of the procedure.
Does insurance cover cost of dental implants
Typically, standard health or dental insurance will not cover the cost of dental implants. This is because most insurance coverages see dental implants as “cosmetic” and not medically necessary even if they are the best option for patients with failing oral health.
Some insurance companies may cover part of the procedure if it’s deemed medically necessary. For example, if you have teeth that need to be extracted, regardless of what kind of prosthetic replacement you’re getting, insurance may cover extraction. You’ll need to check directly with your insurance to see what kind of coverage they may provide, though most insurance plans cover little to none of the dental implant procedure.
Does insurance cover 4 on 1 full arch dental implants?
Unfortunately, even though 4-on-1 full arch dental implants are far more cost-effective than single implants, most insurance plans will not cover the full cost of 4-on-1 full arch dental implants. As with general dental implants, it’s possible your insurance may cover part of the procedure, but most patients should expect to pay for the bulk of the cost out-of-pocket.
Does Medicare cover cost of dental implants
Medicare typically isn’t going to cover the cost of implants unless it’s related to a specific disease or injury. For example, if a patient were in a car accident and experienced severe trauma to the jaw, Medicare may cover the cost of implants to help repair the damage. Likewise, if a patient experiences problems with their teeth due to an unrelated disease (like cancer), then Medicare may cover the cost of dental implants.
In general, similarly to standard health insurance, Medicare won’t usually cover the full cost of dental implants for patients.
Does Medicare cover 4 on 1 full arch dental implants
Unfortunately, Medicare won’t usually cover 4-on-1 full arch dental implants. The same exceptions for coverage that exist under normal dental implants apply to 4-on-1 full arch dental implants (e.g., injury, etc.).
Patients with Medicare should plan on paying for most of the cost of 4-on-1 full arch dental implants out of pocket. However, financing options are available for 4-on-1 full arch dental implants.
Financing dental implants
Given that insurance and Medicare usually do not cover dental implants, many offices work with 3rd party financing partners to help make dental implants financially feasible. Our office is no exception, and we help patients get access to several different financing options (such as low-interest or interest-free payments).
If you’d like to know for sure what your specific insurance covers regarding dental implants, and what your financing options may be, we’d be happy to speak with you. You can call us at 1-866-974-1796, and we help you explore your options.
FAQ insurance and dental implants
1. Why won’t most insurance cover dental implants?
The reason why most insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t cover dental implants is because they’re usually not viewed as “medically necessary.” Instead, many coverage plans see dental implants as cosmetic options, even if dental implants are the best option to restore someone’s mouth to full working order.
That said, most insurance plans, as well as Medicare, offer some kind of coverage for regular, removable dentures. Unfortunately, dentures pale in comparison to dental implants for a number of reasons.
Dentures offer a worse fit than dental implants. They won’t be as comfortable, and you’ll face dietary restrictions. The acrylic material of dentures will mean crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods have to be avoided, and since the material is porous, it’s prone to harboring odor-producing bacteria. These issues are still present with snap-in dentures, despite the promises of better performance.
2. When does Medicare cover dental implants?
The only instances when Medicare will cover the cost of dental implants is if they are needed due to an injury or disease. For example, if a patient had a kind of cancer that was deteriorating their oral health, Medicare may cover the cost of dental implants to help preserve the natural function of the mouth and teeth.
Likewise, if teeth are damaged or missing due to an injury, like a major car accident, Medicare may cover part of the cost of dental implants to help the patient recover from the trauma. However, these are exceptional situations, and most patients should expect to pay for most, or all, of the cost of dental implants.
3. Is it possible for insurance to partially cover the cost of dental implants?
It’s possible that your insurance may cover specific parts of the dental implant surgery. Depending on your specific coverage, insurance may pay for:
- Tooth extraction. Many kinds of insurance coverage will pay the cost of extracting a damaged or rotten tooth. If this is the reason you’re getting dental implants, it’s possible this specific cost may be covered.
- Implant placement. Some insurance plans might pay the partial cost of placing the titanium screws that will anchor your dental implants.
- New teeth/crowns. If you are replacing rotten teeth, or you are getting dental implants to stop the progression of tooth decay, your insurance may cover part of the cost of your new teeth.
The specifics of what is covered and why will vary widely from insurance plan to insurance plan. You should always contact your insurance company directly for specific information on what part, if any, of the dental implant procedure they may cover.
4. How long do dental implants last?
One of the primary reasons that dental implants continue to grow in popularity is because dental implants are permanent. Unlike dentures, dental implants will not require scheduled maintenance or replacements, since they are designed to last a lifetime.
However, it is possible for dental implants to fail, but there are ways that the risk of dental implant failure can be mitigated:
- Choose an oral surgeon to perform the surgery. The majority of dental implant failures are due to improper implant placement. The titanium screws can be placed too deeply, causing nerve damage, placed too shallowly, causing implant drifting, or placed in jaws where a bone graft was needed for proper anchoring. Choosing an oral surgeon for dental implant surgery will greatly reduce the likelihood of these issues occurring because of their extensive training in oral surgery procedures, including placing dental implants.
- Choose high-quality materials for dental implants. It’s important to choose high-quality, durable materials for your dental implants. Zirconia is the standard for what your new teeth should be made from, though most offices will charge a premium for this high-end material. Zirconia prosthetics are included in our all-inclusive price for dental implants. Choosing low-end materials can cause the teeth to fracture or break, which will require some kind of replacement. Patients should always choose high-end materials, like zirconia, for their dental implant crown and bridge. Some offices may also choose low-quality implant posts (the part of the dental implant that is placed into your jaw). These alternative posts may be too short, too thin, or both, which can lead to complications. The post may break, causing implant failure, or the post may simply fall out. Both the crown and the post should be made of high-quality, reliable materials. At America’s First Dental Implant Centers, our all-inclusive pricing always includes high quality titanium posts as well as durable zirconia crown/bridge (the gold standard for dental implants).
- Follow the oral surgeon’s instructions immediately following surgery. It is crucially important to follow the instructions of your oral surgeon immediately following dental implant surgery to avoid complications, like infections, and to avoid implant failure. Patients should follow the dietary guidelines and suggestions for oral care given by their oral surgeons.
- Follow proper oral hygiene. Once the custom-made prosthetics are placed, patients still need to follow basic oral hygiene care to keep their mouths healthy. This includes daily brushing, using a mouth rinse, and seeing a dentist for regular cleaning and checkups. No other special kind of maintenance or cleaning is needed to maintain oral health after final dental implants have been placed.
- Avoid smoking or alcohol. Smoking and alcohol present a risk to oral health, and this is especially true for patients who have dental implants. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided.
5. How do I know if I need a bone graft for dental implants?
Patients that don’t have enough bone density to support dental implants will sometimes need a bone graft to support their jaw. The bone graft adds the necessary amount of bone for dental implants to properly anchor into, and without it, the dental implants have a high risk of failure.
The only way to know if you need a bone graft is through an evaluation with your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon will use several techniques, including x-rays and CT-scans, to determine if your jawbone is dense enough to anchor dental implants. Even if a bone graft is needed, dental implants are usually the best option to help patients regain normal function of their mouth and teeth.
6. Will insurance cover the cost of a bone graft for dental implants?
Insurance will rarely cover the cost of a bone graft for dental implants, even if the coverage pays for other aspects of the dental implant surgery. As with any specifics for coverage, you should check with your specific insurance company to determine exactly what kind of coverage they provide for dental implants, including bone grafts.
7. Will Medicare cover the cost of a bone graft for dental implants?
Regardless of whether or not you need a bone graft for dental implants, Medicare will only cover dental implants if they are needed due to traumatic injury or disease. In general, it is rare for Medicare to cover the cost of bone grafts.