Dental implants are an effective solution for eligible patients, but one of the biggest hurdles to getting them is the cost. Fortunately, there are a variety of financial options to help patients afford dental implants that patients might not know about. Below, we’ll talk about five common options you can expect to see, as well as the specific options available through our office.
Is It Possible to Finance Dental Implants?
It is! In fact, the vast majority of patients will finance at least part of the cost of dental implants if not the whole thing. Given the substantial price tag, most dental offices will offer some kind of access to financing. The specific amount and rate will depend on your credit score.
Do We Recommend Dental Implant Financing?
Yes! Even with our all-inclusive Low Cost Guarantee of $14,950 per arch, dental implants are pricy and patients regularly need help financing the cost. We consult with our patients to find the best financing options specifically for their financial situation, but we recommend dental implant financing to any patients who otherwise would not be able to afford dental implants.
Additionally, dental implants are a permanent solution to failing oral health. It’s an ideal procedure to address chronic teeth issues without need for repeated maintenance or procedures.
5 Ways to Finance Dental Implants
There are several ways patients may be able to finance dental implants. While some of these options won’t be available to all patients, it’s good to know what options you may have so you can thoroughly investigate which might be the best option.
1. Dental Insurance that Covers Implants
Some dental insurance plans may cover some of the cost of dental implants, but this is rare. The vast majority of dental plans won’t cover the full cost of implants. However, since coverage widely varies, if you have dental insurance, you should check with your provider to see what kind of coverage they may offer.
Even if your dental insurance doesn’t cover the whole cost of dental implants, they may cover a portion of the procedure (like consultations or scans, for example). Again, it’s not common to have dental implant coverage through your dental insurance, but you should always make sure!
2. Payment Plans Offered by Dentists and Dental Implant Providers
A possible financing option for dental implants are payment plans offered by dentists and dental implant providers. In these kinds of plans, patients are able to access care immediately, but they are able to pay the office directly in scheduled payments until the balance is paid in full.
Whether an office provides this style of payment plan will vary from office to office (and can often be hard to find), but this can be an easy, convenient way to finance your dental implants. This is especially true of patients with low credit scores since office-provided payment plans often don’t need a credit score (though it can be difficult to find this kind of financing).
3. Healthcare Installment Plans
If your preferred dental office doesn’t offer payment plans, they may offer healthcare installment plans. These are similar to payment plans, and still allow for immediate access to service once approved, but there are a few differences. This style of financing can be provided by a dental office or a third party lender.
Healthcare installment plans have lending terms that are determined based on your credit score, so the better your credit score is, the lower your lending fees will be. Through some lenders, it may even end up being interest free.
Healthcare installment plans account for 95% of dental implant financing, so it’s an extremely common, widely available choice.
4. Borrowing from a Retirement Plan
Depending on your age, you may have enough in your retirement plan to borrow from. Typically, you can expect low monthly payments, the ability to extend the pay-back period, and your interest rate will be low. While you do have to pay the money back, you actually end up reinvesting the money back into your retirement account.
Borrowing from a retirement plan does not require a credit check, which makes it an appealing option for patients who may have poor credit scores.
5. Taking Out a Loan
If you have a good credit score, then taking out a loan might be an option. You can take a personal loan out with a bank, or you can even take out a home equity loan. Repayment terms are usually favorable, and you may be able to use a home equity loan even if your credit score isn’t great. Generally, you need a score of 600 to be considered, but that can vary if you have enough equity in your home.
Financing Options for Patients with Poor Credit
If you have poor credit, it can be a challenge to find financing options for dental implants. We’ll highlight a few options that are great choices for patients that have poor credit scores and need to finance dental implants:
As we mentioned, if you have a retirement plan with enough to cover dental implants, it’s a great option if you have a low credit score. Borrowing from a retirement plan doesn’t require a credit check, and your repayment terms aren’t based on your credit score, either. There may be a fee to borrow, but they are very low, especially compared to other types of loans.
Direct Payment Plans with Dental Offices
Your dental office may be able to set up a direct payment arrangement with you, allowing you to make regular payments on your dental implants without the need to run a credit check. It’s possible that the offices will charge fees or interest, but it’s an option to consider for patients who know they’ll struggle with getting financing.
Certain credit cards allow for financing purchases with attractive financing. However, this is not a default feature of credit cards, and the built-in credit limit may not cover the entire procedure. If you’re considering this option, be sure to:
- Confirm that you can get genuine financing (not just carrying the balance over, which usually has a high interest rate).
- See how much of dental implants you can finance based on your credit limit.
- Contact your credit card issuer and confirm special financing for these kinds of purchases. If they don’t offer financing, they may be able to offer you other options.
Credit cards have notoriously high interest rates, so we don’t recommend using them unless your card carrier has special financing offers.
Going Outside of the US to Finance Dental Implants
When faced with the high cost of dental implants, many patients may consider going outside of the country for lower costs. This is especially true if patients are struggling to find financing options. However, there are many hidden costs and high risks when going outside of the country to get dental implants. As a result, we generally do not recommend going out of the country for dental implant procedures.
Hard to Verify Qualifications
First, it is very difficult to tell exactly what qualifications someone has in another country. For example, Mexico is a popular destination for dental implants, but dentists can perform the surgery with very few qualifications. All dentists need to have in Mexico are:
- A high school diploma
- 4-year dental program completion
- One year of community service
This is not sufficient experience to reliably and safely perform dental implant surgery. In Mexico, and many other countries, there isn’t a standard dental curriculum that students follow, which means it is difficult to understand what accreditations a dentist has.
An inexperienced dentist performing dental implant surgery dramatically increases the likelihood of dental implant failure. Many of our patients come to us because they have received poorly placed dental implants from offices with inexperienced dentists. Not only do they have to eat the cost from the low-quality office, but then they have to pay again for appropriate dental implant surgery.
Repeated Round Trips
Extensive dental implant surgeries, like for 4-on-1 full arch dental implants, can’t (and should not) be done in a single trip to a dentist outside of the country. Multiple trips will need to be made for:
- CT scans and x-rays
- Dental implant surgery
- Follow up appointments
- Placement of permanent, new teeth
- Any adjustments necessary
The cost of round-trip airfare of multiple trips stacks up quickly, as does the repeated cost of lodging. These costs are often hidden from the advertised cost, making them seem deceptively inexpensive. In addition, there is no legal recourse should a doctor be negligent, nor are there hospital admissions privileges.
Inability to Quickly Address Problems
If you have a problem with your dental implants, especially between the surgery and the placement of your new teeth, it is difficult to address issues if your doctor is abroad. Complications that can arise that need to be quickly resolved include:
- Drifting implants
- Loose implants
- Nerve damage
It will be up to you to pay for the expense to either make another, unexpected trip to your dentist, or to pay a local dentist to address the issue. All of these factors will push the actual price of the dental implant procedure to be much higher than what is advertised by out-of-country dental implant centers, and we strongly encourage patients to consider oral surgeons located within the United States.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants will vary from office to office, but here are some of the average costs you can expect (as well as our costs from our offices).
You may only need to replace a single tooth, in which case a single dental implant will be sufficient. Patients can expect to pay $3,000 – $6,000 for a single dental implant in the United States.
4-on-1 Full Arch Dental Implants
4-on-1 Full Arch dental implants use four implant screws to anchor an entire row of new teeth. The national average cost for this procedure is $25,000 – $45,000. Given the substantial costs, it’s easy to see why many patients are interested in some financing option.
Our office specializes in 4-on-1 full arch dental implants, and we offer them at an all-inclusive price of $14,950 per arch. While most patients will want to finance at least part of this cost, it makes affording dental implants far easier. Our office is able to offer this pricing without cutting down on quality (with a Low Cost Guarantee), and we’re happy to make dental implants more accessible to more patients.
Dental Implant Financing FAQs
1. Does Medicare cover tooth implants?
It is very rare that Medicare will cover the cost of dental implants. It’s possible that Medicare would cover the procedure if it was deemed medically necessary (for example, due to a traumatic injury or due to a congenital defect), but the vast majority of Medicare patients should expect to pay for dental implants out of pocket.
2. Are dental implants worth the investment?
Yes. If you have missing, damaged, or rotting teeth and need a permanent, high-quality solution, there simply isn’t a better option than dental implants. They offer benefits to patients that other options can’t. For- example:
Dental Implants Are Permanent
When dental implants are placed by an experienced oral surgeon and are cared for with standard oral hygiene, dental implants will last a lifetime. No other solution that replaces your natural teeth can claim this. Solutions like dentures (traditional and snap-in) will have to be replaced regularly (usually every 5 years), and those costs will usually be paid for out of pocket.
Dental Implants Have No Dietary Restrictions
Not only are dental implants permanent, but patients with dental implants will face no dietary restrictions. This is compared to denture options, including snap-on dentures, that will have a long list of food restrictions, which includes sticky, crunchy, and chewy foods.
Dental Implants Look Like Natural Teeth
High-quality dental implants are made from zirconia, which is durable and natural-looking. This allows dental implants to look like your natural teeth, and most onlookers won’t know the difference. This is compared to dentures that use acrylic, which is a dull, bulky material that makes your teeth appear noticeably fake.
Dental Implants Don’t Impede Natural Speech
Dental implants are connected directly into your jawbone, which means they don’t need a bulky apparatus on top of your gums to stay connected. This allows you to speak without struggling with the bulky bridge that is common with snap-on dentures.