Why Dental Insurance (Usually) Doesn’t Cover Dental ImplantsBy: Britely
Dental insurance can be a valuable resource for covering the cost of various dental procedures and treatments. However, one major exclusion that often surprises policyholders is the lack of coverage for single and full mouth dental implants. Dental insurance typically does not cover dental implants for several key reasons.
1. Classification as a Cosmetic Procedure
One of the primary reasons why dental insurance does not cover dental implants is that they are often classified as a cosmetic procedure. Although dental implants are an effective and permanent solution for missing teeth, insurers generally prioritize coverage for procedures that are considered medically necessary rather than what they deem cosmetic in nature.
Dental implants can be more expensive than alternative treatment options, making them a significant investment for patients. The materials used in dental implants, such as titanium posts and custom-made dental crowns, can be quite expensive. Similarly, the process of placing dental implants requires the expertise of specialists, further contributing to the overall cost. Insurance providers often exclude coverage for costly procedures due to the financial implications of widespread inclusion.
3. Waiting Periods and Pre-existing Conditions
Another reason dental insurance may not cover dental implants is the presence of waiting periods and pre-existing conditions clauses. Waiting periods refer to the amount of time an individual must wait after purchasing a policy before they can receive coverage for certain treatments. Dental insurance plans often impose waiting periods for major procedures like dental implants, which can range from six months to several years.
Additionally, pre-existing conditions clauses can exclude coverage for dental implants if the need for the implants arises before the policy goes into effect. If a patient has missing teeth prior to obtaining dental insurance, the insurance provider may consider these missing teeth a pre-existing condition and deny coverage for dental implants.
4. Alternative Treatment Options
Insurance providers typically cover alternative treatment options for missing teeth, such as dentures or bridges. These alternatives are often less expensive than dental implants and can adequately restore the functionality of the teeth. Since dental insurance aims to provide coverage for treatments that are both effective and affordable, they may exclude dental implants in favor of these alternatives.
While dental insurance can be an excellent resource for various dental procedures, it usually does not cover dental implants. It is important for individuals considering dental implants to familiarize themselves with their insurance policy and explore alternative financing options to manage the cost of this valuable dental treatment.