Dental Implants Explained

Dental Implants explained

If you've wanted to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, what sort of investment can you expect?

The cost of one dental implant may be $3, 000 to $4, 500 or more, according to a New York Times. This includes the surgery for its placement, all the components and the implant crown itself. If you require additional procedures before the implant, such as a bone graft if there isn't enough bone present beneath the gum, additional costs may be involved.

What Influences This Cost

Dental implants cost more or less depending on geographical location, experience of the dentist and the type of implant used. Most dentists use those from the Swedish manufacturer who first developed them, according to TIME, and these implants have a success rate of 90 percent or higher. Generic implants that cost less are also available, but they may not have been examined for their success across different patients. Find out the type of implant your dentist uses and if it's worth it to you.

Insurance Coverage

Dental insurance doesn't usually cover implants because most insurance companies consider implants an elective procedure. However, insurance policies may cover the implant crown, so be sure to talk to your insurance provider to learn what is and isn't covered. Keep in mind if the cause of your tooth loss was an accident or disease, your health insurance policy may actually assist with some of the cost of an implant.

Dental Discount Plans

One way to pay less for implants is to join a dental discount plan, many of which offer 5 to 40 percent off dental implants cost, according to the New York Times. Make sure the plan you're considering does offer a discount on implants, and check if the plan has a waiting period before you can use the discount.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Another option, if you have a flexible spending account at work, is to use assets from that account to pay part of the cost. Often you can benefit from this by basing coverage on the two-part process of getting an implant: putting in the implant and then covering it with a crown six to 12 weeks later. TIME suggests scheduling the implant at the end of a calendar year, and then receiving your crown the following year. This schedule lets you use money from two years of your pretax flexible spending account, saving you as much as 30 percent if you're in a higher tax bracket.

Of course, ask your dentist about financing plans as well. And after your implant, follow his instructions for home care, which will include regular brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush such as the Colgate® 360® to avoid future costs due to a damaged implant.

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