Can I get dental insurance to pay for my implants?

Do you know of a dental insurance plan that will cover some of the cost of dental implants? I am in need of the entire upper. I’m wearing dentures now but they are not working for me. My dentist has suggested implants but I can not afford it.
– MS from Philadelphia

Dear MS,
It sounds like you’re in kind of a spot. Most people don’t realize when they have all their teeth extracted that their jawbone then starts to shrink and within maybe twenty years they won’t be able to wear their dentures any more. And now you need not just implants, but you need bone grafting to build up your jawbone first so that it can hold the implants. So I want to use the occasion of your question to urge other people to first try to save their teeth if they can. If they can’t, then at least get a couple of implants to hold their denture in. The presence of dental implants helps prevent the jawbone from shrinking.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to find a dental insurance plan that will help you pay for these dental implants.

Put yourself in the place of the insurance company. They have to make money on the policies they sell. It doesn’t make any sense for them to sell you a policy and then turn around and pay you benefits that way exceed the cost of the policy. They couldn’t stay in business operating like that.

Dental insurance makes sense when the insurance company can sell it to an employer. Then they take the cost of all the dental benefits they pay and pass those on to the employer, with a little profit for the insurance company. It’s a way to take the cost of dental care and pay for it as a benefit of employment, with pre-tax dollars.

And even if you had dental insurance through an employer, they don’t like paying for dental implants. Usually they cover the cheapest treatment, so most of them will pay for a new denture and not for implants. Plus they usually have annual maximums of maybe $500 or $1000, which doesn’t go far toward any kind of extensive dentistry.

I wish you were closer and we could try to help you. There are various ways we can provide affordable dental implants and affordable dentistry. Maybe you can find someone in Philadelphia who can help you with this.