Dental insurance is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it can help make dental care more affordable, and it’s especially helpful for people getting regular preventive care. However, it may not be as helpful when you are looking for more expensive treatments, which seems paradoxical, but is often the case.
This is true of dental implants, which are not covered under many different dental insurance plans. And, when they are covered, the coverage tends to be extremely limited, and can make it hard to get the number of implants you need. But there are many implant benefits that should make insurers want to cover them.
Dental Implants Aren’t a “Cosmetic” Procedure
One of the most common reasons why insurers tend to exclude dental implants is that they’re classified as cosmetic dentistry. While it’s true that dental implants are probably the most attractive tooth replacement option, they’re not just a cosmetic procedure.
Dental implants improve the function of your bite, allowing you to eat more of the foods you enjoyed before you lost a tooth. They also make it easier for you to speak clearly, compared to partial dentures, which can significantly interfere with your ability to form many letter sounds.
Dental Implants Last Longer
Dental implants are the only restoration that is capable of lasting a lifetime. When we look at other types of restorations, they last ten or twenty years, but dental implants can last forty or fifty years.
Dental Implants Are Easier to Maintain
Easier maintenance of dental implants feeds into the longevity of the restoration. If all you need to do is brush, floss, and make regular dental visits, you’re more likely to maintain them properly. With other restorations that require more complicated care, you might be more likely to fall down on maintenance, leading to complications.
Dental Implants Support Gums and Bone
When your natural teeth are removed, your body begins removing bone that used to support them. Restorations like dentures or a dental bridge just let the bone go, which leads to collapse of the gum tissue, too. But dental implants fully support your bone, which in turn supports your gums.
Dental Implants Support Themselves
Other tooth replacement options depend on your other teeth for support. Dental bridges literally sit on your other teeth, while partial dentures have hooks and clasps that go around your other teeth. This can damage neighboring teeth, increasing the risk that they, too, may have to be replaced later.
Dental Implants Are Healthier
With better nutrition, easier maintenance, and the support of gums and bone, dental implants can be healthier for your mouth than other restoration options. And because they support themselves, they aren’t damaging your other teeth. This can reduce the need for additional procedures down the road.
Dental Implants May Be Cheaper in the Long Run
There are many things that may make dental implants less expensive than covered alternatives in the long run. Longer lifetime, fewer problems related to neighboring teeth, and lower risk for other dental health problems can all lead to reduced cost over the years. Insurance companies looking to save money should look at investing in dental implants.
Dental Implants Are Better for You
Whether or not insurance companies recognize the above benefits, they are all reasons why dental implants are a better investment for you.