There’s a good chance you feel like you can’t afford dental implants. If this is the case, you’re not alone. Whether you replace one tooth or your entire mouth, this isn’t a typical visit to the dentist. Routine cleanings and root canals cost enough, but in terms of what they require with respect to practitioner skill and materials, they pale in comparison to dental implants. But this shouldn’t scare you away for two reasons. First, if you put off getting dental implants you risk making the problems with your teeth worse. Second, there are ways to cut down on or better handle the cost of dental implants.
On this page, we provide an overview on how you can make it work even if you’re facing an uphill financial battle as you consider dental implants. From this page, you can access resources to make dental implants work for you from a cost standpoint. So let’s consider five ways you can lower the cost of dental implants.
You might not have to look past your local dentist or oral surgeon office to pay for your dental implants over time. Many dentists and oral surgeons offer plans where you make monthly payments to take care of your balance. Be sure to ask questions as not every dentist will do this the same way. Some might require a down payment. Some will offer interest-free plans. Others will not. If you shop around for financing deals, you might even be able to play one dentist off of the other to secure the best possible rate. Bargain. Negotiate. It can pay off.
If you can’t find a payment plan that works for you in-house, you might want to consider taking out a loan to pay for your dental implants. As with borrowing for any purpose, be sure you’re acting responsibly. If you take on debt, be prepared to pay it off in a timely fashion. If you use a credit card, approach it the same way. While dental implants are often absolutely necessary, you don’t want to get yourself into financial trouble just to make them happen.
As is the case with so many other expenses, you’ll often pay less for dental implants in smaller cities than you will in major metropolitan areas. The reason is simple -- dentists face higher overheard in large cities. They pay more for rent and to keep the lights on. They set their prices accordingly so you can expect to pay more for dental implants -- and most dental work for that matter -- in larger more expensive cities.
If you can make it work, traveling out of state could save you enough money on dental implants to justify the cost of a plane ticket.
Search for dental schools in your area. Dental students require patients as part of their education. You might be able to become part of a program at a dental school where a resident installs your dental implants at a greatly reduced cost.
Check with organizations such as The American Dental Association (ADA). They might be able to point you in the direction of programs in your area run by non-profits or other organizations that offer low- or no-cost dental implants. These programs often have income requirements. If you make too much money, you might not qualify. But it’s worth taking a look no matter your financial situation.
Generally speaking, insurance companies do not cover dental implants. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your best shot at getting them to at least cover part of the procedure. Sit down with your dentist. Together you might be able to make a case you can take to your insurance provider that deems dental implants medically necessary. Maybe the underlying reason why you need dental implants is covered. Maybe you can get the crown covered, but not the fixture and abutment. You simply will not know if you don’t (assertively) ask.
As you navigate the process of securing dental implants at the best price possible, be on the lookout for bad actors. If a financing plan or no- or low-cost dental implant program sounds too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. If a dentist promises to do something for free or finance your balance, get all of the details in writing before you move forward. It’s always a good idea to run the name of a dentist you’re looking to do business with through the ADA or American Academy of Implant Dentistry websites to ensure they’re accredited dentists you want to get into a patient relationship with.
While it might seem daunting, with a little effort you can find a way to lower or make the cost of dental implants more manageable.