Dental Implants Too Expensive? Here’s How To Pay For Them

If you’re one of the 36 million Americans who have no teeth or one of the 120 million missing at least one tooth, you might have considered dental implants. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, missing tooth can trigger a whole host of problems, ranging from diabetes to coronary heart disease to obesity. It’s painfully obvious -- you’re missing teeth, you need to do something about it. Dental implants are by far the best solution, but they’re expensive. This goes a long way to explaining why 90 percent of Americans with missing teeth opt for dentures.

But have no fear, financial assistance for dental implants is here. And it comes in many forms.

It’s a frustrating conundrum. You need dental implants. Everyone, including your dentist, agrees that they’ll make a positive impact on your life in a variety of ways. Before we even get into the positive psychological and cosmetic effects dental implants can have on your life, let’s consider the results from a medical standpoint. According to The American Academy of Implant Dentistry, not only do dental implants last for decades, they actually trigger bone growth and halt bone loss.

Beyond this, the good that can come from dental implants is almost too obvious.

First, implants will benefit your dental health. Aside from the obvious structural improvements, if you feel better about what’s going on inside your mouth, you’re more likely to practice proper and consistent dental hygiene. Theoretically, this would decrease your need for other, maybe equally as expensive dental procedures in the future.

Second, the confidence boost dental implants can provide generates evident mental health benefits. Here again, a better psychological state of mind impacts multiple areas of your life. If you feel better about yourself and your appearance, you might be more likely to be social or put yourself out there professionally. This new outlook on life has the potential to reap a whole host of untold benefits from new friends to a promotion at work to greater earning power.

This all makes sense, however (surprise, surprise), in practice the insurance companies don’t agree. They classify dental implants as “elective” and “cosmetic” improvements that are not necessary and, therefore, not covered by most plans. By and large, if you want (or even need!) dental implants you’re going to need to find a way to foot the bill yourself.

But dental implants are not cheap. You’re likely on this page because you can’t afford them or would have to uncomfortably stretch your budget to make them happen. If you’re on the lookout for alternative ways to pay for this very worthy procedure, you have come to the right place.

On this page, we provide an overview of ways you can cover the cost of dental implants. From this page, you can gather more information on a variety of options that might be available to you to pay for expensive dental implants.

Cosmetic Dentistry Grants

The Cosmetic Dentistry Grants (CDG) Program has awarded individuals just like yourself grants to help cover or offset the cost of dental implants since 2010.

The CDG program works like this: You apply online. The organization verifies your information and schedules an appointment for you with a nearby dentist who participates in the CDG program. You might be able to use the dentist of your choice, however they will have to be accepted into the CDG program first. The dentist will examine you to determine that you are a qualified candidate for dental implants. If you are, you move to the next step of the process.

From here, it simply comes down to availability and the size of the applicant pool. You do not have to be a low-income individual for the CDG program to accept you. Rich or poor, you might be able to secure free money to put toward the cost of dental implants.

Several other, similar opportunities exist to secure grant money for dental implants. You can search for and learn more about them from this page.

Personal Loans

Some lenders will provide personal loan funds explicitly to pay for dental implants. While potentially attractive, be careful with this option. The money isn’t free; in fact, it can be quite expensive depending on the terms of your loan. Of course, you’ll have to pay the money back over time with interest.

Tread carefully if you take out a personal loan. Treat it like you would any other loan for any other purpose. If you use a credit card to pay for dental implants and take out a personal loan to pay the credit card balance, ensure you do just that. The last thing you want to do is double your debt by not paying that credit card balance and using the personal loan proceeds for something else entirely.

Contact Dental Schools

Start with the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). Several dozen colleges and universities make up the ASDA. It’ll take some effort, but if you comb through the list and contact schools in or around your area, you can find out if they offer free or low-cost dental implant procedures as part of their program. If they don’t, they might be able to connect you to resources you might not otherwise have known about.

Call Your Insurance Company

As noted at the outset, insurance companies are notoriously difficult in regards to what they consider an “elective” or “cosmetic” procedure, even if you can make a logical case that you need what you’re asking them to pay for. That said, it doesn’t hurt to make a phone call, explain your situation, and see if your insurance company has options available to, at the very least, pay a portion of your bills.

Some companies might offer special programs, such as supplemental insurance, or direct you to other sources of financing from different dental insurance plans to loan options.

Dental implants are expensive. As badly as you and your dentist know you need them, it can be next to impossible to convince your insurance company of this. While this might change in the future, you have no choice other than to get creative in your search for alternative methods of paying for dental implants. Before you spend a dime out-of-pocket, exhaust all of your options to have at least part of the cost of dental implants covered by someone else or with a loan on good terms.