Why Does My Insurance Company Consider Dental Implants to Be Cosmetic?

dental implants

If you’re considering dental implant surgery, you’re probably wondering if dental implants are considered cosmetic or essential. After all, it makes a big difference as to whether or not your insurance company will cover them. Dental implants are a grey area in the dental insurance industry; teeth are necessary for proper and comfortable chewing. But then the appearance of your teeth really is about cultural aesthetics. Dental implants are the best option for teeth replacement, hands down — they look and function exactly like your natural teeth. Dental implants are also the most comprehensive form of holistic tooth replacement, because they preserve the health of your jaw and the rest of your teeth. And best of all, they are the only permanent solution to tooth replacement.

Most Insurance Companies Consider Dental Implants to Be Cosmetic

Sadly, most insurance companies consider dental implants to be a cosmetic dentistry procedure. This may be surprising. After all, dental implants aren’t like teeth whitening. They are a piece of dental work that performs an essential function in your mouth. And they’re the best way to restore teeth and gums lost to tooth decay or gum disease.

But most insurance companies consider dental implants to be an elective procedure, because technically there are other cheaper options for tooth replacement — dental bridges, dentures, flippers. Insurance companies run a numbers game. Most don’t want to pay for expensive dental implants when they could shell out way less money for a less comprehensive, less permanent type of tooth replacement.

It’s always worth checking with your insurance company to see if they cover dental implants. Some do, at least partially. It all depends on how good your insurance is. Unfortunately, patient well-being isn’t the first and most important variable to most insurance companies. But it is to us at Wilmington Oral Surgery! We’ll discuss below how we help our patients work around the limitations of their insurance policies in order to get them the best oral surgery care possible.

Dental Implants Aren’t Just Cosmetic

Yes, dental implants are functional, no matter what your insurance company says. Dental implants are different than other forms of tooth replacement because they replace the missing tooth root – the part that anchors the tooth into the jaw. And this is extremely important, because after dental implant surgery, the patient’s jaw actually heals around the implant. Dental implant surgery offers a form of holistic tooth replacement that other methods like dentures and bridges simply cannot. When you use a form of tooth replacement that doesn’t replace the tooth’s root, you will have some degeneration of bone in your jaw and your other teeth will shift. This is just a reality. So the fact that dental implants truly replace the tooth makes them ideal for comprehensive mouth reconstruction.

But dental implants also have a number of cosmetic benefits. They make your smile more attractive because they are perfect teeth. They look natural. Dental implants are made of porcelain, so they mimic the shape, size, and color of a natural tooth. Porcelain dental implants are durable, long-lasting, and stain-resistant. The beauty of dental implants is they also feel natural. You won’t be able to tell the difference from your original teeth — and neither will other people. They look more natural than other options for teeth replacement like dentures.

Why Dental Implants Are Worth It

If you want a replacement for missing teeth you don’t have to think about, dental implants are your ticket. You don’t have to remove them at night. They never fall out during meals. You simply brush them as you would your natural teeth. They’ll likely last as long as you will. Yes, they are expensive, especially if you require a dental bone graft to accommodate them, but they are well worth it. Because insurance companies don’t see dental implants as much more than cosmetic and consider them elective, the out-of-pocket expense can be daunting. But we make dental implants affordable, because everyone deserves the best tooth replacement options available.

How We Help Make Dental Implants More Affordable

We understand that dental implants are costly — especially if your insurance company considers them cosmetic and doesn’t cover the cost. But Dr. Puckett takes a unique approach to dental implant surgery that makes it more affordable. We like to think outside the box. In fact, we can save you $300 to $800 per dental implant. For one dental implant, those savings are already enormous. So consider if you need several dental implants or even a full mouth reconstruction – that’s several thousands of dollars savings.

Our oral surgery practice is unique because we take measures to make the surgery for dental implants affordable. First, we only charge for the amount of anesthesia time needed for the procedure. Most oral surgeons bill for the total amount allowed by the insurance company, even though you usually need a good deal less. With Dr. Puckett, you only pay for the amount of anesthesia time that is actually necessary (down to the exact minute) — never more.

We also take a unique approach to fees. Most oral surgeons go by a ‘Fee Schedule’ book — an industry standard measurement of the cost value of services. But our oral surgeon, Dr. Puckett, prefers to base his fees on a fair and reasonable understanding of our costs and value of the service provided. We gauge it according to the resources it costs our office — never more. This saves you a good deal of money.

We also don’t let the insurance companies push us around. We advocate for you, the patient. We don’t let the insurance company dictate what your needs are. We also hold insurance companies accountable so they pay their fair share. After all, what good is dental insurance if they don’t cover anything beyond your general cleanings?

Don’t Think You Can Afford Dental Implants? We Can Help!

We understand dental implants are expensive. That’s why we’re willing to work with you. We can set you up on a payment plan that works with your budget through CareCredit — an interest-free line of credit designed for medical expenses like those associated with dental implants, including any dental bone grafting you may need before the dental implant surgery. Get the care you need, regardless of whether or not your insurance company considers dental implants to be cosmetic. You deserve to be happy and healthy.