Whether it was an extraction, accident, or a previously failed procedure that left you with a missing tooth, you can’t avoid filling the space much longer. A missing tooth can lead to a host of not only oral, but overall health problems as time passes, including the toll it takes on your self-esteem. There are a few different options available to fill the space, including bridges, crowns, and even dentures but none as good for your oral health as a dental implant. If you desire a permanent, natural and undetectable replacement for your missing tooth, dental implants may be the best decision. Dental implants are becoming more popular and more accessible to people looking for a long lasting way to replace missing teeth, but cost is major worry of patients when they consider the procedure. Dental implants are still considered a cosmetic procedure, so they often not covered under basic dental insurance plans. Facing an out-of-pocket medical expense can be terrifying, but there are a few steps you can take to decide if a dental implant is a cost you can afford.  

Step 1: Consult your dentist

While doing  your own research online is important,  it can’t take the place of a face-to-face discussion with your dentist. Your dentist needs to assess your mouth with x-rays and a comprehensive exam to decide if you are a good candidate for the dental implant procedure.  This consultation will let you know if dental implants are an option and how much your procedure may cost. Depending on if you require a bone graft in the area to ensure the implant will be stable, or if there are additional options needed for your procedure, the price may fluctuate. Before you decide if a dental implant is too expensive, get a quote from your dentist and assess the overall value. You may need to consult with additional dentists to compare price plans. Remember to consider more than the price when making your choice, choose the practice that offers the best quality and care for a permanent implant.

Step 2: Explore your dental benefits and alternative plans

Now that you have a quote for the procedure and a better understanding of your dental needs, contact your dental insurance provider to talk about your benefits. You will need to explain the requirements of the procedure to see if you have any allowances that will cover the cost. Once you’ve exhausted efforts with your dental insurance provider, you may want to look into alternative or add-on dental coverage that includes cosmetic procedures. There are dental discount and individual dental coverage plans available, so it may be beneficial to contact the providers in case it can save money on your dental implant.  

Step 3: Inquire about payment plans and financing

Finance companies and lenders have begun to assist people with the cost of medical procedures, especially those with limited funds or insurance coverage. Many dental offices offer in-house payment plans that will allow you to pay for dental implants over time. Make sure to speak with your dentist about any financial concerns when you go in for your consultation so you can find out if they have any financing options available. Many dental offices will contact your insurance provider and check the allowances of your benefits. If your dentist doesn’t offer any payment plans, ask if they are affiliated with any financing providers that may be able to lend the cost of your procedure. Interest and fees usually apply with most financing options, make sure you’re well informed about the terms of your loan if you choose that option.  

Can you afford to NOT have a dental implant?

When weighing your options cost may be at the top your list but here are a few things you should add to put things in perspective:

  • Leaving an open space in your mouth can lead to both shifting and abnormal spacing for the rest of your teeth.
  • Bad breath.
  • An accumulation of harmful bacteria in your mouth that can travel through your bloodstream causing heart disease and even a compromised immune system, which can lead to overall health problems.
  • What you don’t pay in dental implant costs, you may end up paying in other medical bills.
  • Missing teeth can give people a poor first impression of your appearance, which  may hold you back from career success.
  • Low self-esteem due to missing teeth affects every part of your life, it can make it difficult to maintain relationships due to self-consciousness.

When considering  the cost of your dental implant, don’t forget the intangible benefits a healthy confident smile can bring.