Dental implants have a very poor history with dental insurances. In fact, as of today I have yet to hear from a dental insurance that covers dental implants.
Now before I dwell on this too much, lets look at an example of a dental insurance here in California: Delta Dental – a reputable insurance company. When it first opened its doors in the 1960s, it gave its members on the average a $1,000 yearly limit. Now, mind you this was in the ’60s. At that time you could have had pretty much your full mouth redone for $1000, considering that the average crown price was about $60 back then. Now guess what the average yearly limit is today, over 40 years later? If you guessed $1,500, you were right. And the average crown price?? Well it ranges on the average here in California between $600 and $1,200. Can we all see the discrepancy here?
Now the average single tooth implant (which includes the surgical placement of the implant, the abutment and the final crown) is between $3000 and $4,500 on the average (go my website to find definitions and images for these components). As you can see, the economical challenges would be immense for an insurance company to overcome.
If insurance companies actually did cover dental implants, like they cover other dental work, they would eventually force doctors to accept a much lower payout for their implant work. That is very difficult to do, because implants and all the associated surgical and prosthetic hardware are very expensive to manufacture and purchase. Accepting a lower fee for implant services will lead some practices to “cut corners” in order to protect their profit margins and that is exactly what you don’t want to do with dental implants. They are very technique sensitive devices, and success rates could be dramatically reduced, if inferior products are being used.
I therefore take the position that dental insurances and dental implants are dangerous mix that should not be attempted. Many patients have found other creative way to finance such expensive work, like Care Credit or flexible spending accounts.