Straight Financial Talk With the Dental Implant Treatment Coordinator
All our patients are concerned about dental implant cost. When your job is to help people restore their missing teeth with dental implants, you meet a lot of people who really need to replace their missing teeth or replace their denture with something more functional, permanent. Most everyone agrees that dental implants are the strongest, most reliable and long lasting solution for missing teeth. In fact, most of the great things people say about implants are true-
Implants can give you back your quality of life,
help boost self-confidence,
and they look and function like natural teeth.
The problem is that replacing your teeth,
especially ALL of your teeth,
with implants is expensive.
Here is how I help patients plan and budget
for the cost of dental implants.
I have not met very many people who are able or willing to plunk down a large sum of money for tooth replacement. It is not cheap by any stretch to completely restore dental form and function in this way, but it is widely accepted as the “gold-standard” for tooth replacement. My doctor says that dental implants replace teeth, prevent ongoing bone loss, and have a success rate of over 97%. Naturally, every one who is missing teeth would rather replace them with implants. My job is to help make that smart decision a financial reality.
Do Your Teeth Live in the Night Stand Drawer?
The people I meet are tired of gluing their dentures in every day and dealing with everything they eat being flavored with Fixodent. Dentures slip, click, even fall out at the most inopportune moments. A lot of people that I talk to are embarrassed about they way their teeth look. They don’t smile. They cannot eat what they want, much less maintain a healthy diet, due to the difficulties they have with chewing and biting their food. A lot of people complain about digestive issues such as acid reflux, indigestion and other problems, and they blame their missing or damaged teeth. The cost of dental implants is often the greatest barrier between dysfunctional teeth and a restored mouth. My goal is to help these people find a way to make dental implant treatment fit into their budget on a monthly basis.
Pooling All Resources for the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental insurance covers implant dentistry only sometimes, but when it does, it can take a nice big bite out of the total financial responsibility for patients. Most dental PPO plans which cover implant dentistry pay about 50% of the cost, up to an annual maximum benefit. PPO patients save even more money on the cost of treatment by going to an In-Network provider, such as Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants. When there is insurance coverage, I get happy because I can cut a nice chunk of expense right out of the bulk of the fee.
HSA and Flex Medical: Since insurance never covers 100% of the cost of implant treatment, we need to look for other sources of financial help. Patients who are prepared with even a 10-20% down payment set aside in savings find that crafting a monthly payment is easier on them. In addition, there are a ton of employers who offer their employees a pre-tax Health Savings Account or Flex Medical Spending plan. Since the funds in these accounts are deposited pre-tax, it’s almost like saving 20-25%. If you know you need dental implants, now is the time to figure out how much to set aside in your HSA account beginning in January.
Financing: Once dental insurance coverage has been maximized and available personal funds have been allocated, we sometimes still have ground to cover. If the combination of these things is not enough to cover the cost of treatment, we can look to financing. Our office offers patients two products to finance their treatment cost. Care Credit and Springstone Financial both offer 0% interest for the short term (up to 12 months). In addition, these finance plans can extend the monthly payments all the way up to 84 months, if needed. You do pay interest on those extended plans, so that is something to consider. Paying for complete dental implant restoration for several years probably seems daunting, but in reality, we pay for cars for several years without a thought- only with a car by the time you pay it off, you have to go trade it in on a new one (and a new monthly payment).
Commercial Credit Cards: I recently found a website that works similar to Priceline that allows consumers to shop and compare credit card offers side by side. I found that many of them offer no fees and 18 months at 0% interest on new purchases. Sometimes, a financing option like this is exactly what is needed to achieve an affordable monthly payment. You can check it out at comparecards.com if it sounds like something you could use.
Lay Away: If none of the options for financing are a fit for you, you might not know that a ‘lay-away’ style payment plan might be available to you. Patients on lay-away plans make a monthly payment of any amount they wish in order to build up a credit balance in their patient account. Once they reach their goal, they have their treatment. This is a great option for patients who want to steer clear of using their credit.
The Bottom Line on the Cost of Dental Implants
While the initial cost may be higher than other, less stable methods of tooth replacement, dental implants are the tried and true treatment method preferred by most dental patients. Since they are intended to last for many decades, and more often than not last people the rest of their lives, they are extremely cost effective over time. Combining methods of payment and pooling resources from insurance, employer sponsored plans and even financing can help make tooth replacement a comfortable reality.
Need More Detailed Information About Your Individual Case?
As the dental implant treatment coordinator with over 20 years experience in helping people just like you, please know that I am always available to try and help people with planning their treatment. You can call me at the office 972-960-1111, and I will schedule you for a complimentary consultation and panoramic x-ray. Once you know your options, I will walk you step by step through the wild dental insurance jungle and financial planning maze to the best of my ability. Together, we will make your dental goals a reality.
Texas Wisdom Teeth and Dental Implants