Today, dental implants are becoming the top choice in tooth restoration instead of dentures because they are permanently fixed in your jaw and more closely resemble real teeth. Many folks also feel that it's easier to clean and take care of their mouth with dental implants because they are brushed and flossed just like real teeth. But it can cost thousands of dollars to get dental implants. Luckily, there are a few avenues that may significantly reduce this cost for you. Keep reading to learn more:
1. Dental Insurance
Before you do anything else, call your dental insurance company to see what your plan covers. It probably won't cover the total cost of dental implants because most insurance companies consider them to be cosmetic and not necessary for optimum oral health. But, your policy may cover at least a portion of the cost. One way to get around the classification of implants being a cosmetic procedure is to have it classified as a restoration. But you'd have to talk to your insurance company and your dentist to see if this is an option for you.
If you don't currently have dental insurance, then contact your health insurance provider to inquire about coverage. To make sure you and the health insurance representative are on the same page, make sure they are researching the correct CDT code. This one little code is used by all insurance companies to determine if a procedure is covered or not. If the wrong code is used, you will be given incorrect information. You can obtain the correct CDT code from your dentist, and then give it to any other insurance company you are speaking with, whether it's a dental insurance company or a health insurance company. They all use the same CDT codes.
2. State Dental Society
Every state has at least one local dental society. For example, there is the Massachusetts Dental Society, Georgia Dental Association, Colorado Springs Dental Society, Central Texas District Dental Society, and many others. The first step is to find out the name of your local dental society. Then call them to see if they have any charitable programs available for folks who need dental implants, and find out what the eligibility requirements are for those programs. Some of these programs are specifically designed for people with low incomes or who have disabilities. But, some dental societies have programs that help a wider range of people. If you meet their requirements for a charitable program, then you will be referred to a dentist who will provide you with dental implants for little to no cost.
3. Nonprofit Organization Services
There are nonprofit organizations around the country that provide various types of dental care and treatment to eligible people. One of these organizations is called "Dentistry from the Heart," which has been in operation for over 14 years. They hold special events in various locations around the country where patients can come for dental work for free or at a deeply discounted rate. They have a website where you can search for events close to your home.
4. Free Dental Implant Program
Every state in America has dental programs where patients like you can receive free or low-cost dental implants and other dental care. Some programs have strict eligibility requirements, and others charge a fee based on a sliding scale in correlation with your income. This means you will only be charged an amount that you can afford to pay. The best way to find clinics in your area that participate in these types of programs is to contact your local dentist and ask.
5. Dentistry School
Dentistry students need real life mouths to practice and perfect their skills. This is why most dentistry schools offer treatments at a very low price. But don't worry, there is always a licensed dentist right there to help at all times. These dentists have volunteered their time to teach dental students, so the school pays for all costs associated with the procedures done during training. This means if you have a student place your dental implants, you will get them for free. Simply call your local dentistry school and ask about volunteering as a patient in need of dental implants.
If your local dentistry school doesn't offer discounted dental implants, and you have family in other states, try the dental schools in their area. You will probably find different dental services available at different dentistry schools around the country.
Now you know about 5 specific avenues you can consider to obtain free or low-cost dental implants. If one of these options are right for you, then take the next steps to get the ball rolling. If you have questions about free or reduced dental care, call your local dental society or speak with your dentist. They will be happy to help you.