Getting Dental Implants When You Can’t Afford the Price

Many patients lament that they need dental implants but cannot afford them because costs average $3,500 for a single tooth, and full-mouth replacements are ten times more!

Removable dentures are less expensive but may not be the best solution. You have three strategies to make permanent tooth implants fit your budget.

First, you might find a third party with deep pockets to pick up most of the tab: an insurance company.

Second, financing can spread the costs over time to help those patients unable to fund the expense upfront. Third, discounts lower the price you must pay, but you have to look under suitable rocks to find success.

Insurance When You Can’t Afford Dental Implants

Getting insurance to pay a portion of your costs is the first place to look if you need dental implants but cannot afford the proposed treatment plan by yourself. Having a third party cover a chunk of the bill makes a huge difference.

Dental Insurance

Having your dental insurance cover treatment seems like a logical place to turn when you need tooth implants but do not have the means to pay the total amount out-of-pocket.

However, this approach is no panacea because you might encounter three limitations if your plan covers implants, which many do not.

  1. Missing tooth exclusions mean the plan will deny claims for this specific pre-existing condition.
  2. Annual benefit maximums averaging $1,500 per year are tiny compared to the cost of a single implant ($3,500) or full-mouth replacement ($35,000).
  3. Dental insurance with no waiting periods for implants imposes graded benefits during the plan’s early years, barely surpassing the premiums.

Health Insurance

Getting your health insurance to cover the procedure is ideal when you need dental implants but do not have enough money to pay the provider yourself. The reason is that these plans must cover pre-existing conditions (missing teeth) with no waiting period and no annual maximum.

Get dental implants covered by health insurance by demonstrating that the procedure is medically necessary. Qualifying service is “appropriate to evaluating and treating a disease, condition, illness, or injury and is consistent with the applicable standard of care.”

For instance, you might qualify if you lost your teeth in a non-biting accident (injury) or if you can show that permanent dentures will slow jawbone loss due to osteoporosis (disease).

Financing When You Can’t Afford Dental Implants

Financing programs are an option worth pursuing if you need dental implants but cannot afford to pay the entire cost upfront in one lump sum. Smaller monthly payments might fit more easily into your budget.

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) provides a hidden solution for people with weak borrowing credentials who do not qualify for mainstream options.

Bad Credit

Many patients need dental implants but lack the financial capacity because they struggle to stay current on their debts, such as their mortgage, car payment, or credit cards.

Dental implant financing with bad credit makes winning approval for new funding easier when you have black marks on your consumer report. An FSA must accept all applicants, regardless of their history of delinquency, charge-offs, collection accounts, bankruptcy, etc.

No Credit Check

Other patients need dental implants but lack to means to finance the procedure because they have no credit history. Young adults and first-time borrowers fall into this category.

No credit check dental financing makes it simple to gain approval when you have no borrowing history. An FSA cannot pull a copy of your consumer report and must approve all applicants even if they have never taken out a loan before.

Discounts When You Can’t Afford Dental Implants

Lowering the net cost you have to pay yourself is another viable strategy when you need dental implants but cannot afford the price tag. A significant discount might make the treatment more budget-friendly.

Financial Help

Tracking down assistance is a popular strategy for patients needing dental implants without the financial capacity to pay the total price themselves. However, most people walk away empty-handed because they chase windmills (free) instead of equipping themselves for success (discounts).

Learn how to get financial help with dental implants by becoming a more profitable patient, which might entice providers to offer discounts. You might succeed more with this approach than in chasing after any of these fantasies.

  • Charitable organizations
  • Smile makeover contests
  • Dental school patients
  • Clinical trial volunteer
  • Government grants
  • Grants from private entities

Tax Deductions

The IRS provides three easily overlooked avenues to help patients that need dental implants but lack the financial capacity to pay for treatment. Publication 502 states that artificial teeth qualify as a deductible medical expense, meaning you might score a hefty discount.

  1. Dental implants are tax deductible after meeting two expense floors, meaning those who consolidate expenses into a single year generate the most significant savings.
    1. Itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction.
    2. Medical & dental expenses top 7.5% of AGI.
  2. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) offer tax savings with no thresholds to meet while doubling as financing for people with derogatory history without a credit check (see above).
  3. Using a Health Savings Account (HSA) for implants allows you to maximize savings because you have no thresholds to meet and can reimburse yourself in the future with pre-tax dollars as long as you maintain a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)