Do you need dental implants but consider it a cosmetic surgery that may not be covered by your insurance company? You may have a medical reason that could mean you could be reimbursed. For many people, dental implants are needed for medical reasons. Here’s what you need to know about when dental implants may be a medical necessity, along with our wide range of dental services.
DENTAL IMPLANTS AND THE THREE STAGES OF THE PROCEDURE
Most likely, you’ve heard of dental implants but may not understand what they are. Put simply, these are an ideal option for tooth replacement for patients who have missing or loose teeth. In other words, they’re artificial replacements for tooth roots.
A dental implant procedure involves three stages.
- The first stage is a dentist placing an implant into the jawbone. This is a metal post that will take the place of the root for a new tooth.
- Next, the bone surrounding the implant has to heal. This is a process known as Osseointegration, in which the bone must fuse with the new implant. It usually takes anywhere from two to six months.
- After the healing process is complete, a dentist places a crown or artificial tooth over the implant. This gives the patient a new tooth that is remarkably similar to the old tooth. Also, it’s able to function as a natural tooth.
WHY DENTAL IMPLANTS CAN BE A MEDICAL NECESSITY
Although, insurance companies typically don’t cover dental implants because they’re considered to be cosmetic surgery, some people can get reimbursed because their implants are needed for medical reasons rather than for cosmetic purposes.
Fortunately, some reconstructive dental treatments can be billed to insurance that are covered. These include dental procedures, such as tooth extractions. Dentist surgeries for tooth fractures are another example.
There are several other reasons why your dentists may tell you that you need dental implants. For example, one of the main ones is for preserving diseased teeth. Some people who’ve practiced good oral hygiene still suffer from tooth decay, so their dentists recommend dental implants. Furthermore, dental implants may be required following oral cancer and may be covered by an insurance company.
QUESTIONS THAT CAN PROVE THE MEDICAL NECESSITY
Specific questions are asked for deciding if dental implants are medically necessary, which include those, such as:
- Is the need for an implant the result of a traumatic injury?
- Is the condition caused by either a current or prior infection, such as ulcers, diabetes, poor digestion or GERD that has contributed to the dental problem or lack of dentition.
Answering “yes” to one or more of these questions may mean a patient may be qualified for medical reimbursement for implants. However, they first need to review their insurance policy and consult their insurance agent to make sure.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for this type of oral surgery.
- You need to have a jawbone that’s strong enough for withstanding the healing process.
- Your gums should be basically healthy.
- Your oral hygiene should be good and done routinely as well as have your teeth checked and cleaned by a dentist regularly.
- If you smoke, you may not qualify for the surgery.
- If you’re a heart patient or diabetic, you need to first check with your dentist before seeing a dentist.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS AND WARNINGS
- Your dentist can decide if dental implants can be an improvement to your health at your initial consultation.
- With the right care, dental implants can last a long time.
- Your dentist and your insurance company can work together with you. This way you’ll be aware of any estimated expenses for dental services before having to sign papers for a procedure.
Don’t continue to suffer from a missing or loose tooth. To learn more about our wide range of oral services, contact us.