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Are Dental Implants Covered By Health Insurance?

Photo: Are Dental Implants Covered By Health Insurance?
The most common query from patients who are thinking about dental implants is the cost. The second most common question asked of dentists in Australia is whether or not health insurers will cover implants. The short answer is maybe, the long answer is a bit more complicated.

Dental implant cover depends on the kind of plan you have with the health insurance you’ve chosen. But even if your cover does include major dentistry, your health insurance won’t cover the entire cost, only a small part of your dental implant surgery.

So you should expect to pay a significant gap between what your insurer pays and what you will have to fork out for beautiful teeth.

How Much Do Implants Cost?

Costs will vary depending on the procedure, but for general dental implant treatment patients, the prices in Australia can average from$3,500 to more than $5,000 per tooth. Factors to take into account include:
  • The materials used in the implant post, crown and abutment
     
  • The surgeon’s expertise and way of doing things
     
  • The laboratory used
     
If you’ve decided to have tooth implants, ask your dentist what they will charge, so you know how much you will need to go ahead. Most dentists will give you a quote with a treatment plan and item numbers so you can call your health insurance provider to find out how much of that cost they will bear and what you will have to pay out of your own pocket.

How Long Might I be Off Work After Implant Surgery?

Most dental implant patients want to know how long they will need to take off work to recover from their dental surgery so they can plan for it.

However, you’ll be pleased to know that most dental implant recipients can go back to work the next day.

Your recovery time will depend upon the extent and kind of implant surgery you undergo. If you are having bone grafting surgery, or dental implant procedures, the invasiveness is usually only minimal, and you can return to work the next day or so with only minor pain, or no discomfort at all.

If you are having a total tooth replacement procedure or fixed bridges with your teeth implants, it’s usually recommended that you take a week off work.

Bruising and swelling can result from the surgery, and you also need time to recover from the general anaesthetic. But your dentist can prescribe medication prior to your surgery, which helps to ease any swelling, bruising, pain and discomfort while your gums heal.

What About Overseas Options?

Opinions and experiences of overseas dental treatment, including teeth implants, is divided. Yes, it can be much cheaper than implant treatment in Australia, but everyone agrees that if you choose this option, you’re on your own.

Your health fund won’t cover anything, you probably won’t get travel insurance to cover you, and if you’re unhappy with the work, you have no comeback, and this will be made clear to you from the start.

If you're thinking about overseas dental implant treatment:

  • Do your online research
     
  • Try to visit the hospital before you decide
     
  • Check reviews and the dentist’s qualifications, with pictures of after shots of teeth
     
  • Ask for a tooth implant treatment plan, costs and timeframe
     
  • Realise when booking flights and leave that you might need further treatment
     
  • Realise that if you need to return for more work, the savings you made by going overseas may be lost. 
     
If you prefer to stay in Australia:

  • Health insurance extras won't pay for everything.
     
  • Save more than the expected implant costs
     
  • Take care of your teeth

Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. He has used his knowledge and experience to work for clients as diverse as MyHome Clean, Cosh Living and Melbourne Centre For Dentistry to help them reach their business goals.

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