medical insurance & dental implants

I had to remove all my upper teeth due to extensive gum disease and decay. I’ve gotten the gum disease back under control, though it cost me a small fortune. I’ve been trying traditional dentures, but that dental plate has made things impossible for me. I have too strong a gag reflex to even keep it in. This has made eating almost impossible. I’ve already lost ten pounds and I’m not a big woman to begin with. My dentist suggested I get implant dentures. Is it possible to get medical insurance to pay for this because I can’t eat? I would think that would count as a health issue. My dentist didn’t think it would.


Dear Beth,

upper implant overdentures
Implant overdentures

Implant overdentures will be a great solution for someone in your position. The extra hardware in your mouth which comes along with traditional dentures is a problem for most people.

Using dental implants to support them, not only makes them more secure, it also removes all the extra material over your palette which causes so many gagging problems. Not to mention the food that can get under there.

Medical Insurance for Dental Implants

Unfortunately, your dentist was right. It is highly unlikely medical insurance with cover you getting the dental implants you need. This is a shame because it does have a negative impact on your health when you can’t eat and get the nutrition you need.

Most medical insurance comes with a dental exclusion clause. There is sometimes an exception where if you had a car accident and lost your teeth. Then, it COULD be covered through the medical portion of your car insurance.

Affording Dental Implants

There are a few ways to make this more affordable. First, you should know you don’t have to pay for the entire procedure at once. Instead, you pay for the implant portion before that is done. Then there is a period of healing, which also allows for osseointegration. When that is completed, it is time for the denture portion. That is when you’ll pay for the second half.

Even then, things can be broken up for you. Many dentists work with a company called “Care Credit“. This is a medical credit card of sorts which will pay for your procedure and then allow you to pay them back.

The interest is much lower than traditional credit cards. If you have good credit, you can even get a zero-interest payment plan. I would talk to your dentist. Their business office can usually find options for you.

If they’re not willing to show you options, then this isn’t the best dentist for you. Find a better dentist. One who is more compassionate.

This blog is brought to you by New Orleans Dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.