I’ve recently been exploring my options to replace a couple of missing teeth and I think implants are my best option. I have dental insurance, so I figured they would pay for at least half the cost, which was going to make it much more affordable for me. My dentist just called with the estimate and my insurance is hardly covering anything. What’s the deal? Should I call them and see if I can get more? — Marissa
Unfortunately, that is pretty much the norm for most dental insurance companies. There are some plans that will pay for 50 percent of the cost of the crown, if you meet the deductible and then there are some that won’t cover anything.
Insurance companies typically don’t pay for the best possible treatment. You can try and find a plan that might cover more, but be careful and pay close attention to the fine print because there are often waiting periods or a “missing tooth clause.” This could mean that the new insurance might not pick up treatment right away, or they could refuse to pay for missing teeth altogether.
Have your dentist office submit a pre-authorization to the insurance company. That way, you and the office will know exactly what insurance will pay for each service. If it’s still not enough, talk to your dentist about the possibility of making payments for each part of the procedure or a monthly payment plan. They may also be able to find some programs that will help you finance the total amount. Also, ask your dentist about other treatments (i.e. snap-on dentures) that might fit your budget better.