Tooth loss is quite a bit rarer than it used to be, with more adults than ever keeping most of their teeth into old age. But for many older adults, dental implants can replace the few teeth they do lose over time. Dental implant financing can help offset the cost of dental implants, and there are several options available.
Cost of Dental Implants
Even with the best proactive dental care, you can eventually lose a tooth due to decay or gum disease. But the dental implant cost of $3,000 – $4,500, with a full mouth costing $20,000 – $45,000, can be a budget buster. The good news is that dental offices will often issue a cost estimate to help you prepare for the expense.
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Some dental insurance plans cover the cost of implants, but there are typically limitations. You'll have deductibles and copays, and if your insurance plan policy prohibits coverage for pre-existing conditions, you may find that you're stuck with the full cost. There's also often a maximum amount your plan will cover each year, and many insurers state that they'll only cover fees that are considered "usual, customary and reasonable."
Financing Your Dental Implants
A need for dental implants can often arise unexpectedly. When that happens, dental implant financing can help you get the dental care you need without going broke. Here are some of the most popular financing options available to dental patients.
- Flexible spending account: If you have an FSA through your employer, this is the first place to look. These funds expire at the end of each year if you don't spend them, and they're limited to healthcare costs.
- Health savings account: If your health insurance comes with an HSA, you can use the funds you put into it each month to offset the out-of-pocket cost of any dental implant procedure.
- Payment plans: Some dental offices can set up monthly payments for high-ticket dental healthcare procedures. You'll need to pay close attention to the interest rates and repayment terms on these plans, which are essentially loans. Many dental offices use CareCredit, which is basically a healthcare-related credit card with an APR of 26.99 percent unless you pay off your balance within in a certain timeframe in which case you don't pay interest.
- Personal loan: There are a variety of online lenders that will issue personal loans for dental work and other types of medical care. You may be able to find lower interest rates this way than through your credit card.
- Credit cards: If you already have a credit card, you might find it easier to simply pull out that piece of plastic at checkout. But it's important to exhaust any FSA or HSA funds first and compare them to personal loans before showing up for your appointment.
Dental implant financing can help offset the cost of dental implants, and there are several options available.
Dental Implant Financing Requirements
If you have bad credit and you're struggling to build a stronger credit score, your dental implant financing options may be limited. You may not be able to pay upfront for your implant procedure, but your dental office's monthly payment plans will likely have a minimum score requirement. CareCredit's minimum score is reportedly 620 to 640, but some consumers have reported getting approved with a lower score.
If you can manage to get some type of loan with your less-than-stellar credit, though, repayment of those dental loans on time each month could help strengthen your credit. And that good credit will ensure that you can get loans with low interest rates in the future, whether it's for dental implant treatments or more.
Finances shouldn't get in the way of a treatment plan that can keep you healthy. After you've researched your insurance, as well as any FSA or HSA options, it's important to look into the various financing routes and find the one that offers repayment terms that fit your household budget.
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) In Seniors (Age 65 and Over)
- American Dental Association: Are Dental Implants Really That Expensive in the US?
- American Dental Association: Typical Dental Plan Benefits and Limitations
- CareCredit: CareCredit FAQs
- Wallet Hub: What Credit Score Do You Need for the Carecredit Card?