I am not in the best dental health and have many problems with my upper teeth. I’m missing three in the back and have a bridge that is over 30 years old. It’s time to have my upper teeth replaced and I would like to get denture implants.

I also have issues with periodontal disease and am required to get scaling / root planing twice a year. I tried a partial dental plate and didn’t like it. It was very uncomfortable, I had difficulty eating, and it made me gag.

I was wondering if my medical insurance will help pay for the dental implants? I think I need an estimate so it could be considered a medical condition. Also, do you know if implants are routinely covered with under dental insurance?

– Dolores in Oregon

Dear Delores,

There are many advantages of dental implants over partial or complete dentures. With an implant there is no extra hardware in your mouth. This will help with the gagging. Dental implants are the closing thing to having your natural teeth, you can eat and talk normally, and they also prevent a serious condition called facial collapse where your jawbone can shrink over time.

In regard to the medical insurance, it is unlikely dental implants will be covered. Your best bet will be to go through your dental insurance for assistance. It is a common question to inquire if “your teeth are affecting general health.” The expectation is that the medical insurance would help. Unfortunately, a medical insurance contract almost always has an exclusion for all dental issues. If they didn’t, individuals could potentially misuse it even for a simple cavity since it is considered to be an “infection” thus affecting your overall physical health.

Although, medical insurance will very likely cover any dental damage or complications from an accident. For example, if you fell down and broke your tooth off, medical insurance may help.

Lastly, you will need to contact your local dentist for a specific cost estimate.  Total costs vary greatly from each individual case to case. So schedule a consultation with your dentist of choice to obtain a detailed estimate for your budgeting purposes.

Good luck. Hopefully this information was helpful to you.

This post was provided by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.