While dentures and bridgework make it possible to replace damaged or missing teeth, consumers who can afford it often splurge for dental implants instead. Dental implants replace the root of your tooth with permanent, screwlike posts and artificial teeth that can look exactly like real ones. Dental implants feel and work just like natural teeth and are made to last for several decades. Dentures, by comparison, may need to be replaced after as few as five years.
The main barrier to more people getting dental implants is the expense; the cost of dental implants can vary depending on where you live due to state insurance laws, how much work you need to have done, and other factors such as which dentist you see. A single dental implant can cost $1,500 to $6,000 when you include the implant itself, the crown, and other components such as consultations, x-rays, etc.
With that in mind, many consumers opt to make sure they have dental insurance that will cover implants. It’s important to note that many basic dental insurance plans don't cover implants and those that do come with limits and exclusions that drastically reduce the amount of financial help you receive.
To help in your search, we compared more than 20 dental insurance plans to find coverage options that include implants. If you’re eager to buy coverage that will cover a specific procedure, keep reading to find the best provider for you.
Best Dental Insurance for Implants in 2020:
Best Overall: Delta Dental Insurance
You can apply for a free insurance quote online
Dental implants are covered in many plans
You can buy coverage that is tailored to your needs
Many plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, including missing teeth
Annual maximums and deductibles apply
Only 50% coverage for major procedures like dental implants in most cases
Delta Dental, founded in 1954, has grown into a well-known dental insurance provider that currently insures more than 80 million people worldwide. Plans are designed for individuals, families, senior citizens, and small businesses. You can choose from among PPO, HMO, and Direct Dental Plans with varying coverage options and deductibles to accommodate your needs.
Delta Dental plans vary in cost and coverage depending on where you live, but you can apply for a free quote online by heading to the Delta Dental website and entering your zip code. There are four types of plans for individuals that you can purchase to cover implants:
- PPO plans cover preventative care and discounts on dental services.
- A Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO) plans focus on preventative dentistry so it comes with minimal or no copayments on preventative care.
- Patient Direct plans offer discounts for a panel of dentists in your area.
- Dental Premier plans charge a fee per service, meaning you won’t pay more than your copay and deductible in any given year for covered services.
Delta Dental covers 100% of routine and preventative diagnostic procedures, 80% of basic procedures like fillings, root canals, and extractions, and 50% of major procedures like bridges and implants. Note that waiting periods, annual maximums, and deductibles apply, and these can drastically reduce the amount of coverage you can use toward implants.
Delta Dental also notes that “some policies don’t cover certain pre-existing conditions such as missing teeth,” so you can’t purchase insurance for dental implants if your teeth are already missing.
How much will you pay for a dental insurance plan with Delta Dental? That depends on where you live, your age, the number of people you need coverage for, and the plan you select. However, basic PPO Plans start at $30.58 or $64.92 per month for a premium PPO plan for an individual age 40.
Why We Chose This Company: Delta Dental is the largest provider of dental plans and offers the highest coverage for implants (50%) for a reasonable monthly premium in its top PPO plan.
Runner Up, Best Overall: Denali Dental
Coverage amounts for major services like dental implants increase every year, meaning you can secure a higher level of coverage the longer you wait
Major services like implants, veneers, and bridges covered in many plans
Tailor your dental insurance coverage to your needs
$6,000 annual maximum applies to individual and family plans
Most plans limit coverage for major services like implants to 50%
Prices vary around the country, so you need to apply for a policy to get a free quote
Denali Dental has been insuring people for dental care for more than 60 years. This coverage is underwritten by Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America, which boasts an “A” rating for financial strength from AM Best.
This company offers coverage that varies nationwide, yet comes in three variations for dental implants coverage:
- The Denali Summit Plan provides 100% coverage for preventative services, 50% for diagnostic services, and 20% for basic and major services in the first year. Coverage amounts grow through the fourth year when you get 60% coverage for basic and major procedures.
- The Denali Peak Plan provides 80% for preventative services, 50% for diagnostic services, and 30% for basic and major services such as implants in the first year. Coverage amounts grow through the fourth year when coverage for diagnostic services increases to 80% and coverage for basic and major procedures increases to 60%.
- The Denali Ridge Plan provides 100% for preventative services, 50% for diagnostic services, and 10% for basic and major services in the first year. Coverage amounts grow through the fourth year when coverage for diagnostic services increases to 80% and coverage for basic and major procedures increases to 50%.
Implants are included in the major procedures category, which means you’ll only have limited coverage for this area of your dental health each year. Also, note that an annual maximum of $6,000 applies for individual and family plans and that a deductible of $100 to $250 will apply as well (depending on the plan you have).
The amount you’ll pay for a plan varies widely depending on who you’re buying coverage for, the plan you select, and where you live. However, a Denali Peak plan with a maximum annual benefit of $6,000 starts at $72.69 per month for an individual seeking coverage.
Why We Chose This Company: Even though Denali Dental is not as large as Delta Dental, it offers robust coverage with low deductibles ($100 or $250) for major procedures such as restoration services.
Best for No Waiting Period: Spirit Dental & Vision
No waiting periods on plans; coverage starts immediately
Get a free quote online
Major services like dental implants are covered
Pre-existing conditions, including missing teeth, will not be covered
Low annual coverage limits ($1,250) can apply
Spirit Dental & Vision is an online storefront operated by Direct Benefits Inc., a major insurance provider. This coverage is underwritten by Ameritas Life Insurance Corp, which boasts an A rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s for financial strength.
Spirit Dental & Vision offers coverage that includes dental implants as well as other major services. A dental insurance plan for an individual with $1,250 in coverage the first year, $2,500 in coverage the second year, and $5,000 in coverage the third year and beyond starts at $94.54 per month. All plans have an annual deductible of $100; an annual maximum will also apply, which may be as low as $1,250 or as high as $5,000.
Spirit is also known for having coverage that doesn’t require a waiting period, although coverage for implants doesn’t apply to teeth that were missing already. Pricing varies depending on factors such as how many people are on your plan and where you live.
Why We Chose This Company: Spirit Dental & Vision is the only company we evaluated with no waiting periods for coverage to start across the board on all of its plans.
Best Value: Ameritas
No waiting period for many plans
Major procedures like dental implants are included up to coverage limits
Apply for a free quote online by entering your zip code
Annual maximums apply and may be as low as $1,000
Coverage amounts for major services can be limited for the first year and thereafter
Ameritas offers dental coverage directly to consumers with an A rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s for financial strength. This company was founded in 1887 and offers dental and vision insurance, but they only started offering dental insurance in 1959.
Benefits start from day one with many of their insurance plans, and preventative visits are covered at 100% when you use an in-network provider. Like other providers, however, Ameritas offers plans that vary widely in terms of coverage and cost depending on your age, where you live, and other factors.
Annual maximums apply to the company dental insurance plans, which may be as low as $1,000 or $2,000, based on the quotes we received. Also, their dental plans only cover up to 20% of major procedures such as dental implants for the first year and cover up to 50% after the first few years.
Cost depends on an array of factors, but a dental plan for one person with a maximum benefit of $2,000 per year including dental implants starts at $52.96 per month.
Why We Chose This Company: Ameritas is the best value because it covers implants with a low premium and offers increasing annual caps up to 50% the longer you maintain insurance.
Best Group Benefits: Cigna Dental
Get coverage for dental implants with no annual maximums
Strong ratings for financial strength and credit, including an A rating with AM Best
Group coverage must be purchased by an employer
Limits apply to implants, including the fact you can only have one new surgical implant placed per calendar year
Not all Cigna plans specifically cover dental implants
When it comes to group dental insurance coverage, it’s hard to beat Cigna Dental. Coverage that includes dental implants is available for employers to purchase for their employees, and it comes in two forms:
- Cigna Dental Care DHMO plans include coverage for dental implants, crowns, and even teeth whitening, and you can save with copayments, coinsurance, and discounts.
- Cigna Plus Savings is a dental discount plan that lets participants save money on all dental procedures with participating providers.
The exact benefits are difficult to obtain since these are group plans implemented by employers and quotes are not available. Employers must also apply for a plan to determine how much it will cost for each employee.
Some limitations apply to implants, including a five-year waiting period for each time a prosthesis repair can be prioritized over an implant. The surgical addition of an implant is also limited to one per year, and the replacement of current dental implants is limited to one every 10 years.
Why We Chose This Company: Cigna is a premier group benefits plan that has made dental work affordable with no annual maximums on coverage.
What is Dental Insurance for Implants?
Dental insurance for implants is important because many basic dental insurance policies don’t cover major procedures or surgery to replace newly missing teeth. Since dental implants are expensive, having that extra coverage for a percentage of the cost can help make dental implants considerably more affordable.
There are two main types of dental implants. Endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone, and subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but above the jawbone, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Endosteal implants are often preferred, but subperiosteal implants make more sense for patients who don’t have enough healthy jawbone and who don’t want to endure another procedure to improve their jawbone strength for endosteal implants.
What Does Dental Implant Insurance Typically Exclude?
Dental insurance typically excludes any procedures done for cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening as well as complicated oral surgeries that need to be handled in a hospital setting.
While the insurance plans we highlighted do cover dental implants, it’s important to consider how much this coverage will help. Many dental insurance plans have annual maximum limits of a few thousand dollars, which will only cover so much when you’re planning a pricey dental implant procedure. Deductibles can also apply, as well as coinsurance or copayments that require you to pay more out-of-pocket outside of your monthly insurance premiums.
Many dental implant insurance policies won’t pay for implants for teeth that are already missing when you sign up. In the same way that you can’t buy homeowners insurance once your house is already on fire, you can’t buy dental implant insurance for teeth that are already missing.
What are the Expected Costs of Dental Implant Insurance?
How much you’ll pay for dental insurance depends on how much coverage you want, your age, and other factors. Also, on top of your monthly insurance premiums, you may need to pay coinsurance or copayments when you visit a dentist, and it’s likely you’ll face an annual out-of-pocket maximum for coverage.
Here’s an example of what a family policy might look like if you applied with Denali Dental; each plan comes with a monthly premium between $142.40 and $234.62 per month, and that each has a maximum annual benefit of $2,500 or $6,000.
Each plan covers a percentage of preventative, basic, and major procedures, after which you’ll pay out of pocket. For example, the least expensive plan, Denali Ridge, covers 100% of preventative care but only 80% of basic care and 50% of major dental work.
Note that deductibles also apply for these plans, and could range from $100 to $200 or more depending on the plan you select.
Is Paying for Dental Implant Insurance Worth It?
Paying for dental insurance with the hope of getting coverage for dental implants can be worth it, but it all depends on your unique situation and how much dental work you need. With annual maximums on policies coming in as low as $1,000 in some cases, it’s important to make sure you select a dental insurance plan that offers enough coverage to actually help with the cost of dental implants. Many policies only cover a percentage of major services, so you’ll need to be prepared to pay for the rest of your implant surgery yourself.
Having some coverage is usually better than having none. Plus, dental insurance can kick in to pay for preventative care like cleanings and X-rays, as well as any fillings work you need to be done over the course of the year.
Before you pay for a dental insurance plan, make sure to shop around among plans to find the best deal. Generally speaking, you should look for a plan with a high annual maximum coverage amount, low copayments and out-of-pocket costs, and a monthly premium you can afford.
How We Chose the Best Dental Implant Insurance Companies
We compared more than 20 dental insurance plans to find companies that offer coverage for dental implants. We compared waiting periods and the annual maximum coverage amounts and evaluated if those amounts were fair and reasonable. We looked for dental insurance providers that can boast strong independent rankings for solid financial strength as well as a good industry reputation for quality service.
We found that coverage for dental implants and other major dental procedures is fairly limited among all dental implant insurance companies, making it all the more important that you get all the details of your dental plan before you sign up for coverage.
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