Dental implants are a permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth that help people get their old smile back, boost confidence, require next to no maintenance and function just like regular teeth. Unfortunately, many people must forgo the procedure because they do not have the funds to pay for it. While the surgery is far from cheap, there are a number of ways to pay less than the going rate. Here are five tips on how to save money on dental implants. Take the time to do your research and find the best method for your situation.
1. Several Quotes
When most people receive a bill or quote for dental work, they simply pay the given amount. This is a big mistake since dental offices, even in the same city, may charge considerably different prices for the same treatment. The first way to save some money is to shop around for the best deal in your area. Visit at least five local dental offices and get a quote for the dental implant procedure that you need from each. When obtaining multiple quotes, many people are stunned to learn that dentists charge such different prices. In addition, you can try to negotiate the price with each dentist or even get them to compete against each other for your business. Ideally, you should offer cash if you want the most negotiating power. Either way, getting quotes from a number of dentists will help you greatly reduce the final cost of the procedure.
2. Dental Schools
A second way to get a good deal is to sign up for a dental implant training program at a school of dentistry. These programs provide dental school graduates with hands-on experience completing dental implant procedure and are performed under the supervision and assistance of an experienced dentist. They are much cheaper than private practices as they typically only charge for the materials used, including the implant, abutment and crown. Many schools offer this opportunity exclusively to low income individuals and the waiting lists are often quite long. If you qualify and can afford to wait for the surgery, the cost will be much more affordable.
While some fear visiting a dentist out of the country, it is often just as safe as going to the dentist in the United States. The cost of dental implants overseas is a fraction of what you would pay a dentist in the United States. Many patients who choose to get implants abroad opt to turn the trip into a vacation so they can enjoy the beach and exotic locales before and after the surgery. Countries such as Mexico ($1600), Costa Rica ($1000) and Hungary ($900) have significantly lower prices on average compared to the United States ($4250). While many dentists around the world are highly trained professionals who perform high quality work that is indistinguishable from that of US dentists, some countries place less strict regulations on the dental care industry. It is very important to do your research and ask questions before getting on a plane.
If the above options are not viable for your situation, then financing is your next best option. There are companies such as Care Credit that specialize in financing dental treatments that make implants accessible to everyone who can afford a monthly payment plan. A respectable credit score is usually required to qualify for the loan. Due to their durable and long-lasting nature, dental implants are an excellent investment in your well being and spreading the cost out over a number of months or years is a method that many people use to get them. Unfortunately, you probably won’t save money due to the interest and fees associated with the loan.
5. Discount Plans
The last option worth considering is becoming a member of a discount plan. These plans require you to pay monthly or yearly fees to be a member, but they can provide discounts of 10% to 60% on a variety of dental procedures, including implants. A limitation of this approach is that you are typically required to work with one of a handful of dentists that are affiliated with the plan in order for the discount to be applied.
Never pay the first quote you are given for a dental implant procedure. Be sure to get several quotes and consider dental schools, dental tourism, financing and discount plans to find the option that will make getting implants possible and save you the most money.