Anthem Dental Implant Coverage
- Dental implants are prosthetic teeth that help people restore the look of their smiles, and Anthem may cover some costs of the implant procedure. Learn more.
A dental implant treatment is an oral surgery procedure in which damaged or missing teeth and tooth roots are replaced with metal posts and prosthetic teeth. The implants are surgically placed within the jaw bone, and the procedure is usually performed over multiple visits to allow proper healing time between each step.
Does Anthem Cover Dental Implants?
Anthem Extras is a complementary coverage plan for Medicare Part D or Original Medicare, and its premium package provides partial coverage for dental implant procedures. However, plan specifics can vary per state, so it's always important for recipients to consult with their plan advisors to verify coverage before moving forward with the dental implant procedure.
In addition to Anthem Extras for Medicare recipients, Anthem offers full coverage PPO plans that may help cover up to 50% of dental implant procedures. Anthem's PPO plans typically offer higher benefit maximums and shorter waiting periods for complex procedures such as dental implants.
What Happens During a Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implant procedures typically take four appointments to complete, with the first appointment being a consultation. During the consultation, the dentist conducts an exam and provides detailed information on the dental implant procedure. In some cases, individuals may require bone grafting before an implant procedure can take place, and the dentist may also advise on this during the consultation. Subsequent appointments are usually scheduled at this time, and the dentist may provide pre-surgery instructions to follow the night before or the day of the procedure.
During the first surgical appointment, the dentist creates incisions in the gums and the metal portions of the dental implants are placed. Metal implants must fuse to the actual jawbone, which can take approximately 4 to 6 months. Once the gum incisions are healed and the implants are safely fused to the bones, the next step is to attach a connector post to each implant, which happens at the second appointment. Similar in appearance to a metal screw, a connector post is screwed into the metal implant inside the jawbone and serves as an artificial root.
A temporary crown or bridge is usually placed during the second appointment to help protect the implant post. The gums and surrounding tissues also need time to heal following the placement of the connector, and this usually takes approximately 3 weeks. At the final appointment, a permanent crown or bridge is placed over the implant post and the restoration procedure is complete.
What Are Some Benefits of Dental Implants?
In addition to improving the look of your smile, dental implants allow for easier eating when compared to sliding dentures because they function like regular teeth. Dental implants are highly durable and can last many years with appropriate care, and they may help improve speech in individuals who used dentures or had missing teeth prior to the procedure. Removable dentures can also irritate the gums and oral tissues when taken out on a daily or nightly basis. Implants are fused to the jaw and don't require removable, which can make them a more comfortable option.
Are Dental Implant Procedures Painful?
Dental implant procedures are not considered highly painful in most cases. Local anesthetics are utilized to numb the gums and implant area, and any soreness following the procedure can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Individuals who receive dental implants may experience mild, intermittent pain in the jaw and surrounding tissues, which should subside during the recovery period of 6 to 12 weeks.