When Are Dental Implants Medically Necessary

Dental implants are considered a reliable replacement for missing or loose teeth, but the procedure is considered to be surgery and it can be costly.  Dental implant surgery is viewed as one of the biggest advancements in dentistry in the past 4 decades. The procedure itself has three stages to it. First, an oral surgeon places the implant into your jawbone, which is a metal post that serves as the root of your new teeth. Then the bone around the implant must heal, and once it does an artificial tooth or crown is placed over the implants.  The patient is left with new teeth that look very similar to their old teeth. And, they not only look good, but they function like natural teeth. With proper care, your dental implants can last a very long time. But, is the surgery considered medically necessary? 

What Gets Billed To Your Medical Insurance?

 Turns out, if you have tried to preserve a diseased tooth with proper oral hygiene and it did not work, dental implants may be considered medically necessary.  In fact, there are a few reconstructive dental services that are billed to your medical insurance. These may include teeth removal, and orthodontic or periodontic services for fractured teeth.  This also applies to the reconstruction of crowns or bridges, to impacted wisdom teeth, and oral surgery to fix an injury, which can, in some cases be applied to dental implant surgery. There are times when dental implant surgery is considered cosmetic and not covered.  But, when the patient is seeking dental implants because they would like to improve the function of their teeth or need the implants to correct a functional impairment with their teeth, then the procedure is considered medically necessary. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants

Patients who are considering dental implants should be in reasonably good health.  They may have missing or loose teeth. They should have relatively healthy gums, and enough bone to hold the implant.  Patients who want dental implant surgery should also have a good oral hygiene routine and see the dentist for regular check ups.  If you are a smoker, you will need to consult with your dentist first, as you may not be an ideal candidate for dental implants. Patients who have had heart disease or diabetes will also have to consult with a dentist first.  

What is the Recovery Like for Dental Implant Surgery?

You may experience some mild discomfort after having dental implant surgery.  For the most part, any pain can be treated with over the counter medication. However, your dentist may give you prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to help you heal.  Some of the symptoms that a patient may have after dental implant surgery include minor bleeding and pain at the implant site, bruising to the gums, and swelling of your face or gums.   While a patient is in recovery, it is prudent that they eat only soft foods. After the recovery, the patient will be left with new teeth that look and function like natural teeth. Be prepared to have regular dental appointments after recovery to maintain good oral hygiene.  

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