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Dental implant and dental coverage
Old 04-25-2014, 07:41 AM   #1
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Dental implant and dental coverage

I started my first implant in 2012. It took about 10 months when my dentist finished with the crown. The total cost was about $5,500. Insurance paid $1,800. My share of implant was about $3,700. Three months later, I started to feel pain. My dentist did an X-ray and see bone grafting area started to crack. He removed everything and redid the whole thing without charge. Yesterday, he finally 'delivered' the crown. All is well. I hope it stays this time.

Except, during the last cleaning, he found my other tooth that had root canal done years ago, started to crack. He said I needed a new implant. Cost: $5,500 again. I still have $1,800 annual max balance with my insurance this year. So, I guess I will have to pay out of pocket for another $3,700.

DW is now nervous about our ER plan this year. What if I need more implants after ER?

ACA does not cover dental. We will have to figure out some dental coverage somewhere. One option is maybe I can pay dental work with my HSA account in the future?
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:45 AM   #2
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One option is maybe I can pay dental work with my HSA account in the future?
That's what we're doing.

I had $20K in the HSA when I retired and haven't touched it yet. DW is in the process of getting an implant (our dentist quoted $3k) and I plan on using HSA money for the first time to pay for the work.
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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I need an Implant and will be using HSA account as well.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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I thought I was going to need three implants ($3600.00 all in). I have a good friend who is an implant specialist here in Peru and I made an appointment to see him. Luckily,he said there was no need as these teeth (all back molars) were not necessary.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:57 AM   #5
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I am trying to get as many implant done as I can prior to FIRE. My insurance only covers up to $1,500 for everything per year. At least it is something.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:58 PM   #6
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DW is now nervous about our ER plan this year. What if I need more implants after ER?
There are a LOT of unexpected expenses that can occur after ER. It's not a matter of if, but when. Hopefully you have enough flexibility in your budget to handle these unexpected expenses, as well as replacement costs as they arise.

That said, you are smart to be thinking about the best way to handle the cost of a dental implant in retirement. I just paid for one in cash last year . It wasn't much fun to do that, and it's good to explore other options that may be open to you.
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
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Same here as for paying a dental implant with my HSA. $4000+ dollars well spent. So good to be able to chew an apple normally again.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:47 AM   #8
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Same here as for paying a dental implant with my HSA. $4000+ dollars well spent. So good to be able to chew an apple normally again.
It looks like the cost of an implant is anywhere from $3000 to my $5,500. I am in Los Angeles area, a high cost city. My dentist's office is huge with beautiful decorations, which I am sure partly come from my contribution.

After I go sign up with ACA, I have to 'downsize' and find a more affordable dentist and pay cash.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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It looks like the cost of an implant is anywhere from $3000 to my $5,500. I am in Los Angeles area, a high cost city. My dentist's office is huge with beautiful decorations, which I am sure partly come from my contribution.
I was the one quoting the $3K cost, which is what our San Antonio area dentist we've been using for the past 25 years is charging. His office isn't large or beautifully decorated. His wife is the receptionist/office manager. The price includes discounts for cash and for being over 65.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:46 AM   #10
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My dentist's office is huge with beautiful decorations, which I am sure partly come from my contribution.
A few years ago I took a friend to an endondonist (sp?) and found the office to be extremely plush: fancy furniture, deep pile carpet, a selection of high quality goodies to snack on, and a huge fish tank loaded with expensive looking fish. I don't mind a comfortable waiting room, but I can't help but think this adds a good amount to the bill.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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We recently enrolled in Kaiser's Medicare + with dental insurance where Kaiser has dental clinics. What got us to move was that my husband thought our dentist was suggesting work that wasn't really needed. Kaiser dentists are busy enough not to push services and they have deep pockets for screw-ups.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:13 PM   #12
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It looks like the cost of an implant is anywhere from $3000 to my $5,500
Was a good part of the $5500 for the bone grafting? It is my understanding that if bone grafting is needed, it increases the cost of an implant considerably.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:18 PM   #13
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The cost of bone grafts is included in DW's $3K.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:39 PM   #14
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Was a good part of the $5500 for the bone grafting? It is my understanding that if bone grafting is needed, it increases the cost of an implant considerably.
Yes. The quote givent to me, includes 3 parts and done at 3 different time schedule:

1. Extraction and bone grafting
2. Implant
3. Crown

Not quite sure about the break down. Have to call them on Monday and find out.

Insurance has $1,800 remaiining for this year, so my out of pocket will be $3,700.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:57 PM   #15
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Yes. The quote givent to me, includes 3 parts and done at 3 different time schedule:

1. Extraction and bone grafting
2. Implant
3. Crown

Not quite sure about the break down. Have to call them on Monday and find out.

Insurance has $1,800 remaiining for this year, so my out of pocket will be $3,700.
In my case, each of the 3 steps was billed separately. Will your work stretch between 2014 and 2015 so you can utilize the insurance max for 2 yrs?
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:12 PM   #16
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In my case, each of the 3 steps was billed separately. Will your work stretch between 2014 and 2015 so you can utilize the insurance max for 2 yrs?
My ER plan is to give my 2 weeks notice as soon as we send DS to college in Sept. He chose the same college as his big sister who is sophomore right now. We joked about renting a small apartment near by so parents can stay close to them. But, you can imagine what their response is.

So, to utilize the insuracne, I will have to work till next year when the crown is put in. I will have to decide if my freedom is more important than money, I guess.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #17
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I was supposed to have my implant placed last Tuesday after 4 months of bone graft settling. The implant didn't take and my oral surgeon added more bone, closed up the area, told me to come back next week, and said we'll probably have to wait another 4-6 months to see if the bone graft holds. He claims this has never happened to him before, that everything looked great when he started the implant surgery, but that the bone just wouldn't hold the implant completely when he placed the implant. So, he said we basically have to start from square one. I trust this dental surgeon who is also an M.D. with significant oral surgery experience, who's in a group practice with other dentist/oral surgeons that are well-recognized. His group was highly recommended by my Dentist and Endodontist.

I've had significant bridge and crown work over the years and great dental insurance. But it looks like I will be faced with implants to replace the extensive bridge and crown work as the underlining teeth appear to be giving away after 20 years. Fortunately, I have the dental insurance and a well funded HSA. We planned to use the HSA primarily for dental, LTCi, and whatever wasn't picked up by Medicare and our health insurance.

Here's the current breakdown of the cost of the implant:

1. Bone grafting: $600 (insurance pays 60%)
2. Endosteal Implant: $1500 (insurance pays 60%)
3. Crown: xxxx (insurance pays 60%); the crown is added by my dentist and I suspect this will be around $750

My insurance provides up to $3000 in paid out dental benefits annually with a modest $50 deductible, and covers implants for missing teeth! A major benefit is the very low network fee my insurance negotiates with providers in my plan (and it also covers out of network providers as well). The cost of my premiums are quite low, as low as the cost of the four dental check-ups/ cleanings my wife and I incur during the year, which are free under our insurance plan.

I don't think my oral surgeon will bill me for the failed implant but I'll find out shortly.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:21 PM   #18
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For me, waiting was the hardest part. Plus was no fun wearing the retainer for months.
But when all done, I wish I had the implant performed sooner.
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Old 04-27-2014, 01:01 AM   #19
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I was supposed to have my implant placed last Tuesday after 4 months of bone graft settling. The implant didn't take and my oral surgeon added more bone, closed up the area, told me to come back next week, and said we'll probably have to wait another 4-6 months to see if the bone graft holds. He claims this has never happened to him before, that everything looked great when he started the implant surgery, but that the bone just wouldn't hold the implant completely when he placed the implant. So, he said we basically have to start from square one. I trust this dental surgeon who is also an M.D. with significant oral surgery experience, who's in a group practice with other dentist/oral surgeons that are well-recognized. His group was highly recommended by my Dentist and Endodontist.

I've had significant bridge and crown work over the years and great dental insurance. But it looks like I will be faced with implants to replace the extensive bridge and crown work as the underlining teeth appear to be giving away after 20 years. Fortunately, I have the dental insurance and a well funded HSA. We planned to use the HSA primarily for dental, LTCi, and whatever wasn't picked up by Medicare and our health insurance.

Here's the current breakdown of the cost of the implant, with everything paid in cash:

1. Bone grafting: $600 (insurance pays 60%)
2. Endosteal Implant: $1500 (insurance pays 60%)
3. Crown: xxxx (insurance pays 60%); the crown is added by my dentist and I suspect this will be around $750

My insurance provides up to $3000 in paid out dental benefits annually with a modest $50 deductible, and covers implants for missing teeth! A major benefit is the very low network fee my insurance negotiates with providers in my plan (and it also covers out of network providers as well). The cost of my premiums are quite low, as low as the cost of the four dental check-ups/ cleanings my wife and I incur during the year, which are free under our insurance plan.

I don't think my oral surgeon will bill me for the failed implant but I'll find out shortly.
ChrisC, how disappointing! It seems like an implant takes forever, and I can't imagine having to wait still longer in order to have one redone like that. With the extra bone graft, surely the bone will be stronger next time.

Your prices seem reasonable. I had an implant done between Dec 2012 and August 2013. My cost break-down was:

$435 bone graft
$14 prescriptions
$1800 implant
$1200 crown

So my total was $3449. I had an oral surgeon doing the bone graft and implant, and my dentist did the crown. Both are on the expensive side for New Orleans but I like my dentist a lot and have gone to him for years. The oral surgeon is the one my dentist chose for his own implant.

Once your implant is redone and is satisfactory, I am sure you will find it to be worth all the waiting and disappointment. Mine feels stronger than my natural teeth, and otherwise it feels perfectly natural and as though I had had it all my life.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #20
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Well I'm going to be FIRE'd after next Friday.

Went to the dentist this week and he suggested a dental implant, total cost $4200. He hasn't pushed unnecessary procedures.

If I take Cobra, the dental plan would cover $1300 of the $4200. Wasn't impressed with that coverage but reading the accounts here, I guess it's typical.

The work dental plan allows 4 cleanings a year.

I've been searching insurance plans for CA and a lot of HMO plans come up. But my dentist is on PPO plans, which cost more (about 50% more in premiums) and have annual limits.

Premiums run about $31-32 a month.

So if I can get say about $1000 of benefits in addition to preventive coverage, it would certainly be worth it.

But I've seen other threads at ER suggesting that dental coverage in ER hasn't been worth it?

Has anyone found good plans?

Secondly, what are the advantages of HSA in the context of ER? Are these funds that people saved before they FIRE'd? Or did they contribute to HSAs after FIRE?
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