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Programs Offering Free Dental Implants For Seniors [2023]

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Over 10 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP). The ACP estimates that a single dental implant costs between $3,000 and $4,500.

It’s no secret that dental care is expensive. Even with insurance, many people struggle to find the money to pay for necessary procedures like implants. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 20% of seniors aged 65 and older have lost their teeth.

Thankfully, free dental implants for seniors are available in all 50 states. Let's explore how these programs work and how they can benefit seniors. 

Free Dental Implants For Seniors

Free Dental Implant Programs For Seniors

Navigating healthcare coverage can be a challenge, especially in the case of dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid recipients. In order to ensure careful management of costs and provide quality care, they may qualify for Plans C and D (also known as PACE or Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly). These plans cover dental implants, medical health services, home modifications, transportation between visits, and more. 

To be eligible for PACE, individuals must be over the age of 55, primarily reside in a service area, and meet both Medicare and Medicaid criteria to demonstrate need levels. When compared to traditional Medicare coverage alone, participants in PACE may end up saving money while benefiting from personalized care plans.

Ways To Finance Seniors' Dental Care

Here are ways to finance your dental care as a senior:

Dental Insurance

There are two ways to get dental insurance. It can be stand-alone insurance or part of a comprehensive health plan. Most health plans include dental coverage, although sometimes, it may be limited. As a result, you can pay a separate premium for dental coverage. 

Dental insurance covers preventive dental care and pricey procedures like crowns, fillings, and bridges. They can also help reduce the cost of dental implants. But again, not all are made the same, and coverage depends on your premiums. 

Here are some well-known insurance providers:

  • Cigna – maximum annual benefit of $1000/$1500 with monthly premiums starting at $19 and no deductibles
  • Renaissance Dental – maximum annual benefit of $3,000 with a $50 deductible for individuals and $150 deductible for family plans
  • Humana – maximum annual benefit of $1000 in the first year that increases up to $1,500

Dental Loans

Dental loans can be a great option for those needing dental procedures that are too expensive to pay for in cash. With dental loans, you can break up the total cost into smaller payments over time without making an upfront payment. You'll still have to pay interest. However, dental loans give you the freedom to finance your dental care. It is usually much more affordable than out-of-pocket payments.  

Here are some credit institutions offering dental loans:

  • Lending Club – offers $1,000 - $40,000 loans and ideal for those with good credit
  • Upgrade – offers $1,000 - $50,000 loan and accepts applicants with bad credit
  • Upstart – offers $1,000 - $50,000 loans and accepts applicants with thin credit
  • Lightstream – offers $5,000 - $100,000 loans and good for large dental expenses
  • Rocket Loans – offers $2,000 - $45,000 loans with fast approvals

Dental Tourism

Dental tourism is becoming an increasingly popular trend worldwide. It involves people traveling to other countries to afford dental procedures such as dental implants. It makes dental treatments that may be out of reach for many accessible by combining cost savings and a holiday at the same time. Dental tourists can reap financial savings of up to 70% compared to their home country. 

Here are some well-known dental tourism destinations:

  • Mexico
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Costa Rica
  • Thailand
  • Colombia
  • Turkey
  • Poland

Dental Discount Plans

Dental discount plans make dental implants much more affordable. With dental discount plans, you can get up to 50% off on dental implant procedures, making quality dental care accessible to everyone. Plus, you don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions impacting your eligibility or savings. Also, these plans are available to everyone.

Most health insurance providers offer dental savings plans. You can check out the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Check out the answers below. 

Can a 70-year-old get dental implants?

If you’re in your seventies and worried about dental implants, the good news is that age alone shouldn't limit your dental implant candidacy. Although dental implants are a surgical procedure, they can often be a great option for many seniors due to their longevity and ability to replace missing teeth. 

As long as seniors are otherwise healthy enough to undergo surgery, dental implants can be an excellent way of restoring dental health. Of course, speaking with a dental professional is important to get an individualized assessment for any particular case. 

Ultimately, age should not be a defining factor in the dental implant process—the most important thing is ensuring that the individual is medically able and willing to have the procedure done.

What can I get instead of a dental implant?

Dental implants have become a popular dental procedure for replacing a missing tooth, but they're not the only option available. An alternative to dental implants is dental bridges, which literally bridge the gap between teeth and can also be used to replace missing teeth. 

Dental bridges are supported by dental crowns placed on the adjacent teeth and often require less time to complete than dental implants. While dental bridges cost significantly less than dental implants, they are not as durable and often need replacing after 5-7 years. Ultimately, speaking with your dentist is the best way to decide whether dental bridges or dental implants are right for you.

Is it better to have dentures or implants?

Trying to decide between dental implants and dentures can be difficult, but let’s look at the pros and cons of each option. Generally speaking, dental implants are far more secure than dentures. Unlike dentures, dental implants are implanted in your jawbone and act as artificial teeth, giving you a much more natural look and feel. They may also last longer with proper care than dentures, which require more frequent maintenance. 

On the other hand, dental implants are expensive and require surgery for installation. So, if budget is a concern or you'd rather not go through an operation, dentures may be more up your alley. They cost less upfront but may eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether dental implants or dentures are the best choices for your situation.

Does Social Security pay for dental implants?

When researching dental implants, it is important to know whether or not your Social Security benefits will cover the procedure. Interestingly, it is not likely that Social Security will pay for dental implants. It is important to note that Social Security payments might be able to help with dental care expenses associated with living everyday life, including dental check-ups, cleanings, x-rays, and emergency treatment. However, those services are only intended to maintain existing dental health - treatments such as dental implants would most likely be at one's own expense.

Which countries offer free dental care to citizens?

Did you know that some countries actually offer their citizens free dental care? Certain countries, such as Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, are examples of places that provide everything from fillings and root canals to dental implants for seniors for free or at a minimal cost. Of course, some restrictions may apply, such as prerequisites for emergency dental care. 

Dental implants for seniors may be costly, but there are several ways to afford them. In some cases, they can even be free. Don't let costs restrict you from getting a dental implant, and check out free dental implants for seniors today!

Beyond implants, regular dental cleanings are essential for senior oral care. Discover where to find free dental cleanings near you in our informative blog post. Keep that smile shining at every age!

Are you looking for other ways to get free government grants for dental implants? Check out our blog at Gov Relations.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.

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