Because implants are such a popular option nowadays, coverage can help your organization attract and retain top-tier talent. Here’s a deep dive into dental implants and the value that coverage can bring to you and your employees.

What are implants?

Implants are artificial tooth roots inserted into the bone of the jaw or skull to provide a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. Archeologists have found rudimentary implants — tooth-like pieces of bamboo, shells and metal lodged into human jawbones — some dating as far back as 4,000 years ago. Modern dental implants have come a long way since then, particularly since the 1957 discovery that incorporating titanium allows an implant to fuse with bone.

An illustration shows dental implants being placed in a jaw.

Why are implants such a popular choice?

Missing teeth are a common problem. The majority of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and by age 74 more than a quarter of adults have lost all their permanent teeth.

About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and another 500,000 implants are placed each year, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Implants are an appealing option because they closely resemble real teeth. They’re also permanent and comfortable, and they slow down the bone loss caused by losing a tooth. Unlike traditional dentures, implants aren’t removed for overnight soaking or cleaning, and they don’t require adhesives or anchoring to healthy teeth. Dental implant placement has a 95% success rate with minimal risks or associated complications.

Implant trends

One of the strongest factors affecting growth in the implant industry is the aging demographic in the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, people aged 65 and older will outnumber those aged 18 and under. Since tooth loss is more prevalent in older populations, demand for implants is increasing. Any treated tooth may eventually need to be replaced with an implant, as it loses tooth structure through maintenance over the years.

Due to the growing demand, an increasing number of dentists have begun integrating dental implant procedures into their practices. A recent market study showed that around 31% of all dental implants placed in 2020 were done by general practitioners rather than specialists, a significant increase from the days when primarily specialists performed such procedures and a rate which is expected to grow steadily over the coming years.

The growth of group practices and dental service organizations is also expected to drive the cost of implants down and the popularity up, since group practices can negotiate better bulk-order prices from manufacturers and make the procedures more accessible. Overall, despite the recent slowdown caused by COVID-19, the US market for implants is expected to continue to grow to exceed $1.5 billion in 2027.

What kind of implant coverage does Delta Dental offer?

Implants are an attractive option, but they can be an expensive one for patients. Costs vary, but implants can cost up to $3,000 to $5,000 per implant. It’s one of the reasons employees value implant coverage so highly.

Delta Dental offers several different options for implant coverage for groups. Your employees will feel confident knowing that Delta Dental implant coverage was named Best Overall Dental Insurance for Implants for 2022 by Investopedia.

Implant coverage is available under both Delta Dental PPO™ and DeltaCare® USA group plans:

  • Delta Dental PPO plans can be customized by group and may include implant coverage.
  • DeltaCare USA i‑series plans include comprehensive coverage for dental implants.

Covered benefits typically include implants, abutments, implant crowns, retainers (either abutment-supported or implant-supported), removal of implant, maintenance procedures, recement and repairs. Some plans may include waiting periods, maximums or deductibles that apply for implants. Not all plans cover pre-existing conditions such as missing teeth.

The many cost factors (consultations, x‑rays, anesthesia, etc.) involved with implants have the potential to be confusing for employees, but Delta Dental provides a pre-treatment estimate that details what’s covered. Encourage your employees to ask their dentist to request a pre-treatment estimate from Delta Dental.

Implant coverage for your employees

The demand for implants continues to grow every day. Don’t miss out on delivering the type of coverage that your employees will truly be grateful for. If you haven’t already, consider adding implant coverage to your plan.