Will Medical Insurance pay for Dental Implants

I have serious dental issues on my front teeth, including two missing teeth and a 20 year old bridge. I’m having trouble with other teeth as well. I’d like to take out all my upper teeth and replace them with dental implants. I have tried to use upper dentures on those missing teeth but the dental plate was too much. I couldn’t keep wearing it. If I don’t do something, I won’t even be able to eat. Do you think medical insurance will cover it as not having them will affect my health?


Dear Becky,

You brought up a good point about dental plates that I think others need to be aware of when making decisions about their tooth replacement options. Dental plates can be a nightmare for people with a strong gag reflex or a sensitive palatte. With dental implants, you do not have to worry about anything extraneous like that.

In the case of medical insurance, almost all of them have a dental exclusion clause. That leaves you looking to dental insurance to pay for this. While it is unlikely they will pay for all of it, they will have a percentage they will cover.

If money is really tight, I would look for a qualified implant dentist who also advertises as an affordable dentist. Just do an internet search using that term.

While in most cases you pay out dental implants in two stages, once after the surgery and once after the crowns or supported dentures are placed, affordable dentists may allow you to break up those payments even further.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening

I have teeth whitening trays my dentist made for me. He told me to wear them an hour a day, but that is hurting my jaw. I saw an advertisement for the Tanda Pearl system. They report that you only need to wear their tray for 5 minutes. It only has a few reviews. I wondered if you’ve heard of it and if you know whether it works or not.


Dear Laurie,

Teeth Whitening Trays

I am glad you wrote. Looking at the product, it is just like any other run-of-the-mill whitening product, with the exception of their tray and light. As for the light, I don’t see anything in it that makes it work the way they are promoting. If it did, they could market it to dental offices and make a fortune. The fact that they are not, tells me that they do not want any professional scrutiny with it.

As for the trays, that is a bigger deal. Unlike your professional bleaching trays, these do not have individual trays. Instead, it is a single tray that you will bite onto and hold into your mouth for the five minutes. I actually think this will be worse for the jaw pain you are experiencing.

Not only will it be worse, but it will be less effective as well. The trays your dentist made for you should have been custom fit to your bite. We’ll get back to that in a moment. The trays that come with this kit are DIY. That means some of the whitening gel will be getting out and some of your saliva will be getting in. Both of these things dilute the effectiveness of your gel.

I’m going to suggest two things in your case. First, you don’t have to wear them for an hour. If they are bothering you, lower the wear time to half an hour. The second thing I would like you to do is to talk to your dentist about the pain you are experiencing. He or she can make sure they are actually fit to your bite correctly and make adjustments if they are not. Your teeth whitening will be much more effective with the gel and trays your dentist provides.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.