Free Dental Implants: How to Navigate Scams and Get the Real Deal

Free Dental Implants: How to Navigate Scams and Get the Real Deal

Updated 02/16/23. Americans lose $68 billion annually to healthcare fraud, and dental frauds contribute some percentage. The most notorious aspect of dental fraud is dental implants, and the murky games dentists play to get clueless patients signed up for their service.

If you have looked up the internet for the “cheapest place to get dental implants“, you might have realized the shaky grounds we are treading. It’s challenging to get any real information about the topic while you only stumble upon ads too good to be true.

Most articles, blog posts, or advertisements have important details hidden in the fine print. Others persuade you to sign up for programs and lists only to reveal the real cost when you opt in.

Dentists can be ready to do anything to get you through the doors of their clinics, even if that means holding real information and costs about the procedure. You will likely find yourself in troubled waters when going for such dentists who claim to provide dental implants for free.

We have decided to set things right and disclose all information you need about dental implants. You will thoroughly examine the costs, and we will teach you how to spot free dental implant scams. Then we will reveal how you can get free implants or save big time on your implant expenses.

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Cost of Dental Implants

It seems surprising when someone says they will give you free dental implants because of the high costs involved in the process. You have to factor in many expenses, such as the cost of the initial consultation, an inspection of your oral structure, the cost of surgery, the price of the implants, the fees of the dentist, the cost of follow-up visits, and so on.

free dental implant programs

Anyone would find it difficult to keep offering dental implants for free as a part of their practice- who will bear all the costs? It also doesn’t make sense for companies to offer their dental implants for free as they are here to make a profit.

So it’s always wise to be wary of someone claiming to offer dental implants for free. To make you aware of the whole scenario, we will reveal the cost of dental implants. They are made up of different parts, each of which needs you to pay the price. Also, the cost depends on whether you are going for a single tooth implant or several teeth.

Single Tooth Implant Prices

In the United States, a single-tooth dental implant can cost anything between $1,000 to $3,000. For the crown and abutment, expect to shell out $500 to $3,000. If you add them up, the total cost for a single tooth implant ranges between $1,500 and $6,000.

The above cost is the average rate you pay out of pocket. The estimate includes charges such as the cost of an initial consultation and dental implant surgery, but your cost can be more depending on your circumstances.

Cost of Full Mouth Dental Implants

The expenses increase for multiple teeth and become exorbitant when you go for a full-mouth dental implant. Just to give you an idea, multiple teeth implants can make you light by $3,000 to $30,000 or more. It is applicable for patients who need to replace more than one tooth.

The charges for replacing two to four teeth with good-quality dental implants can be between $6,000 and $10,000. If you go for full-mouth dental implants, you can shell out between $7,000 and $90,000 while the average cost hovers around $34,000. A single plate denture that fits the top or lower gums come for $3,500 to $30,000. Can you imagine someone giving you free implants which cost you an arm and a leg?

Apart from the cost of the implants, there are other costs to consider. The dentist will need an X-ray or CT scan of your mouth to determine the exact locations of the implants. The images are also necessary for dental surgery; the surgeon will refer to them as a blueprint. The cost of such a test can go up to $200 and add to your overall costs.

Sometimes, you may also be advised to undergo bone grafting. The procedure is meant for people with insufficient bone in their jaw to house the implant. The surgeon will take a bone from other sources and place it in your jawbone. A lab-made bone or one sourced from a cow can come for $250 to $1,100.

The surgeon may also use a bone from your body parts, such as the chin or the hip. The cost is much higher in this case and ranges between $2,000 and $3,000.

The exceptionally high prices of dental implants make them out of reach for most Americans. It’s quite normal that people will be looking for free implants, so don’t be hard on yourself if you are one of them. We will let you know the secrets of getting a free dental implant, but before that, let’s give you a few tips on spotting free dental implant scams.

How to Identify Free Dental Implant Scams

You might be excited to find an ad from the local dentist’s office claiming to offer free or low-cost dental implants. The ad also provides a number, so you pick up the phone and make the call. The dentist is helpful and friendly and sets up an appointment for a free consultation. Sounds lovely, right?

But your whole excitement dies when you take the chair opposite the dentist! It’s when the dentist appears out of his friendly shell and comes down to hard selling. You understand that it has been a ploy from the beginning when the dentist points out the ad’s fine print. The free dental implant offering was just a scam to lure people into his office.

You may not sign up for the implant when you know you have to pay for the procedure or the implant. But many people cannot pull out of the trap and give in to the marketing tactics of the dentist. This is how the scam keeps going on, and the dentist keeps getting new victims to prey.

The dentist can have other tricks up his sleeve to fool you. He might say that he will offer you the implants for free, but you have to get the procedure done by him. Of course, the professional service and his time don’t come for free and turn out to be expensive. The discount he promised doesn’t appear to be as attractive as before!

The good old concept of hidden fees might also trick you. The dentist will say he will put the implants for free, and you don’t have to pay anything for the materials. But then you find the asterisk just next to the “Free, ” revealing an endless spree of additional expenses. And what’s even worse, the costs are inflated most of the time according to the dictate of the dentist!

Now you know that getting dental implants for free is not a garden of roses. You find no flowers but only thorns sharp enough to prick you! But don’t lose hope; we are getting into the best part and will tell you how you can get dental implants for free or at great rebates.

The Reality: How to Reduce Cost of Your Dental Implant or Get it Free

You must think that getting dental implants at a low cost is impossible. But we can give you insights that can free the service or slash the overall rates.

We will list some ways, but you must put in your effort and do your homework. If you think you are too short of time or don’t want to put in the effort, you can go to a regular dentist and pay up the costs. We are talking about an investment here, so the path you want to tread is completely up to you!

But if you want to save your money, then do give it a try. You will only need to invest some time and do a little online research to take advantage of low-cost or free dental implants.

Get Low Cost or Free Dental Implants at a Dentistry School

Getting your implants done from a dental college or dentistry school is one of the best ways to reduce the procedure’s cost. The students in dentistry schools need to take test subjects to hone their skills and practice their learning. They perform various dental care procedures, and installing dental implants is one of them.

Dental schools that offer free dental implants

The students perform the procedure, so the cost is much cheaper than a regular dentist. You can save up to 50% on the cost of your procedure, and even better- you can qualify to get it completely for free!

You might think it is risky to let a student perform the procedure instead of an experienced dentist. But you can rest your worries as the students are always under the guidance and supervision of senior dentists who ensure everything is done correctly. You can also find faculty and postgraduate clinics in most schools.

Also, you are highly likely to have received dental care in a doctor’s clinic or a hospital. Medical students often treat patients under supervision and form an integral part of the country’s health system, with about 1,000 teaching hospitals and colleges.

You can search for local dentistry schools using the local online directory of your region. You will be able to find the dentistry schools located near you or even access programs for dental implants.

The American Dental Association also lists all the dentistry schools associated with it. It is an excellent source for finding high-quality and low-cost dental treatment.

The area you live in also impacts the availability of dental implant programs. If you are located in a moderately big city such as New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, you will find ample dental programs and dentistry schools to try your luck. A large number of programs means that you can find dental implant procedures at lower costs.

Also, if the population in the city is low, then the dental colleges will be competing to get a hold of the less willing test subjects.

State Dental School Availability Contact Information
Alabama University of Alabama School of Dentistry Low-cost (205) 934-4536
Arizona Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health Low-cost (480) 248-8100
California University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry Low-cost (310) 825-4736
California University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry Low-cost (415) 476-5741
California University of Southern California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry Low-cost (213) 740-2800
Florida Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine Low-cost (954) 262-7500
Illinois University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry Low-cost (312) 996-7555
Louisiana Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry Low-cost (504) 619-8726
Maryland University of Maryland School of Dentistry Low-cost (410) 706-7063
Massachusetts Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine Low-cost (617) 358-8300
Michigan University of Michigan School of Dentistry Low-cost (734) 763-3328
Minnesota University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Low-cost (612) 625-2495
Missouri University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry Low-cost (816) 235-2100
New York Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Low-cost (212) 305-6100
New York New York University College of Dentistry Low-cost (212) 998-9818
North Carolina University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry Low-cost (919) 537-3996
Ohio Ohio State University College of Dentistry Low-cost (614) 292-9750
Oklahoma University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry Low-cost (405) 271-4050
Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Low-cost (215) 898-8965
Tennessee University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry Low-cost (901) 448-6210
Texas University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry Low-cost (210) 567-7000
Virginia Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry Low-cost (804) 828-9190

Opt for Clinical Trials

Many clinical studies and research programs need dental patients to conduct experiments or trials. The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sometimes needs people with specific dental or oral conditions.

The treatment or implant can be provided at reduced costs, and some well-funded research programs can also do it for free. You can visit the NIDCR platform to find all the trials you may be eligible for.

The government also funds some of the trials, which you can apply. Visit Clinical Trials website to discover federally funded clinical trials.

Try Out Non-Profit Charity Organizations

Many non-profit organizations in the United States provide free and low-care dental implants to poor, homeless, and disabled citizens. For example, The National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped offers dental implants to disabled and medically compromised patients. The Special Care Dentistry Association treats the dental problems of people with special needs.

free dental implants for disabled

The great part is you don’t have to be sick or homeless to benefit from these programs. Many people who are eligible for such implants never go for such services- meaning you have many non-profit organizations ready to offer their services to you!

They already have their funds assigned and can face a shortage of eligible people. You can take advantage of the opportunity and try out one of these programs. Even if you don’t qualify for free treatment, you can get dental implants at highly reduced rates.

You can find a list of charities and non-profit organizations from the American Dental Association. You can also search for organizations in your county or state to get your implants done at affordable rates. For example, the Dentistry From the Heart organization offers free implants to candidates needing cosmetic services.

There is one challenge in opting for such services offered by non-profit organizations. Many people are applying for implants, so scheduling your appointment may take a while. You may also have to wait for these organizations’ dental fairs or outreach programs. They generally hold them in one city or district before moving to another, so you may have to wait for your turn.

You should find out about the programs and book your spot in advance to ensure you get a spot. If you don’t mind a bit of waiting, this might be one of the best ways to get dental implants for free or at cheap rates.

Check with Your Insurance Provider

Most health insurance policies in the United States don’t come with dental insurance. You need a separate dental policy to cover costs like dental implants. But it doesn’t cost you anything to ask your insurance provider if your dental implant costs will be covered.

You may have a particular set of circumstances around the need for an implant which might cover some of the costs. The best way is to ask your provider if they will cover the dental implant cost.

The policy document is another resource that you should read thoroughly. There might be provisions under the policy that might help to include your implant charges. How can you find out if the charges are covered?

Read the specific procedures covered by your policy. You may be able to persuade your provider to compensate for your implant if the procedure can be accommodated under the policy. For example, if your dental policy covers pain, you may be able to argue that the implants will help you to get relief from the pain.

Before calling your insurance provider, you should read the policy carefully and consult your dentist. This will help you negotiate with the customer representative and argue for the implant to be covered under your circumstances.

Depending on your conditions, your dental insurance provider may offer some secondary benefits. But remember that they will only cover a small percentage of the total cost, but getting something is better than turning up with nothing!

Search for Free Dental Clinics

You may have visited a free clinic that provides free medical services. Generally, you will find a volunteer doctor who performs some diagnosis or a medical assessment. You will also be offered a free consultation and shown the right way to access resources for your treatment.

A free dental clinic provides the same type of services. You can get dental screening and referral services for your dental implant procedure. The volunteer dentist may also help you with affordable dental plans or other resources to reduce expenses.

Compare Cost of Implant Online

The internet is your friend and can help you manage dental implant costs. Getting free dental implants following the above methods is possible, but recourse to the internet is another practical option. You can conduct a price comparison of dental implant procedures and choose wisely.

Let us tell you that this method will need work and time from your end. But if you do a thorough job, you can save up a considerable amount of money.

You can use the internet to look up all the dentists in your area. Also, note down the particulars of all the dentist practitioners who appear on search results when you do a dental implant-related search. After you have compiled the list, the next job is to call each one on the list and ask about their procedure and breakdown of services.

When you call a dentist’s office, inquire about all the details. This will include the cost breakdown so you can clearly understand what is involved. Also, ask if the dentist needs other procedures such as surgery, anesthesia, bone graft, implant materials, a sinus lift will be necessary and the diagnostics required.

Armed with the list and information, you can zero in on the lowest-cost options for all procedures. For example, you may choose a clinic with the lowest cost of diagnosis and settle for surgery at another clinic offering the lowest rate. You can also select the lab or company selling implants at low prices and go for a dentist with the lowest cost.

Opting for different providers offering their services at affordable rates can bring down the overall cost of the dental implant. If you live in a city with a lot of dentists, you can take advantage of the competition and opt for low fees dentists.

Search for Providers Outside Your City

It’s great if you live in a city or county with many dentists- that way, you can expect some of them to charge lower fees due to the high competition. But if you live in a small town or city with fewer options, one of the best ways can be to venture out.

Nothing is keeping you restricted to the local clinics and dentists. You may be able to find other cities or regions with lower charges and costs of dental implants; you need to break free!

Another popular trend you can cash in on is dental tourism. You can travel to other countries with affordable dental care compared to the United States. For example, you can get your dental implants for just $600 in Mexico, saving up to 70% on the total expenses.

You can also find affordable dental care in European countries such as Hungary and Poland. Some Asian countries and South American countries can also be your best bet for cheaper care.

Membership-Based Dental Discount Plans can Help Out

You may miss out big time if you have never heard of discount dental programs or tried them. Numerous such programs in the United States operate on the models of health maintenance organizations or HMOs.

The programs are membership-based and sign up a lot of people. You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars towards annual insurance premiums and can enjoy discounts on your dental procedures with no yearly limit.

As many people subscribe to discount plans, the providers enjoy the advantage of economies of scale. This way they can afford to offer considerable discounts as only a few members are using the privileges at a given time.

The discounts you derive from the plans can go up to 60%. That means if you have a total cost of $3,000 for your dental implant, you need to pay only $1,200 as a part of the plan!

The discount dental plans may not make your procedure free but can go a long way to cut back the expenses.

Look for Alternative Payment Methods

We are talking about paying off the expenses of your dental implants just like you would pay off your auto or home loan- in monthly installments. You might need to pay for the full cost of the procedure, but staggering the payments can work in your favor if you are on a tight budget.

Also Read: How to Finance Dental Implants

There are several dentists out there, and they may not receive good enough business all the time. They will certainly favor a new client, and you can negotiate payment terms. It may well happen that the dentist might accommodate your request just for his profit.

Let’s say the total cost of the procedure turns up to be $30,000- you can then spread the payments over 60 months just like you repay an auto loan. The dentist may also allow a hybrid plan, where you pay the upfront costs through your credit card and repay the rest through adjusted monthly installments.

This payment system benefits the dentist and the patient, especially if he doesn’t have dental insurance. Dentists have to pay a fee to the insurance provider when the costs of a patient are covered by insurance. Typically this fee ranges from 5% to 15% of the policy value, which the dentist can save entirely by accepting payments out of pocket. Also, when a dentist offers alternative payment schemes, it’s more likely that he would get more non-insured patients of the same nature.

Your family dentist is more likely to offer installment payments as they have worked with you before. They know you and have trust in you and your family. Just go ahead and ask your dentist if he is ready to offer such payment schemes; the worst he can do is say no!

Additional Resources

  1. The American Dental Association (ADA) has a list of dental schools in the United States, which you can use to find schools in your state: https://www.ada.org/en/coda/find-a-program/search-dental-programs
  2. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) provides a list of dental schools that offer reduced-cost or free dental care, which may include dental implants: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/health-information/find-dental-care/state-dental-care-programs
  3. The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) is a national nonprofit organization that provides access to dental care for people with disabilities, the elderly, and those who cannot afford dental care. They have a state-by-state directory of programs that provide free or low-cost dental care, including dental implants: https://dentallifeline.org/our-state-programs/

2 Replies to “Free Dental Implants: How to Navigate Scams and Get the Real Deal”

  1. I need upper and lower implants but I also need a lot of bone built in my mouth where the bone has deteriorated. I’m so upset. I’ve been working on this for over a year and I still not nowhere. I’m in so much pain I can’t stand it.

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