One of the biggest controversies over dental implants is whether they are medically necessary or simply a cosmetic dentistry treatment. We’ve made it clear how we feel about this issue, but now a new lawsuit seeks to challenge this conventional wisdom when it comes to Medicaid: should the federal insurance program cover dental implants in cases where they should be considered “medically necessary”?
Now a lawsuit, undertaken on behalf of two New Yorkers, could change the rule for all Americans. If the lawsuit is successful, it could change the way Medicaid handles dental implants and dental treatment in general. And if Medicaid changes, there is a high probability that private insurers would start to follow suit.
Why Dental Implants Are Sometimes Necessary
The plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit are claiming that Medicaid isn’t providing proper care to them and thousands of other people. That’s because these men have medical conditions that are being aggravated by their traditional dentures.
One of them is a 57-year-old man with hypertension, coronary artery disease, and renal failure. He claims that his dentures, which functioned poorly, made it hard for him to eat a healthy diet. Then his loose dentures fell out and were run over by a car. Now his diet is even more limited, making it harder for him to lose the weight necessary to receive a kidney transplant. He has a hard time eating meats and vegetables, sticking largely to carbs, tending to keep his weight higher.
The other plaintiff is a 60-year-old man whose dentures were stolen. Without dentures, he is restricted to a soft diet. Not only that, but the loss of his lower denture has led him to worry about his appearance, which is causing him increased depression.
Dental Implants Are the Best Choice for Overall Health
Although dentures are sometimes an adequate treatment for lost teeth, in many cases, their limitations can mean that they aren’t really helping as much as dentists might hope.
Traditional dentures can lead to many problems including:
- Poor nutrition
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Food impaction
- Digestion problems
- Decreased ability to walk and run
- Reduced socialization
All of these health problems are above and beyond the problems of dentures that many people complain about, including looseness, poor appearance, and reduced ability to taste foods.
With all these problems related to dentures, it seems like it should be obvious that dental implants aren’t just a luxury or a cosmetic procedure. They are absolutely critical to the proper functioning of the mouth, which, in turn, contributes to a person’s overall health.
Are You Considering Dental Implants in San Diego?
Although Medicaid and other dental insurance plans usually don’t cover dental implants, dental implants are still the best choice for replacing your natural teeth. To learn more about the benefits of dental implants and why they’re worth it, even without insurance, please call (619) 299-5925 today for an appointment with a San Diego implant dentist at Strober Dental.