The Truth About Dental Implant Grant Scams
Dental implant “grants” are almost always scams or misleading advertising aimed at taking advantage of people suffering from tooth loss.
The Truth About Dental Implant Grant Scams
post autor
post date
Mar 2024
post autor
post date
Mar 2024

The Truth About Dental Implant Grant Scams

If you are considering dental implants to improve your smile, you may have stumbled on ads from companies that promise discounted dental implants or dental implant grants. Though financial support for expensive implant treatments may sound tempting, these alleged “grants” are almost always scams or misleading advertising. Stay mindful of their tactics and hidden costs as you search for a more reputable treatment provider.

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about dental implant grant scams, including how they work, how to spot them, and how to find alternatives. The most important thing is to be diligent and don’t be afraid to ask questions. When offers sound too good to be true, unfortunately, they usually are.

The Allure of Dental Implant Grants

Not everyone who is missing multiple teeth can afford dental implants. Unfortunately, scammers view this as an opportunity to deceive people using ads, photos, and videos from reputable organizations. They hope to create the impression that they can offer genuine dental implant grants.

Scammers may even create fake websites that contain ads for a cosmetic dentistry grant along with links to legitimate providers. They hope to convince you that they are collaborating with trusted doctors to offer dental grants to those who need them.

These “grants for dental implants” scams have been rising in prevalence over the last few years. They likely result from the rising need for economical care alternatives to expensive treatments. Grants for dental implants promise substantial discounts or even complete expense coverage. However, these assertions are almost always too good to be true.

Understanding the Reality Behind Dental Implant Grants

Programs that offer legitimate dental implant grants are exceedingly rare, if not completely non-existent. Most insurance providers and government assistance programs view dental implants as elective cosmetic procedures, making it unlikely that they will provide grants to pay for them. While an ad for “government grants for dental implants” may seem official, you should treat the wording alone as a red flag.

The cost of dental implants varies. The treatment typically falls within the range of $3,000 to $6,000 per tooth or $17,000 - $25,000 for a full arch. This includes the cost of the materials, the surgeon's time and expertise, and the aftercare and recovery process. The price may seem high, understandably. But it's important to note that dental implants are a specialized procedure requiring years of training and expensive high-tech equipment.

Our goal is to expose these so-called grants to help you navigate the fishy waters of dental implant advertising. We want to help ensure you arrive at the treatment you deserve, even in a sea of scams.

Misleading Search Results for Implant Grants

What are Dental Implant Grants?

The government does not typically hand out free dental implant grants. They do not offer vouchers for a cosmetic dentistry grant of any kind. So, when a website or email tells you about a “grant” for cosmetic dental treatments, understand that they cannot be legit grants in the true meaning of the word.

A true grant is offered by a government or certified non-profit organization. By contrast, these scam “grants” are offered by random companies, sometimes single offices, in an attempt to scam patients into overpaying for cheap implants. Patients enter the deal thinking the offer for free or reduced-price implants represents legitimate financial aid. They won’t find out the true cost of their treatment until later.

The scam process usually goes something like this:

  1. A patient sees an ad online or receives an email with an offer for a dental implant grant or a free dental implant. They fill out a questionnaire or call the number and schedule an appointment.
  2. In the office, they are told they qualify for a grant of X amount, $5,000 for example, to help pay for dental implant treatments such as a full arch replacement or All-on-4 implants. But to receive this grant, they are told they must pay a difference since the grant won’t cover all the costs. This is the core of the scam.
  3. Looking to save money, the patient agrees to pay $20,000 for the portion of the treatment the “grant” doesn’t cover, on the promise of saving $5,000 in the long run. They then receive their dental implant treatment.

You may already realize how this scam works. To clarify, the $20,000 the patient paid to receive the discount is almost certainly more than the treatment would cost from a reputable specialist. In other words, the $5,000 they believe they saved from the grant does not exist, and the scammer pockets the full price of the treatment (or more).

Dental Implant Grant Pricing Example

Patients who fall for these scams rarely save a cent. In addition to being charged for inferior implants, they also receive an impersonal treatment that may not be right for their situation. This is because the scam offices are driven by their bottom line and quick cash. Even if you could be treated more cheaply for the same or better results, they will always take the path of most profit once they have you on the hook.

You may be wondering how anyone could fall for this. Many people fall for it due to a psychological trick called the “sunk cost fallacy.” It’s how these companies hook many of their patients into paying through the teeth (literally) for their implants.

The fallacy describes how a person is more likely to follow through with something after they have invested time and money in it. For example, if you drove to the office and paid for your initial visit, you are more likely to go all-in on your treatment to justify that initial cost.

The sad thing is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to follow through with a medical process you have already started. You care about your dental health and want to receive affordable treatment. Unfortunately, in the eyes of scammers, that noble ambition is a golden opportunity.

What does a Real Dental Implant Offer Look Like?

Legitimate dental implant offers and advertisements are for real dental implants, which are an investment in your oral health. Worthwhile investments cost a certain amount, and there’s no magical way to reduce it.

For example, the implant screw, abutment, and crown (false tooth) that make up a high-quality dental implant system are all made of different, highly durable materials that cost a fixed amount. Cheaper dental implants may use cheaper materials, which undermines the purpose of getting them. Importantly, just because they’re cheaper doesn’t mean you’ll save anything. Once you’re hooked on the scam, they’ll charge you the premium rate anyway.

But dental implants aren’t just materials. They also represent an experienced surgeon’s time. So, if you see a low offer for dental implants, you should assume that the surgeon’s time isn’t worth as much. Just by offering it at a deep discount, they’re proving that they’re probably not as experienced as they seem.

In the same way that you wouldn’t trust an ad for a free kidney transplant, you shouldn’t trust one for an expensive dental procedure. A genuine dental implant offer or advertisement comes from a trusted dental implant surgeon’s office and will never use the words “grant” or “free.” These are incompatible with the concept of getting a high-quality implant that will last a lifetime, which is what an experienced surgeon offers.

These legitimate offers will never be in the format of a scam, such as “pay X now to get X later.” Instead, reputable offices will help you set up monthly payment plans to help you pay within your means. They may also offer third-party financing options to help you afford your treatment.

How Can I Avoid Dental Implant Scams?

These days, scams and misleading advertisements are everywhere. And scammers are getting cleverer with how they approach their targets (you) in an attempt to lure you in. To complicate things even more, ads for scams may now be written by AI, making them more convincing than ever.

So how can you avoid dental implant scams and deceptive advertising? If you’re looking for dental implant grants, it probably means you’re missing teeth, feeling uncomfortable, and worried about your finances, which can all be used against you by clever scammers. Follow these tips to protect yourself, your bank account, and your smile from unscrupulous offers:

  • Remind yourself there’s no such thing as “free”. Dental implants cannot be offered for free, and you wouldn’t want any that were. Free implants are either so compromised in terms of quality that they aren’t worth anything or come with so many extra costs that they cost more than a legitimate implant procedure (often both).
  • Remember there are no cosmetic implant grants. Federal and state organizations offer medical assistance grants for necessary procedures, but cosmetic dental implants don’t qualify. So any offer for cosmetic dentistry that uses the word “grant” is a scam. Financing options from a legitimate oral surgeon’s office will be called “third-party financing” or “payment plans,” and these can help you pay for your implant treatment. They will never use the word “grant,” which implies free money from an official organization that doesn’t exist.
  • Ask yourself how you received the offer. Scammers come to you, not the other way around. Their algorithms solicit search engines and email addresses in an attempt to get hits on their ads for free or reduced dental implants. If you see one of these offers, it’s probably because an algorithm detected that you’re searching for related topics and pegged you as a potential lead for their implant scam. Legitimate offices wait for you to choose them. Importantly, these ads often link to reputable dental office websites as part of their click farm, redirecting patients to “free” or “reduced cost” implant scams. So even if you see “free” on the initial ad, read the website of the actual office to see if they are also promoting free implants. The issue may only be with the ad, not the office.
  • Consult with multiple providers. Even if you fall victim to an implant scam and go to that initial appointment, there’s no real damage done until you pay for the treatment. Always consult with multiple providers to lower the chance of being scammed. Even if the first one was a shady offer, the second may help you get legitimate treatment.
  • Research a surgeon’s certification. As with any important service, you should research your options for dental implants by looking for certified providers. Scam services aren’t going to have professional bios that list a board-certified MD with entries on medical sites. You’ll recognize a legitimate office when you see it (and it doesn’t hurt to back up the instinct with a little research).

The Takeaway for Patients

There’s one more thing to understand about these dental implant grant scams. They don’t offer a worse service for less money – they offer a worse service for more money. Patients end up paying the same or more for low-quality services on the promise of getting free money from a grant that doesn’t exist. Worse still, they will more than likely need to pay again to have a reputable surgeon redo the implant properly.

Not everyone can afford to be treated twice. And no one should have to.

At the Florida Dental Implant Institute, we encounter the sad result of these scams every day. As many as half of our patients have received botched or low-quality implants from these shady services and now have to pay for legitimate implants on top of that. By following common sense and the tips we listed above, you can avoid becoming part of a statistic.

Visit us today for a no-pressure consultation concerning your oral health situation. Our certified professionals, including our double-board-certified oral surgeon (M.D., D.D.S.), are equipped to make a treatment plan tailored to your health needs and financial means. Third-party financing options are available to make sure you have the means to pay for the high-quality treatment you deserve, no “grant” required. We serve the communities of Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral, and we also see many patient who travel to our office from out of state.