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Government drills down cost of dental implants

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-28 09:45
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The Beijing city government will slash the cost of dental implants by up to 71 percent from April 20, significantly reducing the financial burden on patients.

The announcement was released by the city's medical insurance bureau, human resources and social security bureau, and health commission.

According to the medical insurance bureau, the overall cost of dental implants mainly includes medical services and consumables, and covers 15 such services.

Li Xiaoli, a 64-year-old woman who had received dental implant surgery for eight teeth three years ago, said it was good news for seniors like her.

"I spent more than 100,000 yuan ($14,500) for the whole process of teeth examination, extraction and implantation, which went on for more than two and a half years. It was a big amount to spend for retired people like me," Li said.

"I have been struggling between using dentures and getting implants because the former choice would save me a lot of money due to its lower cost compared with the latter," she said. "However, my dentist, as well as many of my friends who had received such dental services, told me the implants could give me a better feeling for chewing and tasting, so I made up my mind.

"Even though I didn't get to enjoy the policy at that time, as my age grows, the rest of my teeth will start to become loose and the new pricing standards will definitely ease much of the financial burden for me."

Designated medical institutions with medical insurance in Beijing, both public and private, are asked to follow the new price standards in accordance with the new policy, said the government.

Private hospitals that are not included in the city's medical insurance mechanism should refer to the price reduction of the new policy and make adjustments publicly.

According to the adjustment, the medical service fee for a dental implant for a single tooth has been set according to hospitals at different levels in various districts in Beijing.

For instance, such fees in major public hospitals in six central districts in the capital are set at 5,000 yuan. In hospitals at a lower level and in remote districts, the fee will be even lower.

The medical service fee mentioned above includes examination, surgery and anesthesia.

Medical consumables are not included, according to the announcement.

As people care more about their dental health, the demand for such medical services has been growing. However, the high cost has blocked many patients from being treated well, which affects their daily lives.

The National Healthcare Security Administration has arranged for the centralized procurement of dental implants, which has significantly reduced the price, with an average decrease of 55 percent.

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