Why is Arestin not covered by insurance?

In the realm of dental treatments, Arestin has emerged as a popular method for combating periodontal disease. However, many individuals are often perplexed as to why Arestin is not covered by insurance.

This article aims to shed light on the reasons behind this lack of insurance coverage and explore alternative treatment options available for periodontal disease.

Arestin not covered by insurance

What is Arestin?

Arestin is an antibiotic treatment that is utilized in conjunction with scaling and root planing procedures to address periodontal disease.

It contains minocycline hydrochloride, an antibiotic that fights against the bacteria responsible for causing gum infections.

The medication is applied directly to the infected pockets in the gums, allowing for targeted treatment and improved healing.

Why is Arestin not covered by insurance?

Here are a few reasons why insurance coverage for Arestin may be limited.

Arestin, an innovative pharmaceutical, faces limitations in insurance coverage for several key reasons. Firstly, being a relatively nascent medication, it gained approval from the FDA in 2000 and still retains its status as a specialty drug.

Consequently, due to its limited usage compared to more established medications, insurance providers might not have thoroughly assessed its efficacy and safety.

Moreover, Arestin is not considered a primary treatment option for periodontitis. Insurance coverage often extends to more conventional remedies like scaling and root planing, while Arestin is generally reserved for patients who have shown an inadequate response to these alternative treatments.

Furthermore, Arestin’s affordability poses a challenge. The cost of Arestin can vary based on the prescribed dosage and the number of applications required. However, it typically surpasses the price of other medications commonly employed in the management of periodontitis.

If you are contemplating the utilization of Arestin, engaging in an open dialogue with your dentist regarding the financial implications and insurance coverage is crucial. Additionally, it is advisable to inquire about alternative treatment options that align with your insurance coverage.

Consider the following alternatives for periodontitis treatment that may be covered by insurance:

  • Scaling and root planing: This procedure entails the meticulous removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth, accompanied by the smoothening of the root surfaces.
  • Gingivectomy: This surgical procedure involves the selective removal of gum tissue to expose a greater portion of the tooth root.
  • Gingivoplasty: By reshaping the gum tissue, this procedure aims to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the gums.
  • Periodontal surgery: Reserved for severe cases, this intricate surgical intervention addresses advanced periodontitis.

Determining the optimal treatment approach for periodontitis hinges on the severity of your condition and your unique requirements. Engage in a comprehensive discussion with your dentist to explore the available treatment options and their compatibility with your insurance coverage.

The Cost of Arestin

One of the primary reasons why individuals may question insurance coverage for Arestin is its cost.

Arestin treatment can range from $50 to $100 per tooth, depending on the severity of the periodontal disease and the number of affected teeth. With an average mouth having multiple teeth affected, the overall cost can quickly escalate.

Insurance Coverage for Dental Treatments

Insurance coverage for dental treatments can vary significantly depending on the specific insurance plan. While most dental insurance plans offer coverage for common procedures such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions, coverage for specialized treatments like Arestin may be limited or excluded altogether.

Reasons for Arestin’s Exclusion

Several factors contribute to the exclusion of Arestin from insurance coverage. Firstly, insurance companies often have strict guidelines and limitations on the types of treatments they cover.

These guidelines are typically based on the perceived cost-effectiveness and long-term benefits of a particular treatment. As Arestin is a relatively newer treatment method, its inclusion in insurance coverage may still be under evaluation.

Secondly, insurance companies may require extensive documentation and evidence of the necessity of treatment before providing coverage. This is especially true for treatments that are considered elective or cosmetic in nature.

Since Arestin is primarily used for periodontal disease treatment and not for aesthetic purposes, insurance companies may view it as a non-essential treatment.

Lastly, insurance companies prioritize cost containment and aim to provide coverage for treatments that are considered standard and widely accepted within the dental community.

As the utilization of Arestin varies among dental professionals and is not universally adopted, insurance companies may opt to exclude it from coverage until more evidence of its efficacy and long-term benefits is available.

Alternative Treatment Options

Although Arestin may not be covered by insurance, there are alternative treatment options available for individuals with periodontal disease. These options include:

  • Scaling and Root Planing: This non-surgical procedure involves deep cleaning of the teeth and roots to remove plaque and tartar buildup, allowing the gums to heal.
  • Antibacterial Mouthwashes: Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce the bacterial population in the mouth, aiding in the management of periodontal disease.
  • Systemic Antibiotics: In certain cases, dentists may prescribe systemic antibiotics to address severe or recurring periodontal infections.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser-assisted periodontal therapy can be used as an alternative to traditional scaling and root planing procedures, providing a minimally invasive treatment option.


While Arestin has proven to be an effective treatment for periodontal disease, its exclusion from insurance coverage can be a source of frustration for many individuals.

The cost of Arestin, combined with insurance limitations and prioritization of established treatments, contributes to this lack of coverage. However, alternative treatment options, such as scaling and root planing, antibacterial mouthwashes, systemic antibiotics, and laser therapy, are available and can help manage the periodontal disease effectively.


Is Arestin only used for periodontal disease treatment?

Yes, Arestin is primarily utilized as an adjunctive treatment for periodontal disease in conjunction with scaling and root planing procedures.

Can I get insurance coverage for Arestin if I have severe periodontal disease?

Insurance coverage for Arestin depends on the specific insurance plan and its coverage guidelines. It is advisable to consult with your insurance provider to determine if coverage is available.

Are there any side effects of using Arestin?

Common side effects of Arestin include temporary tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, or a metallic taste in the mouth. It is important to discuss any concerns with your dentist.

Does insurance cover other periodontal treatments?

Insurance coverage for periodontal treatments may vary. Basic procedures like scaling and root planing are typically covered, while specialized treatments like Arestin may have limited or no coverage.

How can I manage the periodontal disease without insurance coverage for Arestin?

It is still possible to manage periodontal disease effectively without Arestin. Consulting with a dental professional and exploring alternative treatments such as scaling and root planing, antibacterial mouthwashes, systemic antibiotics, or laser therapy can help address the condition.

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