Dental Implants – What is the Cost?
The cost of dental implants can vary depending on several factors. Things like the region you live in, the doctor’s training, whether or not you need to have bone grafting, the number of implants needed and the type of material that will be used for your final restoration, all affect the cost of dental implant treatment.
What Are Dental Implants & How Are They Used?
At its core, a dental implant is simply an artificial tooth root. It is made from biocompatible materials; most commonly, titanium. When a tooth is missing, an implant can be surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line, effectively replacing the missing tooth root. Once integrated into the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, the dental implant provides a strong foundation for a replacement tooth – usually a crown or bridge– to be attached. Three commonly used dental implant uses we see are:
Single Tooth Replacement
In the past, if you were missing a tooth, having a three-tooth bridge made was the go-to solution for replacing it. The problem is that with a bridge, the (often healthy) neighboring teeth need to be ground down into little stubs in order to support the bridge. This weakens these healthy teeth and eventually leads to future dental issues or loss of them, requiring the bridge to need to be replaced in the future. When this happens, the bridge must be extended to involve even more teeth.
So, while this solution, when done well, can last 10-20 years, there is a MUCH better long-term option, thanks to the introduction of dental implants.
Opting for dental implants over conventional bridges prevents the need to for extra procedures over the course of your lifetime, costing less in the long run.
Because they last longer than conventional treatments, the cost of a dental implant and crown ends up being less than a bridge.
A single dental implant tooth replacement typically costs between $3,500 to $7,500 per implant – from start to finish, including everything.
Replacing Back Teeth
Most people tend to get more cavities in back teeth and starting dental treatment on them sooner in life. Because of this, by the time they are well into adulthood, over time, many have lost their back teeth. This makes chewing quite a challenge. It used to be that a partial denture was the only tooth replacement option for those missing back teeth. Anyone who has worn a partial denture, especially on the bottom arch, knows how UN-LIKE natural teeth they feel.
One misconception many people have is that they need an implant for each individual tooth they’re missing. So, they think the cost of dental implants as a tooth replacement option will be much more expensive than it really is.
This may surprise some of you, but we commonly replace 3-4 missing back teeth with just two implants and an implant bridge.
Because dental implants are fused to the bone because they’re so strong, they can support a longer span than natural tooth bridges can.
A three-unit implant bridge on 2 implants typically costs between $12,000 to $16,000.
Full Mouth Tooth Replacement
Before we had dental implants, dentures were the only option for replacing a full arch, or a full set of teeth. There are MANY problems and inconveniences with dentures. The first of which is continued bone deterioration. When teeth are lost, the jawbone slowly deteriorates over time because it lacks the stimulation that natural tooth roots provide.
Dental implants serve as artificial tooth roots and stimulate the bone, helping to maintain bone density and preserve the jaw’s natural contour.
Bridges do not provide this benefit. They also provide exceptional stability and functionality because they’re anchored securely in the jawbone. This allows for natural chewing and speaking, unlike dentures.
The cost of full mouth dental implant treatment can vary, but we will try to cover all the variables in the article to give you a better understanding.
Why does dental implant treatment costs vary so much?
Well, every case is unique because every mouth is different. Some patients need only a single implant and no bone graft, whereas others with multiple missing teeth will need several implants and may need bone grafting. Some patients can have all the necessary surgery done in one visit, and others may take multiple surgical visits, resulting in a higher cost. Again, where your treatment falls within these ranges is dependent on factors like bone availability, number of implants, number of surgical visits, temporization options, etc.
Full mouth dental implant treatments can range between $20,000 and $50,000.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Implant Treatment
Number of Implants Needed
The number of dental implants required for implant treatment will affect the cost. The more implants you need, the higher your overall cost will be. This is because every implant requires specialized parts and pieces and surgical procedures, so having more implants means more time and money involved.
Experience & Training
The expertise of the implant surgeon is a pivotal factor in determining the overall cost of dental implant treatment. Implant surgery demands a significant amount of time and skill. While highly experienced dentists may charge higher fees for their services, their expertise tends to lead to more successful and longer-lasting results. In the long run, this can translate into cost savings, as these well-placed implants are far less likely to require frequent repairs or replacements.
Quality of the Materials Being Used
The quality of implant materials used in a dental implant treatment is of paramount importance, as it significantly impacts the treatment’s success and longevity. While high-quality materials may come with a higher initial cost, they offer excellent value in terms of increased success rates, patient satisfaction, better esthetics and functionality, and reduced maintenance expenses over time.
Other Procedures Needed (Bone Grafting, Extractions, Sinus Lift Procedure, etc.)
The total cost of dental implants can also be influenced by additional necessary procedures. The implant placement process isn’t always straightforward and these additional costs need to be considered individually for each case. For instance, if a patient lacks sufficient healthy jawbone to support implants, they may require a bone graft or sinus lift procedure to become eligible for implant placement. Additionally, as opposed to All-On-4, or All-On-X, etc, which is heavily advertised and marketed, fixed implant bridges are oftentimes done in phases to allow better soft tissue management, which is vital for optimal esthetic results.
Not many offices do this treatment protocol, because it is harder to do and takes a little longer.
But! It is well worth the extra effort cost and time involved. Refer to our gallery and see the difference between a true Implant Bridge and an All-On-4 prosthesis.
On the other hand, in many cases, the simplicity of the procedure, such as the absence of the need for a bone graft, sinus lifts or the need for temporary prosthetic options, can lead to cost savings within the provided price ranges.
The more straightforward the procedure is (no bone grafting needed, temporary prosthetic options, etc.), the lower the cost of dental implant treatment is within these given ranges.
Why Dental Implants Should Be Thought of As an Investment
Some people experience a bit of sticker shock when they encounter the price range commanded by this gold standard option of tooth replacement. At first glance, dental implants look incredibly expensive, especially when they are compared to other tooth replacement methods, like dentures or conventional bridges. However, one thing you must remember is that dentures and bridges typically must be repaired or replaced every so many years. If you need to replace each prosthesis in your mouth two or more times over the course of your life, the cost really adds up in the long run. This easily makes implants a more sensible option.
The cost of these replacements over a lifetime quickly exceeds the costs of simply turning to implants, which can last a lifetime (as long as you care for them properly).
Some of the Top Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants Don’t Decay – This means the crowns and bridges on them aren’t compromised, requiring replacement because of decay underneath, like crowns and bridges often are with natural teeth. Dental implants also prevent your jawbone from deteriorating—dentures and bridges can’t do that.
Dental Implants Stimulate the Bone and Keep it From Deteriorating – Once teeth are removed, your jawbone slowly deteriorates, and your face shape will change. Within months you will see facial changes and you’ll start to look older. Eventually, the teeth next to the empty spaces will start to get loose. Alveolar bone or “jawbone” serves one purpose, to hold teeth. Losing teeth is like a domino effect, and nearby teeth begin to fail in the progression. Dental implants prevent this from happening.
They’re Also Stronger Than Natural Teeth – So they don’t break like teeth can.
This is why we encourage you to think of dental implants as an investment, and not as an expense. They’re more of a permanent fix, not one that will have to be redone in 5-20 years.
Dental Implant Payment Options
Oftentimes patients can look into financing options, such as a personal loan or payment plans. This would allow you to make monthly payments over time instead of paying for the whole procedure at once.
FSA and HSA
FSA and HSA (Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts) are two types of tax-advantaged accounts that can be used to pay for dental implant procedures. These allow you to set aside pre-tax money from your paycheck each month to cover eligible medical expenses, including dental implants. Check with your employer to see if these options are available to you.
In addition, there are several payment plans and financing options available. Learn more about them here. We will be happy to assist you with filing your dental insurance claims or filing on your behalf.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
The good news is that most dental insurance providers do cover some of the costs for dental implants. Most policies still only allow for $1,0000 – $2,000/year of maximum benefits. They don’t typically cover all the expenses so you’re still going to have out of pocket costs, but certainly not as much as you would if you didn’t have insurance at all. Talk to your insurance company to find out if they will cover the costs and how much coverage you can get.
How Can I Determine the Exact Cost of My Dental Implants?
As we mentioned earlier, the total cost of dental implants can vary greatly depending on each patient’s case.
The best way to find out exactly how much dental implant treatment will cost FOR YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION is to come see us for a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. This includes an hour with the doctor and any necessary x-rays needed to give you a full diagnosis and written treatment plan.
Our doctors will use either a panoramic or sometimes a CBCTscan/3D scan image during the consultation to determine the density of your bone. This helps determine whether you’re a candidate for an immediate implant or if some additional grafting will be needed prior to – or at the time of your implant placement.
During your consultation, you will be presented with more than one treatment plan option. When you leave our office, you’ll know all your options and exactly what the total costs will be. If you have financing needs, we will be happy to review those with you while you’re here.
If you want more info on dental implant costs watch Dr McFadden talk you through all the factors involved in an indepth look at what is involved.
Contact Us to Learn More About Your Options for Implant Placement
If you’re ready to take the next step and find out exactly what your options are and how much your dental implant treatment will cost, visit our office for a Complimentary Consultation. We’re happy to answer your questions and help find the best option to suit your needs cosmetically, functionally, and financially.