What kind of denture implants cost can you expect in 2022?
Whether as a result of severe tooth decay, gum disease, injury, or genetic condition, a missing tooth can cause lots of complications. The gap left by the missing tooth can cause adjacent teeth to drift out of position which results in misalignment and overcrowding of teeth, it increases the risk of bacterial infections which leads to gum disease, gum and jawbone deterioration which leads to changes in facial structure, etc.
This is why it is important to not wait for too long to replace a missing tooth. The good news is the day of dentures as the only viable options for replacing missing teeth has been long gone. Today, you have more options, and one of the best options out there is denture implants.
But how much does a denture implant cost? Is it worth it?
A quick note on denture implants
Denture implants, better known as dental implants is arguably the most effective option for tooth replacement aside from good-old removable partial dentures. Implants are extremely reliable and both look and feel like a natural tooth. More importantly, it provides a permanent solution for replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full-mouth solution. While they cost more than dentures, if well taken care of, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Implant-supported dentures procedure, however, can be lengthy. It starts by inserting a metal (made of titanium) screw into the jawbone to act as an anchor post and root for the replacement tooth/teeth. After a few weeks, the metal post will fuse with the jawbone to provide a strong foundation for the artificial tooth. Once the mouth has healed completely, a dental crown will then be screwed and secured on top.
What you need to know about dental implant procedure
The common misconception with dental implants is that people assume that you will have multiple implants for multiple missing teeth. The truth is a single implant can actually hold multiple crowns/artificial teeth. Full mouth dental implants may only need up to eight implants as anchors.
Dental implants can give you incredible peace of mind; you will never worry about them falling out while eating, speaking, or laughing. They look and feel like real teeth, which means they are far more comfortable than dentures. Having a dental implant will make you feel you never lost tooth/teeth in the first place.
The cost of getting implant-supported dentures
There is no single flat rate for traditional dental implants. This is because mouth dental implants cost varies from one patient to another, and there are lots of factors that can affect their price. A complete set of implant-supported dentures cost around $1,500 to $4,000. This is without taking into consideration the procedure to prepare the mouth, the materials used (other than porcelain), etc.
Also, it is worth noting that the surgery for implant placement is billed differently, along with the anesthesia or type of sedation used, and other procedures necessary for the success of the surgery.
Everyone will have different sizes of the tooth in their denture, current oral health, jawbone density, and the skills and experience of the dental professional performing the procedures and designing the dentures. All of these can affect the total dental implants cost.
Factors that affect denture implant cost
Type of implant used
This is the first thing you and your dentist will discuss, and you basically have two options; traditional or mini dental implants. Traditional implants cost around $1,600 to $2,200 per implant. This offers the best stability and support for full dentures.
Mini dental implants, on the other hand, cost a lot less as it ranges from $500 to $1,500 per implant. However, as its name suggests, mini dental implants are made with smaller posts that are far less superior to their traditional counterpart. They are used for patients whose mouths and jawbones are not as healthy or strong enough to support the size of traditional implant screws.
Though a lot cheaper upfront, you may end up spending a lot more in the long run with mini dental implants as compared to traditional implants as they need to be replaced after some time.
Number of implants
Obviously, multiple tooth implants require more implant posts, and the more implants needed to provide adequate support for the denture(s) the higher the total cost would be. Basically, you will have two options for this – partial or full. Partial dental implants, of course, require fewer posts.
Depending on your situation, you may need six to eight implants for a full denture. However, more and more dentists are now offering a new technique called “All-on-4 dental implant” which as its name suggests, uses just four implant posts to support a full denture.
In many cases, some patients may require preparatory procedures before the actual dental implant surgery. Moreover, age-related issues such as poor jawbone density, bone loss, or oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay, should be all addressed first before proceeding with the surgery.
Patients with poor bone density will be required to undergo a bone graft to prepare the jaw for the implant. Those with overcrowded teeth may need a tooth extraction or two to make room for the implant. Patients with tooth decay may need their teeth fixed with dental procedures like a root canal to prevent further infection and save the tooth.
Preparatory procedures like these are billed separately. Bone grafting procedures cost around $600 to $2,600. Tooth extraction costs around $75, and $200 per tooth, while root canal costs from $700 to $1500.
The more preparatory procedures you need before the actual implant procedure, the more it will add to your final cost.
Quality of dentures
Obviously, lower-end dentures are more affordable, and cost around $300. However, cheaper price usually also means compromised quality, can be uncomfortable, and have stability and/or aesthetic problems.
Higher-end dentures, on the other hand, range around $5,000.
Choosing a dentist
If you think denture implant cost is expensive, wait till you get it from an inexperienced dentist. The risk of misdiagnosis and mistakes during complex dental procedures is invaluable. Certainly, you don’t want to put your oral health in the hands of an inexperienced dental professional, right?
The dentist you choose has the biggest role in the success, timeline, and overall cost of your dental treatment. While experienced and reputable dentists may cost a lot more, you can be sure to get the best treatment possible.
Experienced dentists bank on their reputation, and when it comes to complex procedures like dental implants, you want a well-trained professional to properly and safely place those metal posts into your jawbones.
Does dental insurance cover denture implants?
Unfortunately, most insurance companies consider dental implants as a cosmetic procedure, thus they rarely provide coverage for them. In some cases, dental insurance companies may cover a portion of the denture implant cost, making the whole treatment procedure a lot more affordable for you.
Your actual coverage, of course, varies on your insurance provider and the specific plan you have. Some providers cover 20% of the implant itself.
There are also some cases where both your medical and dental insurance provider will provide coverage for the denture implant procedures.
The biggest limiting factor in getting coverage for denture implant procedures however is the annual limit set by your provider. Thus, if you have had other dental treatments like fillings, tooth extraction, root canal, or crowns during the insurance year cycle, then the cost-assistance you get for denture implant will be limited. Thus, before you commit to any dental procedure, make sure you check with your insurance provider to see how far your coverage can help you.
Most insurance companies have online portals that you can use to check your insurance plan, remaining balances, and annual limits. You can also ask your dentist if your specific denture implant treatment will be covered by your insurance.
While denture implants cost can be expensive, they are considered the best solution for missing tooth/teeth. They look, feel, and work like real teeth, making you feel you never lost a tooth in the first place. So consider them as your investment in yourself.