If you are unsure of how much full-mouth dental implants cost, this article is going to be immensely helpful.
In almost all cases, dental implants provide the best option for replacing missing, damaged, or unhealthy and decaying teeth. If you wish to provide a strong foundation for either permanent or removable teeth, a dental implant is the closest thing you can get to natural teeth. But as with any complex orthodontic and modern dentistry procedure, you may feel a bit of a sticker shock once you realize the amount of money needed for this gold standard tooth replacement method. So how much do full mouth dental implants cost exactly? Does the high price tag for full-mouth dental implants cost justifiable? Here’s everything you need to know about the dental implant procedure and its cost.
A quick overview of the dental implant procedure
Despite the advancements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer from tooth decay and tooth loss. This could be mostly due to bad oral hygiene habits that lead to periodontal disease and gum disease, or injury. For decades, the only solutions available were bridges and dentures. Today, however, modern dentistry has introduced a more cost-effective and efficient solution – dental implants.
Tooth implants, in their simplest term, are tooth root replacements. A root implant is basically a small post made of titanium that is surgically attached right into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it surrounds and provides support to the implanted metal post. This will serve as an anchor for the permanent or temporary teeth.
As soon as the implant has bonded with the jawbone (about 6 to 12 weeks of healing), an abutment (small connector post) is attached to hold and secure the new tooth. To mimic the natural look and feel of real teeth, the dentist will make an impression on your teeth and create a model of your bite. The new tooth/teeth will be based on this model. A replacement tooth (called a crown or implant crown) will then be attached to the abutment. The new teeth will look, feel, and function like real natural teeth.
There are tons of reasons why dental implants are the best solution for most people.
- They look, feel, and work like natural teeth – strong and stable for good chewing power
- Implants can last a lifetime
- Implants prevent bone loss
- Implants keep all adjacent teeth stable and in place
- Implants can help prevent gum disease
- Implants can prevent premature aging and facial sagging caused by missing teeth and bone loss
Dental implants can be a single implant, multiple teeth (two to four teeth), or full mouth dental implants.
Dental implants cost
Before you go further into the details, know that the total dental implants cost can fluctuate from time to time. Also, there are lots of factors that can affect the price of the procedure. Generally, however, the price range for a single-tooth implant costs around $1,500 to $6,000. The more teeth needed, the more expensive the price can get. Multiple teeth implants cost around $1,500 to well over $50,000.
The thing is, dental implant procedure is substantially expensive, initially. Take note of the word “initially”.
People should look at dental implants as an investment to their selves; for their health, confidence, and overall wellbeing. Here are more eye-opening details about the cost of dental implants, from single, multiple teeth, to full mouth dental implants.
Single-tooth implant cost
No one gets just the implant – an implant is simply a metal or ceramic screw inserted into the jawbone. Aside from the implant, you will need an abutment and the crown itself should you want a dental implant. All of these things usually have separate prices. The implant itself can cost $1,000 to $3,000, while the abutment and crown typically cost around $500 to $3,000. For the whole single tooth implant procedure, the whole package can cost around $3,100 to $5,800. This estimate includes the initial consultation and the surgery (inserting of the implant). However, prices can vary based on other circumstances and factors. Also, this is the average out-of-pocket payment. Many dental insurance plans can provide assistance to help cut the cost.
Some patients may need a bone graft or sinus lift to make their jawbone healthy to hold and support the implant. That will add to the cost too.
Multiple Tooth Implant Cost
Multiple tooth implants can cost between $1,500 and $30,000, some can reach up to $50,000, depending on the complexity of the case.
If you are looking to replace multiple teeth, and these teeth are next to each other, then you have plenty of pricing options.
If you are looking to get three or four neighboring teeth, your dentist can suggest using a bridge to help hold your implants in place. This can lower the cost to around $6,000 to $10,000. Since two implants can support three to four adjacent teeth, it becomes less expensive than four individual and separate implants.
Multiple tooth implant procedures however require healthy gums. This is to ensure the inserted rod can be supported in place.
Dentists count the number of teeth missing on determining the number of implants needed, as well as the location of the affected teeth.
Full Mouth Dental Implant Cost
A full mouth dental implant is used to replace most, if not all of the teeth. It is an alternative to full traditional dentures. A full mouth dental implant can cost around $12,000 to $15,000 per arch (upper or lower jaw). Depending on the work needed, replacing a full set of teeth individually is the most expensive route, as it can cost $60,000 to $90,000. There are, of course, more affordable ways to do it.
Different options for full mouth dental implants
There are two basic types of full mouth dental implants, namely:
All on 4 implants
All on four dental implants offer the most convenient way to replace missing teeth in all parts of the mouth. This means you can get a new radiant smile with a full set of teeth. This can cost around $20,000 or $30,000 for artificial teeth made of composite or acrylic. For all on 4 implants that use porcelain crown, the cost can be higher, as it averages around $25,000 or $35,000 or up to $50,000 overall.
With traditional full-mouth dental implants, you normally have to wait for a couple of months (3 to 4 months) for the socket to heal and the jawbone to infuse with the implant. After that, you will have to wait for another 3 – 6 months before the implant can be inserted. The crown will be placed after that. That is a total of 5 – 10 months, depending on your circumstance.
Same-day full mouth implants
As its name suggests, you can get the replacement teeth right away in this type, rather than wait for a few months. This means the whole process is so much faster in nature; you will only have to see your dentist about three times for the whole process; the initial consultation, surgery, and follow-up. The price for this varies widely but is generally around $30,000 overall.
The same-day procedure may sound too good to be true, but it works. However, it has its own drawbacks and risks too. For one, there’s a chance the implants could fail. Secondly, the procedure can cause more marginal bone loss. Also, the post-procedure discomfort can be higher. More importantly, the single procedure can last longer (up to 3 hours). This, of course, depends on the number of teeth to be implanted.
Same-day surgery is also hard on the body; this is why it is not recommended for people with compromised immune systems.
However, it is important to note that you will not actually leave the dental office with a new set of permanent teeth. Rather, you will leave with a smile on your face. This is because the procedure still needs your gums and jaw to heal. The crowns cannot be placed if they are not fully healed. What you will get instead is temporary teeth after the first procedure. As soon as your gums and jaws have completely healed, you can then get the replacement and permanent crowns.
Breaking down the cost
Understand that no two dental implant procedures are the same. As said earlier, there are lots of different variables and factors that determine the price. This is why you can only get the price range whenever you search for dental implant costs online.
Moreover, the dental implant procedure is one of the most complex procedures in modern dentistry. It involves multiple parts, and steps, and requires special expertise, knowledge, tools, and equipment. All these things can influence the total price of the procedure.
Some of the elements that influence the final cost include:
- Initial consultation – this includes a comprehensive dental exam, X-ray, 3D imaging, etc.
- Tooth extraction of a problematic tooth/teeth (if necessary)
- Bone graft to repair and rebuild damaged jaw bone to recreate bone and supportive tissues that are missing (if necessary)
- Abutment placement
- Dental crown fabrication
- Crown placement
The cost of each element depends largely on the dental practice. Some dental office offers free computer tomography (CT) scan at the initial consultation stage as an incentive. This will help determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure and the necessary steps you need to go through before the actual procedure. Generally, 3D imaging can cost somewhere between $350 and $515 for the service alone.
Again, it is best to look at dental implants as a lifetime investment for yourself. You can expect to pay $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth. Full mouth dental implants, on the other hand, can cost around 60,000 and $90,000.
Unlike other single service dental procedures like dental fillings, dental implant surgery require individual assessment of the patient and determining the type and complexity of the work that needs to be done. Factors like CT scan from the initial consultation, and additional procedures like bone graft (and the type of bone graft) or sinus lift can all add up to the total cost.
Moreover, your location can also affect the price of the procedure. Big cities and metropolitan areas tend to be more expensive, as with almost anything.
Additional cost and other factors that affects dental implant cost
It is a good idea to discuss the cost of the whole procedure with your dentist right in the initial consultation. Most dentists will present the whole cost upfront. If you are seeing different specialists, such as dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons, then you need to account for their sets of fees. Here are the other factors that add up to the cost of the whole procedure:
Location – As said earlier, the location of the dental office affects its pricing. In places where the cost of living is higher, you can expect more expensive prices for dental procedures. Generally, getting implants in the West Coast of the United States tends to be more expensive than in the East Coast.
Materials used – Dentists use different materials for different parts of the implant. Titanium is the most widely used material for implants since it’s a reliable biocompatible material. Zirconium, on the other hand, is a promising alternative as it has better soft-tissue response, biocompatibility, and esthetics. Zirconium, however, is more expensive.
Dentist’s fees – Your dentist’s level of expertise plays a big role in the cost of the whole procedure. Highly experienced dentists tend to be more expensive.
Over-the-counter prescription – Prescription medications like painkillers are often prescribed before and/or after the procedure.
Does insurance cover dental implants?
The good news is, that more and more dental insurance companies provide plans and coverage for dental implants. While they typically pay for a small percentage of the total cost of the procedure, the coverage for reimbursement varies by procedure. You can expect reimbursement of $1,500 per implant, per year. If your implant procedure stretches for more than two calendar years, you can be eligible to collect both years. Some insurance providers offer plans that cover up to 50% of major restorative dental procedures, such as dental implants.
Also, some plans have a dollar cap on reimbursement for a given calendar year, while some have a lifetime cap for a certain procedure. Thus, it is best to check it with your insurance provider.
Moreover, Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can cover dental implant spending. Again, make sure you check with your insurance provider or administrator before you proceed with the dental implant procedure.
Many dental offices also offer interest-free, in-house financing options for their services. This can help you better manage the cost for the whole treatment by splitting the payments over a specified amount of time, rather than paying upfront.
Also, it is best to shop around to find the dentistry plan that works for you; compare quotes from several clinics in your area. But as with anything in life, do not choose something for price alone. Finding a highly skilled and experienced dentist who can perform the procedure safely and effectively is far more important.