How much are dental implants?

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Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and improve your smile. But how much do they cost? This question is one that many people have asked themselves at some point in their life, but the answer is not always clear.

Generally, the average cost of dental implants will be anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 per tooth – and that’s just for conventional dental implants. Full mouth dental implants cost can be between $3,000 and $8,000. The overall dental implant cost will depend on numerous factors that can raise or lower the price.

In this blog post, we will discuss how much dental implants cost and what factors can make them more or less expensive for you!

General breakdown of dental implant cost

Typically, when you get a dental implant, the post-treatment, crown placement, and abutment are included in the total cost. Other dental procedures like CT scan, x-ray, bone grafting, and tooth extraction are usually paid for separately.

Here is a quick, general list of price ranges on the national average that can give you an idea of how much you can be dealing with:

  • Implant post = $1,000 to $3,000
  • Abutment and crown = $1,000 to $3,000
  • Tooth extraction = $75 to $600
  • Bone grafting = $200 to $3,000
  • CT scan = $250 to $1,000
  • X-ray = $20 to $200

For some cases such as tooth extraction and bone grafting, the total cost will depend on the complexity of your dental case. If your teeth are in good condition, you probably will not have to go through a preliminary procedure to get your artificial tooth.

Factors that affect dental implants cost

Take note that dental implants should be customized for each case so the total cost will vary from one patient to the next.

Experience

Working with experts means you will get quality work so you can expect that the more experienced your dentist is with implants, the more money they can charge. Of course, you would want your dental implant to last longer and fit in with the rest of your real teeth naturally so working with an expert is a must.

Material

The quality of the materials used will also affect the total cost of your dental implant significantly. Most dental implants are made out of zirconium or titanium.

Preliminary procedures

Some people need to go through preliminary procedures before they can get dental implants so you may end up with a higher overall cost. Preliminary procedures include bone grafting, tooth extraction, and sinus elevation.

Laboratory work

The laboratory your dentist works with can also affect the total cost of the crown.

Location

Where you get your dental implants will matter. For instance, if there is no laboratory in your area, you will be given a higher price to have the implant made and shipped to your location.

How to pay for dental implants

Paying the total cost of dental implants out of your own pocket can be too heavy for you. There are other ways to make the financial load lighter for you.

Dental insurance

Most dental insurance plans do not cover dental implants since insurance companies consider them as elective and cosmetic procedures. However, some will pay partial coverage for the implant crown. You must check dental insurance providers in advance for dental implant coverage if you plan on getting dental implants.

In-office payment plans

A lot of dentists offer payment plans to make dental implants more affordable for you. This can be an advantage especially if you are a regular client of your dentist. You can arrange something with them where you will make small installments toward your balance until the entire cost is covered.

FSA, HSA, or HRA

You can use your flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or health reimbursement account (HRA) for your dental implants. Take note that this can only be an eligible option for you as long as you are not having them for cosmetic reasons.

Dental loan

You can look for available dental loans in your area to help you fund your dental implants. Make sure to shop around and do your research before you settle for one to get the best deals. Pay attention to details such as additional fees, requirements, approval time, and interest rates.

Dental implants FAQs

Why choose dental implants?

The cost of dental implants may seem intimidating at first, which is why other people go for cheaper alternatives like dental bridges and dentures. Although cheaper, these types of dental tooth replacement options actually have their drawbacks compared to dental implants.

If you go for dental bridges, you will have to shave down your healthy teeth so that you can install the bridge. If you only have a single tooth missing, the teeth beside them will be shaved down. If you have multiple teeth missing, it is just not a great tooth replacement solution.

Dental bridges are also difficult to clean and you have to be careful with the things you eat since they can stick to the food and come off. You will then have to go back to the dentist to put them back on again.

If you go for traditional dentures, comfort will be a problem. It will take you a while to get used to them. Traditional dentures need to be replaced from time to time too and have to go through special care and maintenance routines.

You also have to make sure that your dentures will fit properly or else they could lead to gum infections or they will slide around, making it more difficult for you to eat or speak.

As you can see, dental implants are the most effective way to replace a missing tooth for good. If you only need a single dental implant, you do not have to compromise another tooth. You only pay for them once as they are permanent. There is no discomfort and you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence no matter where your implant is.

Can anyone have dental implants?

You need to meet some requirements to get dental implants.

For instance, children may be asked to wait until their facial development is completed to get a thorough dental implant fit that can last until adulthood. Typically, boys should be at least 18 years old and girls should be at least 16 years old.

You also should have enough supporting jawbone for the dental implant. If you do not have enough jawbone in the area, you will have to go through a bone augmentation.

Your health will also matter. Heavy smokers, diabetics, and those who went through radiation therapy in the neck and head areas will have to be evaluated first.

Is the dental implant process painful?

When people see the screw-like parts involved in dental implants, they immediately think it is a painful procedure. Most individuals who have gone through it report that it was less uncomfortable than they expected.

During the dental implant surgery, your dentist will give you an anesthetic so any discomfort or pain you will be feeling is minimal.

When the implant surgery is over, all you have to do is make sure that you follow the post-operative instructions of your dentist and take the prescribed antibiotics to minimize any discomfort and lessen the risk of infection. You can also ask your dentist for pain medication but most people do not actually need them.

How long does a dental implant procedure take?

The duration will vary from one person to the next. Factors that will affect this is your dental health, which teeth need to be replaced and their placement, and if you will have to go through any preliminary procedures before you can get the dental implant.

Typically, the whole process is done in two phases. The entire process can take about three to nine months. It may even be longer if you had to get a bone graft or if you went through extraction since you need time to heal before placing the dental implants.

Dental implants pros and cons

Like all things, dental implants have their strong and weak points. Here are some pros and cons that you should consider before getting a dental implant.

Pros

  • Dental implants look and feel like real teeth.
  • Dental implants are more durable, secure, and permanent compared to dental bridges and dentures.
  • No restrictions on the way you function – you can talk, eat and smile normally without any discomfort.
  • Dental implants reduce the risk of bone loss in the jaw as a result of missing teeth.
  • Dental implants can last a lifetime, with proper maintenance and care.

Cons

  • The upfront cost is expensive.
  • Not advisable for those who need an instant fix since it has a lengthy process.

Conclusion

The invention of dental implants has brought back the confidence and self-esteem of millions of people around the world. The fact that they can successfully pass off as natural teeth makes them feel more secure when they smile and talk to other people.

When your natural tooth cannot be saved, sometimes a dental implant is the most efficient solution. Though the dental implants cost may look high initially, you have to understand that dental implants can last a lifetime if you take care of them and practice good oral hygiene. The money and time you spend on getting them is actually an investment that will save you from future worries.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.

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