Dental implants are a trendy and fixed solution to permanent tooth replacement. Implants are titanium screws that are fixed to the bone and covered by a dental crown.
Dental implants are specially designed to look and function like a natural tooth. Moreover, they are designed to last for a long time in the mouth.
Placing an implant is quite an intensive procedure that takes time and a dental specialist to perform the process in the right way.
With all these benefits, anyone would want to go for implant treatment to replace their missing tooth. But the question is, how much do dental implants cost?
According to a survey done by the New York Times, a dental implant cost can be around $3000 – $4000. Several factors are involved in making implants expensive.
For example, the cost of all the components, surgery and dental crown. The requirement of bone grafts may further increase the value of dental implants.
In this article, I’ll be telling you about the influences for increasing cost of dental implant treatments. I’ll also explain different payment plans that you can choose from to get this procedure done.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically positioned in the jaw bone. The posts are often embedded below the gum line. This procedure helps to form the foundation for dental crown or bridge placement. (1)
Dental implants are an excellent way to provide a natural looking smile to the patient.
What are the benefits of using a dental implant?
There are several advantages of using dental implants. (2)
Some of them may include –
- Improved smile – dental implants provide the most natural looking appearance of a tooth. They offer a beautiful smile and increases self-esteem.
- Improved speech – unlike dentures that move and interfere with the tongue while speaking, implants are fixed replacements. Implants allow free flow of speech without the fear of teeth falling out of the mouth.
- Improved oral health – individual implants allow easier access to tooth brushing and improves oral hygiene.
- Comfort – implants are non-removable tooth replacement which allows comfort during eating, chewing and swallowing.
- Durability – implants last for several years. Sometimes they last for a lifetime.
- Convenience – dental implants eliminate the embarrassment of removing dentures every time and are a very convenient option.
What influences the cost of dental implants?
Before we look upon the factors that influence the cost of implants, you should note that not all implants cost the same. An average cost of one implant can be estimated around $1500-$6000.
The price increases with the number of implants required to replace the missing teeth. (3)
So why are implants so expensive? Well, several factors influence the cost. Implant placement is a surgical process that requires a lot of technique and time to fit it correctly.
Below is the basic breakdown of factors that affect the cost of implants –
An implantologist, prosthodontist or an oral surgeon are the best dental professionals to perform this procedure. With the level of experience, a dental professional may charge you his consultation fees. The division of the cost is as follows –
- An oral surgeon may charge a service fee of $500 – $2000
- Anaesthesiologists charge around $500 – $800 per hour depending on the length of the surgical procedure
X-rays and CT scans
Scans and x-rays are required to locate the area, check the bone density and interference with the alveolar nerve.
Depending on the number of images and scans a surgeon may need to plan the treatment, the cost may vary around $25 – $200.
The requirement of bone graft
A bone graft is required in cases where there is an insufficient bone for implant placement. It is a surgical procedure where a synthetic bone material or a natural bone is placed at the site and allowed to fuse.
Cost of the bone graft depends upon the type of bone material and quantity of bone required. On average, it may cost around $250 – $1100.
Cost of the material
There are three primary components of a dental implant – (4)
- The screw which is made of titanium or zirconia. The price may range from $1600 – $2000
- An abutment is a part that screws into the implant. This may cost around $275 – $450
- Dental crown covers from $1000 – $3000.
How can you manage the cost of a dental implant?
If you are planning to get an implant treatment, there are three types of payment plans that may help you to cover your expenses –
- Dental insurance – most insurance companies usually don’t include the cost of an implant as it is an elective procedure. However, the value of the dental crown is covered by dental insurance. If the cause of tooth loss was accident or disease, health insurance companies do cover some amount of implant placement.
- Discount offers – dental discount plans offer around 5-40% off on dental implants. This is a great way to save money on the implant procedure.
- Flexible spending accounts – these options allow you to pay the full amount in two installments. One at the time of implant placement and the other after 6-12 months for crown placement. Plan for an implant at the end of the year and get the crown placement during the following year, that way you can use your money from two years of your pre-tax flexible account.
Take away message
Dental implants are an excellent way of permanently fixing your missing teeth. They are durable and convenient. Moreover, they improve your appearance and provide a beautiful natural looking smile.
Considering all the long term benefits, implants do come with a price tag. The expense of a dental implant depends on several factors.
For example, the cost of surgery, x-rays, consultation fees and type of material used for the implant. The requirement of bone grafts can add more to the estimated cost of an implant.
But with proper planning and use of various payment plans, you might be able to cover the expenses of this procedure and take advantage of all the benefits a dental implant provide.
Consult your dentist and discuss the cost and payment plans that the dental office may offer.