Are Dental Implants Affordable?

About Dental Implant Costs

When reviewing and comparing costs, it’s essential to consider that dental implants are “medical devices” that require a larger team of dental professionals. In addition, the placement of dental implants is both art and science. In fact, you are buying a service rather than a product – a service that can change your life and give you permanent teeth that will last a lifetime.


First, here are the most commonly accepted figures: The total dental implant costs for a single dental implant to be placed and restored range on average from $3,000 to $6,000 per restored implant. The typical price is usually around $4,500. To replace all your top or bottom teeth with full-arch fixed implant bridges – often referred to as All-on-4 – can cost from $15,000 to $30,000 (or more) per arch.


Can you find a dentist who can provide dental implants for less? Absolutely. You can always find someone cheaper, just like you can always find someone less skilled and with less experience.

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What’s Included in Dental Implant Costs

Initial Consultation

The first time you meet with your doctors is critical. Much of the planning for the rest of the treatment will be done during the first consultation. The dentist will assess the health of the teeth and jaw bone. You will also need diagnostic imaging during this visit. Physicians have relied on computerized axial tomography scans (CAT) for years. Today, many dentists rely on 3D imaging scans to provide a detailed view of the mouth and skull. 3D scans are quick and straightforward to perform. A Cone Beam Imaging System is at the heart of the 3D scanner. The cone beam is used to take hundreds of pictures of the face. These pictures are used to compile an exact 3D image of the face and jaw’s inner mechanisms.


Surgery

After the initial consultation, you are scheduled for surgery implantation, where the dentist will place the actual dental implants, and the new teeth are fitted and adjusted. While these won’t be your final implants, you will leave our offices after this visit with beautiful, fixed, functional teeth.


Follow-Up Appointment

After 3-6 months, when the implants are fused to the natural bone, the dentist will take new impressions of your mouth and prepare a final, stronger, permanent set of teeth adjusted to a perfect fit. This approach helps ensure that the teeth will last for decades and provide maximum support, beauty, and function to the patient.


Specialist Care

Dental implants fall into the category of restoration dentistry and have their own subcategory called implantology. Implant surgery can be done by a periodontist, a dentist, or a dentist with advanced implantology training. Because of the specialist training necessary to perform the procedure, it’s common for the dental professional to charge a higher fee than other services.


General Anesthetic

Some patients may choose to undergo a general anesthetic during the dental implant procedure, meaning the patient is asleep for the whole procedure. This approach is more expensive and requires an anesthesiologist to be present for the entire surgery. It’s more common to perform the procedure using a local anesthetic, meaning the areas the dentist is working on are numbed, but the patient is awake. Some patients might be too nervous during the procedure if they are awake. If this is a problem, you should consider asking for a sedative to ease your anxiety if you’ll be under local anesthetic.


Bone Grafts

Patients who have lost a lot of bone may also require bone grafts. Bone grafts are performed in a separate procedure, several months before the implant is placed, and will require several months to heal and for the graft to fuse into the regular bone. This extra procedure will, of course, mean additional costs. This also means you won't be able to have the procedure done in one trip since the graft will take time to grow into the bone, and you need to allow tissues to heal.


Teeth Location

Which teeth are being replaced also influences the cost of treatment. Front teeth are much more challenging for the surgeon to work on and require more skill to make the implant look like a natural tooth. As a rule, visible teeth tend to be more expensive, and the surgery tends to be longer.

Dental Implants Are More Cost-Effective in the Long Run

While more expensive than dentures, dental implants are the more cost-effective option for dental restoration, and provide a more natural, secure, longer-lasting solution. Other options, such as a tooth-supported bridge, have a limited lifespan and must be replaced. The American Dental Association reports that the average bridge must be replaced every 10.1 years. However, clinical studies have shown that implant-supported crowns (like we're discussing here) are effective at 20+ years in 95% of cases.


This study shows a 98.8% 10-year survival rate of dental implants, which means the implants will almost certainly outlast bridges. Other studies have shown the effectiveness of dental implants in the shorter term. This Swedish study showed a 98.2% survival rate of the implant (Not for patients; there were no fatalities reported in the study!) over 32 months with the immediately loaded implants. Implants may be more expensive up-front, but over time their superior value and lifespan mean you'll be saving money in the long run.


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© 2022 Trinity Dental Arts. All rights reserved.