With millions of people all across the United States missing teeth, dental implants have come to the forefront of tooth replacement options. As they become more popular in comparison to dental bridges, some misconceptions about their costs should be cleared up. But before we delve in to their actual prices, we need to understand what dental implants actually are.
What are dental implants?
During one’s life, many people end up having their tooth removed or extracted either to to caries or significant periodontal (gum) disease. Once our tooth is lost, we lose some of our ability to chew and function properly. Our adjacent teeth begin to shift creating all sorts of biting issues for most people. Many years ago, as doctors and scientists began to try to find new ways to replacing teeth, a clinician named Per-Ingvar Brånemark came up with the idea of dental implants. A tooth implant is a screw-shaped metal rod made of pure titanium. This particular metal is freely accepted by the body, and it is the same metal that are used in hip-replacement and knee-replacement surgeries.
This metal rod is surgically inserted into you jawbone. After it’s inserted, a chemical bond is formed through a process called osseointegration. This process allows the fusion between the implant screw and your own bone tissue. This allows for a solid foundation where a dental crown can be fabricated and placed within the screw allow you to regain your chewing function. As technology has continued to advance, dental implants have become the most popular option to replace your missing teeth.
Are there any risk-factors for dental implants?
As your dentist reviews your medical history, there will usually be a few conditions that can lessen your chances of successfully replacing your teeth with dental implants:
- Osteoporosis: Patients have who osteoporosis are normally on medications called bisphosphonates. These drugs inhibit bone destroying cells in the body; cells that are necessary in the healing process after dental implant placement. Most times, your dentist or surgeon will not place a dental implant if you have had extensive use of these medications.
- Bone Cancer: Patients with various forms of bone cancers are also on injectable forms of bisphosphonate medications. In these instances, dental implant placement is contraindicated. Dental emergencies can take place if implants are placed in these patients, including possible jaw resection surgery.
- Smoking: Patients who smoke on a regular basis. Smoking can reduce chances of dental implant placement success due to the fact that they cause blood vessel reduction and breakdown, reducing the chances of proper healing after implant placement.
- Diabetes: Patients who suffer from type I and type II diabetes have a lower success rate of implant fusion than those without the disease. The success rate is even lower for those with uncontrolled diabetes.
What makes Dental Implants so popular?
One of the top reasons tooth implants have gained so much notoriety in recent years is the fact that your healthy teeth do not need to be grounded down like dental bridges. This is what has allowed implants to surpass bridges as far as popularity is concerned. The American Dental Association has noted that over 60 percent of adults over 40 years of age have lost at least one tooth in their lifetime. Regaining the ability to chew for these patients not only helps their oral health, but their overall health as well.
Besides an inability to chew properly, missing teeth can cause a myriad of health concerns including infections, bone loss, and a lower self-confidence which can contribute to depression.These implants help address these concerns in ways that traditional dentures and other removable appliances cannot.
What are some advantages of dental implants over dental bridges?
Some advantages of tooth implants over traditional dental bridges include:
- Dental Implants last longer than dental bridges.
- Are as stable as your natural teeth.
- The ability to floss in between dental implants versus dental bridges.
- Dental Implants look more natural than dental bridges.
- No need to grind down on your adjacent teeth.
How are dental implants placed?
The dental implant procedure requires a few steps:
- Tooth removal: If you are needing a tooth extraction, this will be the first step. Under local anesthesia or IV sedation, your tooth will be removed. This step is excluded if your tooth has already been extracted some time in the past.
- Bone Grafting: A dental bone graft will be needed if the site where the implant is to be placed is lacking sufficient bone tissue. A bone graft is when artificial bone particles are placed to help your won body to grow bone in that area. Once the bone graft is placed your dentist will want you to wait a minimum of 4 months until implant placement.
- Dental Implant Placement: After your bone grafting, your dental implant is surgically placed using electrical and hand instruments. Once it is placed your dentist will want you to wait a few more months for the integration process to be completed before they start working on your dental crown.
- Uncovery and healing abutment placement: Once the implant has healed, a second small surgery will be required. A small screw called a healing abutment is placed on top of the implant to help form the gum tissue structure where your dental crown be resting on.
- Final impression: After the uncovery phase is completed, and healed, your dentist will take an impression of your dental implant. This impression will allow the lab technician to fabricate your implant crown.
- Implant crown placement: This is when your implant crown is delivered. Your new implant crown will either be cemented on or screwed into position by your dentist.
How much do dental implants cost?
Pricing for dental implants can vary since the specific treatment can vary dramatically based on each patient’s specific needs. Some patients may need a tooth extracted or a bone grafting procedure, while other patients’ situations may allow them to skip these steps. So, there are a variety of factors that must be considered to determine how much it will cost to get dental implants and no two circumstances are alike. As dental implants continue gaining in popularity, there is a good chance that prices will continue to fall.
Moving into the 2020s, the average price of a dental implant is $4,000. This is for a single dental implant, abutment, and crown. If you are looking for prices of snap on dental implants or permanent dentures with implants, the chart below gives a complete breakdown of these costs.
Average Cost of Dental Implants
|Type of Dental Implant Treatment||Average Cost||Price Range||Our Price|
|Single Dental Implant (implant, abutment, and crown included)||$4,000||$2,500-$5,000||$1,999|
|All on 4 Dental Implants (upper and lower arch)||$55,000||$40,000-$65,000||$36,000|
|Snap on Dental Implants (upper and lower arch)||$15,000||$12,000-$20,000||$8,000|
If you are price shopping, be careful of all the false advertisements you see. Implants costing only $1,000 will only include the screw portion on most occasions. Remember that dental insurance can also help you with your costs, so ask that dentist if they accept your particular plan.
Will Dental Insurance help me cover my costs with dental implants?
Unfortunately, many dental plans do not cover dental implants and most are capped at the amount of coverage allowed each year. Most dental PPO plans cover implants at 50%, although even these plans cover only the crown portion of your implant. At the time of your treatment plan appointment, your benefits should be thoroughly broken down as far as what is and is not covered when it comes to your dental implant benefits. If your plan does happen to cover implants, then expect your costs to come down dramatically.
As dental technology advances, dental implants will continue to grow in popularity. The fact that they act much like your own teeth makes them a luxury for most patients, and allows them to regain their ability to chew and boost their self-confidence. Even though, most Dental Implants cost more than dental bridges, the long term benefits of dental implants cannot be ignored. What’s even better is that at Best Dental, our complete dental implant treatment (including the abutment and crown) is $1,999. Prices like this are even more affordable than dental bridges. If you are looking for a high quality, and low cost option for your dental implants, come visit our expert team today.