When a new patients calls our office, the first question that is often asked is how much our dental implants cost. The cost of dental implants has been a topic of conversation for most patients looking for teeth replacement options. As once dental bridges were the primary options for a fixed tooth replacement options, dental implants have taken the mantle, and are now recognized universally as a better option to restore your missing gaps.
The good news is, dental implants are now more affordable than ever, especially since our team provides them at some of the best prices seen in and around the greater Houston area. In this article, we are going to tackle what dental implants are, the different types of implants, their costs, and why they tend to be so expensive in comparison to other dental procedures.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium rod that is inserted into your jawbone. The rod mimics the roots of your teeth, and takes a few months after its placement to chemically fuse with your bone tissue. One the integration process between the implant and bone tissue is completed, your dentist will begin to take impressions to make a crown that sits on top of the screw portion of the implant. This implant crown can either be screwed into the implant or cemented onto an abutment that connects the implant and crown.
Dental implants have also been used to help denture patients function and stabilize their restorations. Whether it’s a snap-on-denture or an All-On-4® Denture, patients can now feel confident in their ability to chew and function once again without the worry of their denture falling our of their mouth.
What is the cost of a single dental implant?
The average cost of one dental implant is $3,500. This price includes the abutment and the crown that is involved in the implant restoration process. Prices may vary based on the treating dentist, the geographic location, and whether or not a surgeon is placing your dental implant.
Factors that determine dental implant costs
- The treating dentist: Some dentists tend to be more expensive than others in your local area. Some dentists portray themselves as ‘cosmetic dentists’, and they tend to charge more for their implants than a traditional family dentist. These cosmetic dentists tend to use higher end labs to construct implant crowns that look more natural. These labs charge more, and hence most family dentists (wanting to keep their business overhead low) use labs that charge them less. Cosmetic dentists may also use a dental implant system that is more expensive to purchase. All these factors lead to them charging more for their implant therapy than others in the area.
- Geographic Location: Dentists in major metropolitan cities (Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York) will charge more for their dental implants that dentists is small rural areas. The reason for this is the household income for those in major cities is higher, and hence dentists are able to charge more for their services in these cities in comparison to rural areas.
- Oral Surgeon dental implant placement: Dental surgeons tend to charge a lot more for their implant placements versus general dentists. The reason for this is unclear, but since they deem themselves surgical specialists, expect to pay 50% more for your dental implant placement if placed by a dental surgeon.
Why do dental implants cost so much?
There are a variety of factors why dental implants cost so much. It’s not always your dentist trying to gouge you with their prices. The overhead of dental implant therapy can be quite steep:
- Supply costs: Their are numerous parts involved to place and restore a dental implant. Some of these include the implant rod, cover screw, healing abutment, impression coping, and analog. These are all parts that cost your dentist money to purchase, and are what drives the price for dental implant therapy so high.
- Lab costs: Labs tend to charge dentist anywhere between $250-$600 on the fabrication of an implant crown. Considering the high prices already incurred by the supply list mentioned, a $500 lab fee continues to pile on the overhead that your dentist faces when restoring your dental implant.
- Office cost and chair time: Your dentist also has daily expenditures. Paying staff (including dental assistants), and the cost of having the patient in the chair for multiple hours for a single dental implant cuts down on any profit he or she will make from the procedure.
Are dental implants worth the cost?
The answer to this question ultimately comes down to you. How important is functioning, and being able to chew your food properly? We always tell our patients that dental implants are an investment. Not only do they provide functional and cosmetic benefits; but they also help with providing better systemic health and a greater mental well-being for our patients. These alone can save you so much money down the road.
Also, remember that dental implants can prevent your jawbone from eroding; a common occurrence that is seen in most traditional denture patients. Because the implant rods act like roots, they help preserve the structure of your bone tissue, preventing that droopy smile that most people dread as they get older.
Will dental insurance help lower implant costs?
Many dental insurance plans are now helping their clients cover their dental implants at a portion of the cost. Some plans cover up to 50% of your dental implant therapy. Check with your insurance carrier to see if dental implants are a covered procedure or not. If they are, you might find the price drop quite a bit for your treatment.
Can dental financing help me with my dental implant treatment?
Absolutely. Many dentists provide third party financing with companies like CareCredit® and Lending Club, allowing their patients to pay a small monthly fee at a 0% interest rate for up to 18 months. Ask your dental provider about financing options that he or she may have in store for you.
See Also: Dental Implant Financing
We hope this article shed some light on the cost of dental implant therapy. It’s always prudent to check with your dental team to see what their prices are, and what financing options you ultimately may have to move forward with your treatment. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team by phone or text at (281) 762-0637.