When it comes to your tooth replacement options, a dental implant is designed not only to look but also to feel like your real tooth. Many people with a missing tooth ultimately ask how much it costs to replace a single tooth with a dental implant.
We invite you to keep reading to find out how much you should expect to spend on one single dental implant.
What are dental implants?
In a nutshell, dental implants are an investment. Despite great improvements in dental care, tens of millions of Americans suffer tooth loss mostly because of injury, periodontal disease, or tooth decay.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a strong and permanent foundation for fixed, replacement teeth.
On the surface, dental implants look very expensive, especially when they are compared to alternative methods of tooth replacement, like bridges and dentures.
However, these two have to be replaced or repaired every five to ten years, which can quickly outstrip the costs of choosing the implants that can last a lifetime, as long as you take proper care.
Dental implants have become a new standard in tooth replacement. Wondering why so? Because they function, feel, and fit like natural teeth. But what exactly makes a dental implant feel secure and comfortable?
The answer lies in a titanium implant fixture that, over time, starts fusing to the living bone cells of your jaw (a process known as osseointegration). This new union forms a durable and sturdy anchor for a new tooth.
A dental implant usually has three parts:
1. The implant
A screw that serves as a root for brand new teeth. This screw is what the dentist will permanently attach to your jaw.
2. The abutment
A permanent connector that holds and supports a single toot or set of teeth. However, it can be removed but only by a doctor.
3. The crown
The crown, also known as the prosthetic tooth, is the part of the tooth others can see. The crown is usually made of porcelain or zirconium for good looks and durability.
How much does a single tooth implant cost?
Let’s make one thing crystal clear. Every case is unique, but generally speaking, a single tooth implant can cost, according to the AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry), the average cost of a single dental implant ranges from $3,000-$4,500.
Note that this price range takes into account the other necessary services for a single tooth implant to become completely functional, such as:
- Implant placement surgery
- The cost of tooth/root extraction (if needed)
- Bone Grafting (if needed)
- Sinus Lifting (if needed)
- Pre/post op care
- The abutment
- And final restoration
Once again, since dental implant treatments are customized, the cost per tooth implant can vary – that’s why you often see in dental advertisements phrases like “starting from.”
For example, if you have lost bone mass in your jaw, you will likely need a bone graft, which adds to the cost.
Are dental implants more expensive for missing front teeth?
Front teeth, or incisors, are lost less often than molars. However, missing front teeth reduces your ability to chew. Not to mention it is also an aesthetic issue.
In most, if not all, cases, the front teeth dental implant cost will be slightly higher due to the complexity of matching the shade and other small adjustments necessary to make your smile perfect.
One particular thing also affects the final price. Placing dental implants require plenty of healthy jawbone for support, but front teeth have less bone weight compared to the back teeth, which is why sometimes dentist must take detailed images (cat scan) to see if you need a bone graft to strengthen the jaw before the procedure can start.
This means that price of a dental implant for missing front teeth can surpass even $5,000.
Alternatives to dental implants
When it comes to tooth replacement options, the vast majority of people agree that dental implants are a superior solution.
However, everyone is different, and for some patients, they are not the best choice. If you need a tooth replacement, it is vital to understand all of your possible options out there.
Let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to dental implants.
1. Dental Bridges
Before the advent of dental implants, bridges were the number one fixed tooth replacement option for people with missing teeth. The downside with dental bridges is that healthy tooth structure has to be removed adjacent to the missing site in order for you to get your tooth replaced. Also, since they are one unit, flossing becomes a nuisance and the use of a floss threader becomes necessary.
2. Mini implants
MDIs (Mini Dental Implants) are smaller in diameter compared to traditional implants. They are less than 3mm in diameter, whereas traditional ones are up to twice as large.
Mini implants are generally used to secure a complete lower or upper dentures, or when there is a small space that needs to be permanently restored. They are for patients who are not fit for traditional implants; due to lack of bone support or spacing issues.
3. Partial dentures
Partial dentures are often the cheapest way to replace your missing teeth, but one of the biggest problems is that they are removable. Many patients are not comfortable with the idea of taking their teeth out at night.
Also, since gums will start moving over time, the partial dentures will not stand and fit as well as they did when they were placed.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
There are a number of advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance
- Improved comfort
- Improved speech
- Improved self esteem
- Improved oral health
- Easier eating
- Money saving in the long run
- Ability to floss normally unlike dental bridges
- Fixed restoration that does not need to be removed
The last word on dental implants
Getting a dental implant can be a valuable investment in your oral health, and now that you have a better understanding of a single tooth implant cost, all you have to do is find a good dentist who will advise you on what solution is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you put to sleep for a dental implant?
Although you can choose to be put under general anesthesia for your dental implant surgery, most patients opt to have their dental implant placed with local anesthesia. The procedure is not as cumbersome as a tooth extraction, and the healing process tends to be a lot smoother.
Do dental implants hurt?
If the proper clinician is undertaking your case, the dental implant placement and restoration procedures should not be painful at all. Local anesthesia will be applied to eliminate the pain from your treatment.
Do dental implants hurt more than tooth extractions?
The dental implant surgery procedure is often times less painful than a tooth extraction, and a lot more comfortable. Hence the reason why so many patients are awake during the procedure.