Dental Implants are often the best option available for replacing missing teeth, but they can come with a hefty price tag. Replacing missing teeth has many benefits on your health, including the ability to chew better, stop bone loss, smile normally and have self-confidence in public. Despite the high cost of dental implants, most implant patients agree they are a worthwhile investment.
Why are implants so expensive?
The first thing to understand is that comparing pricing for dental implants isn’t like comparing the price of a new car. A new car is an object that should be equivalent no matter which dealership it is purchased at. Dental implants, on the other hand, are a service in the form of dental treatment. Researching dental implant pricing is more like shopping around for a custom patio for your backyard. The cost of the patio will depend on the commitment and skill of the brick mason, the quality of the materials chosen, and even the condition of your backyard in the location where the patio will be built.
Material Costs for Dental Implants
An implant looks like a tiny metal screw, not so different in appearance from a screw you may find at the hardware store. So what’s the big deal? Implants are made of biocompatible titanium alloy that has been specially treated so that bone will grow to the surface (a process call osseointegration). It is very important that the implant form a strong bond to your jawbone. There are well over 100 different types of implants available. Some are supported by many years of rigorous clinical research and other types are “knockoff” brands that have no long term research at all. For this reason, there is a big difference in the cost of one brand of implant versus another. Our office uses Biohorizons implants, which are a high quality implants made in the USA that are backed by years of clinical research. We use only genuine components to ensure successful outcomes for our patients. In addition to the material cost of the implant itself, there is also the cost of the abutment and crown. The abutment is also typically made of titanium alloy, while the crown is made out of ceramic so that it looks and feels like a natural tooth.
Training and Skill
Implant surgery is not something that is taught in dental school. Your implant surgeon received some type of additional training in order to place dental implants. There are wide variations in the skill level of implant surgeons – just like there are wide variations in skill level of the craft-person that will design and build your patio. The doctors at our practice have received advanced residency training in implantology. Implant treatment is also a time investment on behalf of the dentist and the patient. Implants often require multiple visits over the course of many months. Just like for your patio, you would expect to pay the brick mason and his assistants for their time and skill.
The complexity, and therefore the cost, of dental implants often depends on the patient’s specific oral condition. Do you need a bone graft? Do you need a sinus lift? Can we take the tooth out and put the implant in on the same day or do we need to have two separate surgical procedures? Are there any health conditions affecting treatment? Do you want sedation? The only way to give an accurate assessment of cost is to do a thorough exam and take a CT scan of the patient. If you called a builder and asked, “How much does a patio cost?” there is no way they could give you an accurate quote without coming to your home and seeing what your yard looks like. What is the soil quality? Is the land flat or is it on a steep grade, etc?
Questions? Schedule a consultation.
If you have questions about dental implants – give us a call today. At your implant consult, one of our doctors will be able to discuss your individual scenario and provide an exact cost of your custom implant treatment.