Most adults face the issue of tooth loss sometimes in life. Dental implants are becoming a popular option for permanent tooth replacement. It is effective, secure, and attractive; a fantastic option to bring a charming smile back on your face. However, the cost of dental implants is not affordable for all.
People who can afford the price of tooth implants can confidently avail of this permanent solution to your dental woes.
The statistics provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal, or tooth decay. According to a research report, 26% percent of adults will have lost all their permanent teeth by the age of 74.
People opting for dental implants are growing rapidly. Recent data shows that about 100,000-300,000 dental implants are placed per year in the U.S alone.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry report, the dental implant and prosthetic market in the U.S. are projected to reach $6.4 billion by 2018.
With the advent of advanced dental technologies and innovations, dental implant cost is also becoming affordable and cheap to some extent.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an excellent option for permanent tooth replacement.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line. On this titanium post, your dentist mounts the bridge or replacement teeth.
It is permanently fixed and does not come off like the dentures. While doing a single tooth implant, it does not have to be anchored to other teeth, unlike the bridges.
Dental implants are good for the following reasons:
- replaces your lost tooth
- permanently fixed
- comfortable like the natural teeth
- enhances your smile and appearance
- helps to keep other teeth intact
- get rid of your removable partial dentures and crowns
Implants can be done for a single tooth, several teeth, or a complete set of 32 dentures. Mostly, implants are done for replacing the root of one or a few missing teeth.
Implanting a tooth is an intensive procedure that requires time and a skilled expert to get the job done right.
The cost of teeth implants varies according to region and service charges in dental clinics.
What can you expect from a teeth implant?
Implanted tooth functions just like a natural tooth. The implant gives firm support to man-made teeth mounted on it.
While you chew or speak, the tooth or dentures fixed on the implant won’t shift or slip. It functions just like the natural roots of the teeth.
When you use implants to fill the area of the missing teeth, it prevents the jawbone from shrinking.
Using implants have good value for the money you spent on them because with good care they last for a lifetime.
Additional benefits you can expect from tooth implant are:
- It fills up the ugly gap in the gum caused by the loss of a tooth
- Improves your capacity to chew and enjoy your foods, especially if the implant is done for a missing molar tooth
- Improves the speaking defect usually caused by the missing tooth
- An implant can strengthen and support the natural teeth on both sides
- Prevents the bone loss that may occur beneath the missing tooth
- Lifts your sagging or deformed facial appearance by filling up the gap of the lost tooth
Dental implant cost
How much does a dental implant cost? This is the first question that comes to your mind when you think of implanting a tooth.
There are a couple of factors that influence the cost of a dental implant.
Going by the dental service catalogs of leading dental clinics in the U.S., the average cost of the dental implant is about $4250 for both the abutment and jaw implant. But the cost of an implant can range anywhere from $3,000 to $6000 depending on your dentist and location.
It is not affordable for all, especially if the patient does not have insurance coverage for the tooth implant.
In the UK, the average cost of a complete dental implant (including implant, abutment, and crown) is £2,000 to £2,500. European countries have dental implant prices similar to the U.K.
According to reports gathered from various sources, the average charges for dental implant cost in leading countries are:
- The United States of America – $4,250
- Canada – $4,000
- The United Kingdom – £2,500
- Australia – AUD 3,800
- China – 10,500 Chinese Yuan
- Thailand – 75,000 Thai Baht
- India – 50,000 Indian Rupees
- Philippines – 75,000 Philippine Pesos
When you do a dental implant for more than one tooth, it might cost you $3,000 per tooth. If you want to get rid of your dentures and want to do a full set of the implant the total cost will range from $35,000 to $90,000.
Let us consider that you intend to implant one of your lost teeth. It will cost you $2,000 for one implant, plus another $400 for the abutment, and another $2,000 for the crown; in total $4,400. In addition to this, some of the dental service centers may also charge you for x-rays, bone grafts, extractions, medication, and others.
Factors influencing the cost
The cost of dental services varies according to geographical location. Getting a tooth implant in the United States of America can be up to 5 times more costly than getting the same treatment in China or India.
Implanting involves a very lengthy procedure that requires more than 5 sittings/visits to the dentist. It can be done only by a well-trained implantologist, prosthodontist, or dental surgeon.
For implanting of a tooth, you have to visit the dentist several times for procedures like:
- pre-treatment sessions for counseling and medication
- grafting jaw bone for implants
- gingival graft (strengthening of weak gums)
- insertion of implant
- placement of the abutment
- placement of crown
- correction and aftercare procedures
The cost of the treatment largely depends on the following key factors: –
- Type of implant required (Endosteal or Subperiosteal)
- Number of teeth involved
- Type of material chosen
- Extra procedures involved (bone augmentation, sinus lift, ridge expansion, etc.)
- Design of the implant (3D imaging)
A well-experienced and reputed dentist may charge much higher than the others.
The extra facilities provided in the dental hospital may bring up the cost of the service.
Generic implants cost much less than specialty implants that use advanced dental technology and high-end materials.
The amount of service tax levied by the local government is also a deciding factor in the price of getting a tooth implanted.
Insurance coverage for implants
The majority of the dental insurance coverage does not cover implants as most of the insurance companies consider it as an elective procedure. However, a few insurance companies provide insurance coverage for implant crowns and dental surgeries.
In case you have lost your teeth in an accident or due to a disease, your health insurance policy may have a provision to assist you with some of the cost of an implant.
Dental discount plans
According to a New York Times report, joining a dental discount plan is a great way to save expenses on dental treatments. Some of the dental hospitals/clinics may offer you 10 to 40 percent off on dental implant prices.
While you join the discount offers by the dental clinics, see that discounts on implants are included in the offer. Another catch on discount offers is the waiting period before you can use the discount voucher.
Using a flexible spending account and EMI schemes
If you cannot afford the payment for implant and crown at one go, you may use the option of a flexible spending account. By this, you may use the assets from that account to pay a part of the cost in the first and second parts after a few months or the following year.
Using a flexible spending account works when you opt to put in the implant first and then covering it with a crown 6 to 14 weeks later. You can schedule the implant at the end of the calendar year and then receive your crown in the following year.
Some dental hospitals do have a flexible payment method of equated monthly installment (EMI) option which allows you to pay the bill in installments over a period of 12 months.
Reason for variations in cost different locations
Interestingly, the implant cost may vary by a significant amount from place to place. You may be paying for the treatment far from average.
There are a few factors that cause fluctuation in payments for dental treatments such as:
- Implant center is located in the town where building rents are very high
- Dentists may be purchasing implant material from a supplier who charges high prices
- Implant materials may be imported from another country that involves high import or export taxes
- The price of the implant treatment decreases when you have three or more teeth implants to be done simultaneously with an option for bridges
- The material used in implant metal post; zirconium or titanium
- The material used in making bridges and crowns such as ceramics, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, or base metal alloys
- The cost involved in other procedures like extraction of a tooth, bone grafting, or surgery
- High-end facilities and aftercare provided by the hospital
- Government taxes on dental services
- Highly reputed and experienced dental doctors (implantologist or prosthodontists) usually charge higher fees
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that a dental implant is going to cost you a big sum of money. In the U.S, the cost of replacing a lost tooth with implants ranges from $3,000 to $7,500.
It is costly because of the lengthy procedure and the high cost of materials used for the implant.
The placement of a dental implant is both art and science which can be well done by a talented and qualified dental doctor.