Losing a tooth can obviously be a very negative experience, both emotionally and financially.
If a dental implant is an option you are considering, you need to understand the process and just how much that implant might set you back before making a decision.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
A single procedure can cost between $1,500 and $6,000. Seems a bit steep but consider the positives. A dental implant can last over 30 years. They resemble your natural teeth. They are generally trouble free. They help to keep your jaw from weakening. If you have several teeth missing in the same location, you can get a crown that replaces all of them and is far stronger than a partial denture or bridge. No healthy teeth will be damaged by filing when getting a dental implant, unlike some bridges or dentures.
How Do Dental Implants Compare?
The very best dentures cost between $2,000 to $4,000 per denture or $4,000 to $8,000 for a complete set. You can get less expensive ones, but you get what you pay for. In general, you can expect to replace your dentures every five to ten years. Dentures won’t improve the health of your jaw. You do need to remove them every night and you may not like how you look without teeth. Many people experience slips and it can be really embarrassing to slur words or have your teeth fall out when laughing.
Bridges run from $2,000 to $15,000 depending on how many and what type you choose. Bridges are crowns that are cemented to existing teeth. They look like real teeth but don’t improve jaw health. Perfectly healthy teeth next to the missing teeth are filed down. Those teeth will have crowns made and cemented to them to act as part of the bridge. With proper care, bridges last about 15 years.
When you compare price to longevity and overall health concerns, dental implants are far more economical.
Will My Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Despite dental health being an important component to your overall health, neither dental nor medical insurance regularly covers dental implants. Insurance may or may not cover bridges and may cover up to 50% of dentures. Talk to your insurance carrier to determine if your procedure is covered.
If you think dental implants are in your future, look into dental indemnity insurance or dental discount program to help you cover costs. It’s not perfect, but it might help you achieve good oral health and through that, better overall health.
I’ve Found Cheaper Implants
As you search on the internet, you might find cheaper dental implants. Before you opt for cheaper, check into what exactly is covered. Dental implants are a multi-step, five- or six-month process. Your dental implant should address costs for:
- a comprehensive dental exam with x-rays and 3-D images
- models of your teeth and jaws
- removal of damaged tooth
- bone grafting if your jaw is not hard or thick enough
- dental implant surgery with sedation or anesthetic costs
- optional temporary denture
- abutment placement
- replacement crafting
- setting the final replacement
You may not need grafting or sedation or the optional temporary denture, and that may lower your costs. Also ask about costs if the graft or implant doesn’t take. A one-cost-fits-all may turn out to be more expensive than ala carte billing, so get a quote both ways
You also need to check out the dentist’s credentials. There is voluntary credentialing through the American Academy of Implant Dentistry or talk to a trusted general dentist for a recommendation.
If dental implants sound like something would want, start your search online. You can find a dentist, check credentials, learn about supplemental insurance, and see if financing is available. Don’t give up – you deserve a great smile.