If you are missing a tooth, there are ways that your dentist can replace it. They may recommend using dentures or dental bridges. But one option that most dentists and dental patients alike choose is having dental implants. Dental implants are really well-liked as a missing tooth replacement option, and that is for a good reason. Not only does an implant look and function just like your real tooth, but it is also designed to last longer than other choices. But, despite the good things we know and hear about this restorative appliance, we all know that dental implant costs are high, that’s why some opt to choose differently. Let us discover more about what is included in dental implant costs, why it is so expensive, and there is a good reason for it.
Dental implant overview
To know how much a dental implant costs specifically, one has to know the components first.
A dental implant is typically made of 3 parts – a metal post that is surgically embedded to your gum and jaw to serve as the foundation, the connector called an abutment, and the crown that replaces the tooth itself. The material used to build the metal post is usually titanium, a biocompatible metal that is durable and sturdy. The abutment may also be titanium to fit the implant tightly. The crown may be made with porcelain or composite resin, depending on the color and budget of the patient.
Dental implant procedure
Now that you know the components of a dental implant, let’s have a brief background about the procedure.
A series of dental consultations would lead to a mutual decision from you and your dentist that tooth implants are the way to go. After all the preparation and treatment planning, there is the first surgery. This step involves surgically embedding the metal post to your gums and jawbone. There are different types of dental implants that either leave the end part of the implant over the gum so it’s easier to place the abutment or have the whole piece of metal post embedded inside. The dentist will wait a few months until the post fuses with the bone. When the postop wound is healed and the implant is stable, a second surgery is done to place the connector at the end of the implant. This is the part that will hold the fake tooth. Once that is finished, the dentist will then customize a crown that looks exactly as your lost tooth. It will have the same color, size, and texture to make the replacement flawlessly natural-looking. The dentist will then connect the crown to the implant using the abutment. Once your crown is placed, that is the end of the dental implant surgery procedure. You can now enjoy your newly-restored tooth as if nothing happened!
Dental implant costs
Now, you may wonder how much dental implant costs would be. You may have read so many write-ups and comments that say dental implant costs are really expensive but are they really? Let’s discuss what makes a dental implant cost, what factors affect the cost, and if the fees and expenditure match the value of the appliance.
The dental implant structure
The materials and tools that are used to make this dental appliance are of high quality and cost a lot to make. First, a piece of pure titanium is specifically shaped into a screw-like post so the implant can easily be fused to the jaw bone. Titanium may not be considered a very expensive metal, but the process of refining and crafting is. For the crown, dental implants involve having a customized crown to be placed on top of the titanium abutment. Because no two dental crowns can be the same, dentists cannot mass-produce the crowns into a one-size-fits-all. Each crown has to be distinctively prepared for each patient after the dentist evaluates their mouth and what kind of shape they require. And yes, the material used to make the crowns may not very expensive either, but the process of molding the crown to create a 3D model and then casting the crown is. So if you want your dental implants to cost less, you can cut corners with the materials to be used, but expect that the longevity, effectiveness, and quality of the implant are all affected.
The expertise of your dentist
Dental implant costs also include the fees associated with your dentist’s skill and proficiency in creating and securing the whole dental implant into your mouth. You may be using top-of-the-line materials, but if your dentist is not used to perform this dental surgery, chances of dental implant failure and other complications are high. Fixing the post and placing the crown over it are two very complex procedures, each requiring surgery. The dental implant procedure cannot be completed in one session only; it involves 2 to 3 surgical procedures, numerous imaging, and consultations in a span of months. A skilled dentist with enough experience in this process can perform all the steps accurately and precisely, so it is just fitting that their services be compensated accordingly.
Dental implant costs estimation
So, how much can dental implant costs reach? Well, let’s just say that you need to prepare a budget of at least $3000 to a whopping $30,000. It all depends on the following factors:
- How many teeth need to be replaced (a single tooth or all-in-4® implants)
- The expertise of your dentist
- The materials used (titanium implants or others; crowns made with porcelain, composite resin, or others)
- The location where you want to undergo your implant surgery (every location can impose different overhead expenditures and other miscellaneous fees)
- Your insurance coverage (if you have dental insurance that covers dental implant surgery)
- Your overall dental health (if you need additional procedures like bone grafts)
Now that you know what it takes to have a dental implant, you can now decide if this procedure is the one for you. Let us consider the benefits of this restorative dental appliance, and if they can outweigh the negatives, then you may want to think about getting them. So, the next time you have a tooth that is beyond repair or you lost a tooth in an accident, getting an implant to restore your beautiful smile might be the best option.