Dental implants can be jaw-droppingly expensive. But how can you know if your dentist is charging a fair amount? Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of dental implants and some ways you can save money on them.
Single Tooth Implants
The total average cost for one dental implant is between $6,000 and $1,500. This is the out-of-pocket price; it doesn’t consider insurance or dental plans. This cost includes the surgery and other expenses, like the initial consultation.
If you’re missing say, two to four teeth, the average cost is between $3,000 and $30,000. This procedure is generally only performed on those who still have a healthy gumline and healthy teeth on either side of the open area. The cost will vary depending on how many teeth need to be replaced, and the location of those teeth.
Full Mouth Implants
Replacing all your teeth with a set of implant-supported dentures can cost between $7,000 and $90,000, with the average cost being $34,000. If you only need one of your plates replaced it can cost between $3,500 and $30,000. There can also be additional charges based on how many teeth need to be removed before the dentures are installed.
Why is the Price So High?
The main reason dental implants can cost so much is that the procedure requires both a dentist and a surgeon. You may also need several appointments to complete each step of the implant process. Here are some of the other factors that can lead to additional expenses:
X-Rays & CT Scans
To get an accurate picture of your teeth, a dentist will need to take an x-ray or a CT scan. These images form the foundation of dental surgery. Depending on how many images are required, a scan can cost between $25 and $200.
A bone graft is a procedure a bone or bone particles from another part of the body are taken out and placed in the jawbone. This is only needed for those whose jaws don’t have enough bone to support an implant. The cost of bone grafts can vary based on the source of the bone and how much is needed. The bone can come from a cadaver, a cow, or be grown in a lab. This process requires two additional surgeries and hospitalization. The average cost of a bone graft is between $2,000 and $3,000.
If you need any of your teeth removed before the implant is placed, that will cost extra. The cost of extraction will vary based on the length of the appointment and how difficult it is to remove the tooth. A wisdom tooth removal can cost between $75 and $200, while a non-surgical gum erupted tooth removal will cost between $75 and $300. A surgical tooth extraction, with anesthesia, will cost between $150 and $650, while soft-tissue removal or complicated surgeries can cost between $185 and $600.
Level of Experience
The best kind of professional for dental implants is a prosthodontist, someone who specializes in restoring or replacing teeth. A surgeon who’s still in dental school can cost an average of $500, while an experienced surgeon costs an average of $2,000. An implant procedure will also require an anesthesiologist, which can cost between $500 and $800 per hour.
There are three main pieces of a dental implant, the implant itself, the abutment (screws into the implant), and the crown (which attaches to the abutment). Implants can cost between $1,600 and $2,000, abutments between $275 and $450, and crowns between $1,000 and $3,000.
Getting a dental implant, or any sort of medical procedure, in the United States is often much more expensive than in other parts of the world. Countries with more advanced healthcare systems, like Australia, Thailand, or Mexico, can provide dental implants at a cheaper rate.
Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans allow you to get discounts on all your dental services with no yearly limit. To get one of these plans, visit the DentalPlans website, where you can pick what kind of plan you want and view participating dentists in your area.
Many healthcare plans don’t include dental, meaning people must pay for additional dental insurance. Dental insurance costs an average of $1,500 a year.
If you can travel to a dental school, you could sign up to have a dental student perform an implant procedure. There will, of course, be a certified professional overseeing the procedure.
If you need most or all your teeth replaced, you’ll probably need dentures, which can be expensive. An all-on-4 implant is a denture that requires only four implants, as opposed to 8-10. These can cost between $20,000 and $35,000.
If you and a group of people you know need dental care, you could receive a group discount. It can be any care, not just dental implants.
Crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe can help you raise money for medical expenses, including dental implants.
Paying for dental care with a monthly payment plan is possible. Since this goes directly to the dentist, it can be cheaper than going through insurance.
For both Medicare and Medicaid, dental care is not considered a priority. Medicare can help pay for some aspects of an emergency dental procedure. While Medicaid varies from state to state.
There are tooth replacement options that are cheaper than implants. These include dental bridges and partial dentures, these will last around fifteen years, and can be cleaned like natural teeth.