Of all the tooth replacement choices available, dental implants are the most costly. Paying for dental implants can be challenging because they are also rarely covered by dental insurance plans. However, more dental insurance plans are covering at least some of the cost of dental implants than they did about a decade ago. On average, it costs anywhere from $1500 to $2800 to replace a single tooth. The price range is so broad because there are many different factors associated with it.
The cost of purchasing the materials used in the surgery play a key role in what the patient pays. A dental implant is, simply put, a titanium device implanted in a patient's jawbone in order to attach an artificial tooth to. The materials themselves don't cost much at all. However, the laboratory costs associated with preparing the implant for the practitioner to use is what raises the price. These costs are dependent on the patient's individual needs associated with the quality of the surrounding tissue and bone the implant will be placed in.
The placement of dental implants is a very delicate process. If the implant is not positioned properly, it can lead to years of pain and general discomfort. The process of removing and replacing a poorly placed implant can destroy both tissue and bone and is quite expensive. The most expensive part is not the implant itself, but the surgery. If there has been any former damage to the gums or bone, the price of the surgery goes up significantly. The more experienced a dental surgeon is with this procedure, the less chance there is of anything going wrong.
The cost you can expect when paying for dental implants can vary depending on your location. Dental implants usually cost more in major cities. The difference is so notable that you might consider visiting another city to get dental implants if you're short on cash and, especially if your insurance doesn't cover dental implants.
Paying for Dental Implants
Although there are cheaper alternatives to dental implants, you have to take a few things into consideration. Let's say you lose one tooth and decide to have bridge work done. Take a few points into consideration:
- The procedure will cost almost as much as an implant does.
- The dentist will have to grind down the two adjacent teeth to form a support structure for the replacement tooth. This can lead to tooth decay and a need for a root canal in the future.
- The reason a lot of people opt for a bridge is because it's more convenient. Bridges are often times covered by insurance.
Dentures cost about $2000 to $4000 per plate and about $4000 to $8000 for a full set, depending on the quality. They don't last a lifetime, like implants have the potential to, and will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. They don't fit very securely in the mouth and offer very limited comfort when it comes to chewing your food.
Although dental implants can be expensive, they are worth the price when you consider how long they last. Dental implants are also often considered stronger than natural teeth and are fully functional.