When a tooth is extracted or missing, you'll need to replace it for function, cosmetics, and comfort.
Dental implants are biocompatible screws that are anchored into the jawbone. They are attached to abutment posts and a natural-looking crown.
The result of a dental implant is the most natural and comfortable replacement for an actual tooth.
An implant also provides a strong foundation for fixed and removable prosthetics. An implant screw must be made from a biocompatible material for high success rates, or the bone could reject it and osseointegration will fail.
Most implants are made from titanium because it is corrosion-resistant, stable, and lightweight.
Discount dental plans can save you money on procedures that insurance can't (including cosmetic procedures). Learn more about dental discount plans here.
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In general, a dental implant procedure consists of the following steps:
There are a few different types of dental implants available. The type you need depends on how many teeth are missing, your bone condition, your dentist's location, and the overall cost.
A single dental implant is ideal when one tooth is missing and you want to replace it for esthetics, comfort, and function. Single implants require one dental crown that connects to the implant screw.
Treatment can span up to 6 months (depending on your medical and dental history). It also depends on if you need any bone grafting for additional support. A patient should have healthy gums and strong bones to support and sustain a dental implant.
The average cost of a single tooth implant can range from $3,000 to $4,000. Remember, there may be additional costs for bone grafts, the dental abutment, and the dental crown. This can cost up to $2,000.
Implant-supported bridges are ideal for people with several missing teeth. The implant acts as an anchor for the bridge (instead of a natural tooth).
A fixed dental bridge restores function by preventing other teeth from moving. It also improves eating and speaking functions.
An implant-supported bridge can be costly. The total cost depends on the size of the dental bridge and the number of implants needed.
Typically, an implant-supported bridge can cost $5,000 to $16,000 for more complicated and longer bridges.
Missing teeth require some type of restorative replacement. A dental implant provides greater stability, security, and comfort than many other options.
For those who fear an appliance from slipping, you may be a candidate for an implant-supported partial or full denture. This will ensure greater stability and more comfort while eating and speaking.
An implant-retained denture can help replace missing teeth. It also helps support the jaw bone and maintain a youthful appearance.
For many people, it is more comfortable and stable for the denture to rest on the implants. This reduces gum pressure.
If you are planning to get an implant-retained denture, it can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000. The cost depends on the quality of the denture, the number and type of implants, and the dentist’s location.
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An alternative to an implant-retained denture is a 3-on-6 implant. It consists of three individual dental bridges attached to six dental implants.
Since there are little to no acrylic “gums,” the 3-on-6 gives a natural appearance. This type of implant functions well because it distributes biting forces equally.
3-on-6 implants can range from $10,000 to $15,000 per arch.
All-on-4 implants are recommended when a patient is looking for a secure solution for many missing teeth. This solution restores your entire upper or lower jaw (or both arches).
This is a permanent restoration. However, the overdenture can be removed for cleaning and dental exams.
It is a single unit that may feel bulky because of excess acrylic used. It is generally less expensive than individual implants.
The average cost of all-on-4 implants ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 (per arch).
There is usually a wide cost range for several reasons, including:
Traditionally, insurance will not fully cover dental implants because they are considered cosmetic procedures.
While dental insurance will rarely cover an implant, they will typically cover related costs like:
Fortunately, there are several finance options available for those without any dental insurance. Many dental discount plans offer major savings on expensive dental treatments.
Care Credit and Lending Club offers a payment service similar to a credit card used for medical and dental treatments. They help finance expensive services not covered by insurance.
Many dental universities have programs that offer affordable care. This care is provided by students under the supervision of experienced dentists.
Many dental offices also offer flexible payment plans to help offset the expensive cost of implants.
Luckily for many people, there are plenty of ways to help make dental implants affordable. With enough research, you can find popular and reputable financing solutions to afford your implants.
There are three main factors that can affect the cost of dental implants, including:
Discount dental plans are a great way to save money on dental implant treatment. Instead of paying for insurance every year, you will receive discounts on the dental treatments you need without an annual limit.
Members pay one low annual fee and receive access to a network of dentists who offer reduced rates to members. No approvals or claim forms are required to sign up. You will simply take your ID card to the dentist and save on services.
Another way to save on implants is to undergo the procedure at an accredited dental school.
In the U.S. and around the world, many university dental programs offer discounted dental services. The public can visit these on-campus clinics to receive treatment from current dental students. Professional dentists check each step in the process during treatment. Supervision ensures the dental student does everything “by the book.”
If you take care of your replacement tooth and practice good oral hygiene, it can last anywhere between 15 and 25 years, sometimes longer. Some people get their implants replaced earlier due to cosmetic reasons.
Kathleen Manuela D'Souza, Meena Ajay Aras; Types of Implant Surgical Guides in Dentistry: A Review. J Oral Implantol 20 October 2012; 38 (5): 643–652. doi: https://doi.org/10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-11-00018
Quirynen M, De Soete M, van Steenberghe D. Infectious risks for oral implants: a review of the literature. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2002;13(1):1-19 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11366189_Quirynen_M_De_Soete_M_van_Steenberghe
Hollins, Carole. Basic Guide to Dental Procedures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.
Misch, Carl E. Dental Implant Prosthetics - E-Book. Mosby, 2014.
Syrbu, John DDS. The Complete Pre-Dental Guide to Modern Dentistry. 2013.
“Types of Implants and Techniques.” American Academy of Implant Dentistry, www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/types-of-implants-and-techniques/.