Can You Afford Dental Implants? 4 Things That Influence the Cost

Dental implants are widely recognized as a superior tooth replacement option when compared to other available tooth replacements, like dentures or bridges. However, many patients don't seriously consider implants because they believe the cost will be too high. What's the real deal behind dental implant costs? Take a look at what you need to know about the cost of dental implants and what influences that cost.

How Many Implants Do You Need?

Of course, the first thing to consider when calculating the cost of dental implants is how many implants you need. One implant to replace one tooth can cost between $3,000 and $4,500. However, that doesn't mean that you will need to pay that amount per tooth if you need several or all of your teeth replaced.

One implant can be used to support multiple teeth, and it can take as few as four implants to support an entire upper or lower jaw full of teeth. That means that even if you need several teeth replaced, the cost may not be as far out of reach as you once thought.

What Type of Implants Do You Want?

There are various brands and special types of implants, and what brand you choose or what type you need can make a difference in the cost. Make sure to consider the long-term costs as well as the short-term. Premium brands cost more, but they also come with a longer guarantee on the materials.

If the implant is meant to go into an unusually small space between two teeth, then you may need a smaller diameter implant than normal. If you're replacing a large molar, you may need an extra-wide diameter implant. These different diameters may cost more than typically-sized implants. Mini implants, which are smaller in size and are used to support dentures, or sometimes front teeth, are less expensive.

Do You Need Additional Procedures?

If you've been without teeth for some time, you may have experienced bone loss in your jaw, reducing your ability to support dental implants. If you've suffered from gum disease, your gums may have receded too far to cover the dental implants. Your dentist can fix these issues with a bone graft or gum graft, but that will add to the cost of the procedure.

A bone graft involves rebuilding the bone with a graft from your own bones or from a cadaver, cow, or synthetic bone. This procedure can cost between $250 and $3000 depending on which type of bone your dentist uses and whether it's a simple or complex graft. A gum graft involves taking tissue from the roof of your mouth to build up the gum tissue. This costs between $600 and $1200 for a small area.

How Motivated Are You to Find a Good Price?

You can't control how many implants you need or whether you need a bone graft, but there are many things you can do to ensure that you can get implants at an affordable price if you want them. If you have dental insurance, you should use it to help as much as possible. While dental implants themselves aren't usually covered by insurance, related procedures like gum or bone grafts often are. It can also be used to help pay for things like X-rays, CT scans, and extractions.

Dental discount programs often offer deep discounts on implants, and you may find that the savings justify the costs of joining a dental discount program. Spreading the work out over time can make it more affordable. Many dentists also offer financing, either on their own or through a third-party financer, which can make it easier to get the work you need and then pay it off over time.

Many patients find that dental implants were not as difficult to afford as they'd feared. Don't assume that you can't afford implants without thoroughly researching your options and talking it over with your dentist.