Do you have a gap in your smile? Missing teeth are more than just an aesthetic problem. In fact, they can increase the risk of gum infection, bite problems, and jawbone deterioration. Out of all the tooth replacement options available today, both dentists and patients agree that dental implants are the best when it comes to looks and longevity. That is why roughly half a million people restore their smiles with dental implants each year. Want to know if implants are right for you – and your wallet? Below are some of the main factors that influence the cost of dental implants.
#1: Number of Teeth You Need to Replace
Dental implants can be used to restore a single missing tooth, several missing teeth, or an entire dental arch. Naturally, a single dental implant typically costs less than an implant denture, which requires multiple implants to support a row of artificial teeth.
#2: Preliminary Treatments
Many patients need to undergo preliminary treatments before they can get dental implants. If you have a weak jawbone, for example, your dentist may recommend a bone graft procedure to strengthen the area around the planned implant site. Likewise, if you have gum disease, your dentist will first treat your infected gums before moving forward with implants. Preliminary treatments like these will add to your overall costs but are critical to the success of dental implants.
#3: Implant Materials
Titanium, a highly durable and biocompatible metal, is commonly used for dental implants. However, some dentists have started using zirconium as an alternative because its white color allows it to blend in with natural teeth. Ask your dentist which brand and material of implants he or she uses and what are the benefits.
#4: Location in Your Mouth
While every case is different, front teeth are usually more expensive to replace than back molars. This is because front teeth often require more care to match the angle of the patient’s jawline. Replacing front teeth with implants is also more complicated because there is less bone to work with at the front of the mouth.
#5: Placement Procedure
Many general dentists do not have the experience or expertise to place dental implants. Instead, they partner with local oral surgeons for this step of implant treatment. Choosing a dentist that can perform the entire implant treatment from start to finish can help you save time and streamline your costs.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
In general, dental insurance does not cover the cost of dental implants. However, you may be able to take advantage of your insurance benefits for certain preliminary treatments, like gum disease therapy or extractions.
Another option to make dental implants more affordable is CareCredit. A trusted dental financing organization, CareCredit enables qualified patients to break down the costs of implant treatment into manageable monthly payments. Many CareCredit plans come with little to no interest, meaning they can fit with almost any budget. Ask your dentist for more details.
When considering the factors that affect dental implant cost, don’t forget about the cost of NOT replacing your missing teeth. Having a complete smile is critical to preserving your oral health and overall quality of life.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Hochman has over 40 years of experience rebuilding patients’ smiles with high-quality dental restorations. Unlike many general dentists, he has the advanced training necessary to perform start-to-finish implant treatment himself. To learn more about the factors that influence the cost of dental implants, visit the La Plata Dental website or call 240-349-2439.