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Missing teeth is a common problem in the United States. In fact, research shows that most adults between the ages of 45 to 64 are missing 5 teeth and, among the 65+ population, around 18% are missing all of their natural teeth.
At A Dental Care, one of the most common ways to replace missing teeth is dental implants, which is an artificially rooted tooth permanently attached to your jaw. A dental implant has three parts
• Implant body: metal screw inserted into jawbone, acts as a tooth root- typically made of titanium
• Abutment: metal piece joining the root/implant and prosthetic tooth
• Crown: prosthetic tooth
In this article, we’ll discuss the various costs associated with dental implants. After all, we want you to be fully informed and not caught off guard when you get the bill.
Dental implants range from $3,500 to $6,700- with an average of about $4,800 for an implant with a porcelain crown. This covers the surgery and the implant itself. A full set of implants costs between $43,000 and $56,000.
Implants are typically made of titanium, but there is a newer option- a one-piece made of zirconia, which is a form of ceramic. These cost a few hundred more than a titanium implant will.
The price of the implants includes the implant itself as well as the procedure, which can be complex. From start to finish, dental implants usually take several months.
Typically, the process starts with a consultation and exam. Once you’ve decided to move forward with the procedure, the treatment can be done by administering local anesthesia or under IV sedation ( twilight anesthesia).
In the space where the tooth was, the screw-shaped implant will be placed into the jawbone. This is an endosteal implant and the goal is for your jawbone to fuse & integrate with the implant.
Once the implant site has healed for about 3-5months , we’ll schedule your appointment to have the abutment attached to the implant body, which is a post that will act as an anchor for the prosthetic tooth.
Next, the lab will create a crown- typically made of porcelain or ceramic or Zirconia – that matches the color of your natural teeth. Once the crown is ready, you’ll come back for a final appointment to have it attached to the abutment.
In addition to the cost of the surgery and the implant, you may incur other expenses as well:
Though they are expensive, most patients agree that dental implants are worth it. When you have missing teeth, chewing can be difficult. Plus, neighboring teeth may shift into the open space, causing misalignment.
If you already have another replacement, such as dentures or bridges, getting dental implants can eliminate issues with talking and chewing- plus, implants are much more durable and will last longer than dentures.
On the other hand, if your body doesn’t heal very well, we may advise against dental implants. This is often the case for patients with low estrogen, diabetes, or leukemia. If you’re a smoker, we also recommend that you stop smoking as smoking increases your risk of implant failure.
While it’s true that problems arising from a loosened abutment or broken screw occur, they can typically be fixed. However, it’s important to note that failure does happen occasionally.
As with any dental procedure, there are advantages and disadvantages of dental implants:
When you come into the office for a consultation, we encourage you to ask any questions and bring up any concerns you have. Some of the common questions we get include:
There are options for paying less for dental implants. If there is a local dental school/clinic in your area, you may be able to get lower cost implants. Qualifying patients can get free dental care through the Dental Lifeline Network. Contact your state dental society for more resources.
Research shows that most implants last for 20 years or more. Practicing healthy oral hygiene and getting regular dental check-ups helps.
At A Dental Care, dental implants are one of the most common procedures to replace missing teeth. While the average cost is around $4,800 per tooth, it can vary based on a variety of factors. Private insurance may cover all of the procedure, but it may only cover certain aspects. You will want to speak with your insurance company to learn more about coverage. You do have other, less expensive options, but those typically require replacement, whereas a dental implant may last the rest of your life with proper care.