Inevitably, once you decide that you would like to proceed with your treatment, a key question will be how much will it cost? Since dental implants are not covered by most dental insurance plans, it will seem like a large investment in your smile.
There is a lot of misleading information about cost online, for example some dentists highlight the cost of placing an implant, but then charge extra for the crown, abutment, and other aspects of treatment. You may also need extra procedures like bone grafting or soft tissue (gum) augmentation all of which cost extra.
These hidden charges are misleading and confusing to patients. Ask for a treatment plan and full cost to be provided.
Why are implants more expensive than other alternatives?
Dental implants are expensive to produce and ongoing clinical research helps to continuously improve the materials and treatments. The best dentists use the highest quality implant systems to ensure that their patients receive reliable solutions that provide great, long-term results. Also, highly skilled dental laboratory technicians create custom, natural-looking ceramic teeth that are placed onto the abutments resulting in a natural looking smile. Your dental practice may have its own dental laboratory or may work with a commercial dental lab.
As shown on the illustration below, although the overall cost of an implant is initially more than a three-unit bridge, over time it proves to be the better financial choice, after 7 years on average. A three-unit bridge is a common alternative therapy where the dentist removes all the enamel from the adjacent teeth and then cements a prosthetic metal and or ceramic construction on top in order to fill in the gap. Bridges frequently require ongoing adjustment and eventual replacement, as the teeth that were prepared decay, sometimes requiring endodontic root canal therapy, or simply succumb to the additional force that is now being applied during chewing motion. Finally, a bridge cannot preserve the bone in the same way that implants do.
Data from the US Dental survey in 2008 JP Morgan
Your dentist will complete a full examination in order to prepare your treatment plan. This examination may be free of charge, or chargeable, or may be deducted off the cost of your treatment.