Dental Implants: Cost and Health Benefits
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
"How much do dental implants cost?" This is one of the first questions we get asked when a potential patient calls to schedule an appointment. The answer is...it depends (ask about our current special)! There are quite a few factors that go into the cost of a dental implant, including how many you need and if your case will require additional procedures.
That being said, we like to be transparent with our patients, so today, we're going to discuss the cost of dental implants, the treatment processes, and the health benefits of getting a dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
First things first. In order to talk about the cost of a dental implant, you'll need to understand everything involved. What most people don't realize is that there are three parts to an implant: the implant itself, the abutment, and the implant crown. We like to let our patients know this so that if you are comparing prices, you know how to compare apples to apples. (We find that people have gotten very low quotes for "implants," only to realize that the price only included the actual implant - which is useless on its own!)
The dental implant is the part that goes into the bone. They look like small screws with threads that will eventually integrate into the bone. The abutment is a small piece that connects the dental implant to the final piece, the implant crown.
For more information about the implant process, check out our previous article here.
How much does a dental implant cost?
Before we jump into the costs of an implant, understand that a dental implant is an investment. Think about how many times you use your teeth every day. You use them to eat, of course, but they also play an important role in speaking. Your oral health - which is not limited to dental implants - is an investment. The good news is, dental implants can last a lifetime!
OK, let's talk numbers. The cost of a dental implant, abutment, and crown is typically between $3000 - $4500 (ask about our special offer). That is the cost to replace a single tooth. There may be other costs involved in treatment.
This could include:
Some people need more than one implant. If several teeth are missing in one area, an implant bridge is one way to replace several teeth without paying the full cost for single implants. For example, if you're missing three teeth, all next to each other, you could have two dental implants placed on either side and then one implant bridge unit that sits on the implants to replace all three teeth. In this case, you'd have two dental implants and one bridge instead of three single units. This would bring your cost down from about $15,000 to around $5000.
Now let's talk about one more popular option, implant-retained dentures. Dentures do not always stay in that well by themselves, so some patients choose to have implants placed that connect to the dentures. They can still be removable, but they snap into place, giving them much more stability. There are a few ways to go about implant-retained dentures. One popular method is the "All-on-4" treatment, which ranges in cost from $25,000 to $50,000.
The only way to get an accurate estimate for a dental implant (or multiple implants) is to have a consultation. During your consultation, your dentist will evaluate the area and be able to determine which procedures will be involved in your case. Once we create your treatment plan, we can discuss payment options, including how to best utilize your dental insurance benefits.
Does dental insurance cover implants?
Not too long ago, implants were considered elective and were not covered by most insurance plans. Now, more and more dental insurance companies are including dental implants in their coverage and benefits. That being said, even the ones that have coverage may not include coverage for every procedure involved. For instance, many plans are still not paying for the 3D scan, bone graft, and membrane that are all routine parts of implant placement.
Another thing to consider is your plan's annual maximum. Most insurance plans have a yearly maximum of $1000 to $1500. We've already said that a single dental implant cant cost up to $4500. If you have insurance with a $1000 limit, you still have a fair amount of out-of-pocket cost.
Dental insurance will likely never pay 100% of an implant.
The good news is dental implants require a process that can be stretched out over several months. After the initial placement of the implant, you'll need to wait about 2-3 months for the abutment and crown. This helps spread the cost out over time. It's even possible to spread the cost between two benefit years for your insurance. This means that if you have a $1000 max one year and another $1000 the next, you may be able to spread treatment out to get the benefit in both years. This does require some careful planning by you and your dentist and may not always be possible in every case.
Our office offers several payment options. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) are a great way to pay for dental implants. We also offer CareCredit for up to 12 months interest-free!
What are the health benefits of an implant?
The health benefits of a dental implant are numerous! A dental implant provides immediate health benefits as well as long-term ones.
The most obvious health benefit of a dental implant is that it restores your chewing ability. Just one single implant can change the way you are able to chew, and patients who have implant-retained dentures can see even greater benefits. Let's talk about that a little more.
Traditional dentures do not allow you to eat all the things you'd like. They make eating healthy foods especially difficult. Which do you think is easier to eat with dentures: mashed potatoes or chicken breast? If you have a set of dentures that makes eating healthy foods nearly impossible, your overall health could begin to deteriorate due to a lack of good nutrition. This is one of the long-term health benefits of dental implants!
Dental implants also help with jaw bone retention. Once a tooth has been extracted, the body knows that bone is no longer needed in that area. The nerves and blood supply to the tooth are gone, so there is nothing keeping the bone there. Over a long period of time (and sometimes even a very short period of time), the bone deteriorates. The first problem this creates is that once enough bone is missing, implants are no longer an option. Enough bone deterioration can also change the shape of your face. Your jaw will begin to have a sunken shape, and any remaining teeth may become mobile.
If you're thinking about dental implants, give our office a call. We'd be happy to answer your questions and schedule you for a complimentary consultation.
If you have questions about dental implants, call us today 706-658-2383. If you have any additional questions about your oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Traditions Dental. To learn more about Traditions Dental visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to follow us on social media on IG @traditionsdental and Facebook @traditionsdental.