What’s the Cost of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are far and away the best option in tooth replacement for just about anyone who has experienced tooth loss. They provide a truly comprehensive solution, giving back your missing tooth’s root as well as the visible crown, which other replacement methods just do not achieve. Of course, dental implants also cost more than alternatives like a fixed bridge or traditional denture -- but given their significant advantages, most patients end up deciding dental implants are worth the investment in the long run. And we could not agree more! Keep reading to learn more about the cost of dental implants from your implant dentist in Fort Worth, Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, DDS.
What Are the Parts of a Dental Implant?
In order to understand just what makes dental implants cost more than other replacement methods, it is important to know a bit more about what they are made of and how they work. Dental implants are small titanium posts that take the place of your missing tooth’s root structure, providing a sturdy foundation for a prosthetic tooth/teeth. Each post is surgically implanted beneath the gum line, where it spurs the growth of bone tissue and gradually becomes one with your jaw. After about four to six months, the recovery is complete and the replacement crown, partial denture, or complete denture can be affixed to a connecting abutment that is attached to the top of the dental implant post(s).
In all, the process for dental implants may take up to a year or even more to complete, with several dental appointments taking place in the meantime. A non implant-retained tooth replacement solution, by comparison, may be finished in just about two visits to the dentist’s office. Therefore, if we just consider the time it takes to get dental implants, it makes sense that this method would cost more than a fixed bridge or denture.
What Are the Factors Influencing the Price of Dental Implants?
There is no one-size-fits-all price tag for any dental implant procedure. Even if you know someone who has had dental implants, the cost of yours may vary quite a bit from what you have heard. In order to find out precisely what your dental implant procedure will cost, you should schedule a visit with your dentist to discuss your unique oral health situation. During this consultation, Dr. Gonzalez will consider the full range of factors that can influence the cost of dental implants. Four of these considerations include…
- The health and strength of your jaw. Because they actually grow together with the jaw, successful dental implants require plenty of healthy jaw bone structure for proper, sturdy anchoring. Patients who have had gum disease or who have been missing teeth for a long time may have experienced significant bone degeneration, which occurs after tooth loss. In these cases, a bone graft can increase volume in the area and improve your eligibility for successful dental implants. This preliminary procedure will also increase the total cost of your implant procedure.
- The location of the missing teeth. The price of dental implant placement may vary based on where in the jaw the teeth have gone missing from. Cosmetics are not of primary concern for those in the back of the smile, which can make molars and premolars less expensive to replace than those in the front of the smile. However, a sinus lift is a type of procedure that is often required before replacing the upper molars -- and needing this surgery will increase the price of your dental implant procedure.
- The material your dental implants are made out of. The vast majority of dental implant posts are made of biocompatible titanium, which is highly affordable and also successful in promoting the growth of bone tissue for sturdy, integrated dental implants. However, patients who have an allergy or sensitivity to metal may need an alternative to protect their oral and overall health. Zirconia and ceramic dental implant posts are available in these cases, but they come at a higher cost compared to traditional titanium dental implants.
- How many dental implant posts you require. Of course, the most significant factor affecting the cost of your implant procedure is how many posts will need to be placed. Each dental implant is individually priced, meaning more significant tooth loss comes at a higher replacement cost than just one or two teeth would. If you require the replacement of a full arch, though, you will not need an individual post for each missing tooth. A complete denture can be retained on as few as four dental implants. And sometimes, replacing a single crown with a dental implant can cost the same amount as a traditional fixed bridge.
- Your anesthesia and sedation requirements. Most of the time, dental implants can be placed with local anesthesia, which numbs the jaw, and perhaps additional sedation for settling nerves and anxiety. For more complex dental implant procedures, though, general anesthesia may be required -- and perhaps even in a hospital setting. This will increase the cost of your dental implant procedure.
How Can I Make Dental Implants More Affordable?
You should not have to make significant sacrifices to pay for high-quality dentistry. Once we have given you a close estimate of what you can expect to pay for your dental implants with all of the aforementioned factors considered, we can also begin discussing ways to finance your dental implant procedure. Most patients cannot pay for dental implants all at once or out of pocket. And unfortunately, the majority of dental insurance plans still fail to cover this comprehensive replacement -- despite the fact that dental implants are well regarded as the most effective method of replacing missing teeth. Instead, most dental insurance plans will require you to choose the least expensive alternative treatment (LEAT). For missing teeth, this usually means a fixed bridge or traditional denture -- options which just do not offer the stability and security of dental implants.
While we always want to help our patients make the most out of their investment in dental insurance, we also encourage decisions to be made based on what is in the best interest of your oral health rather than on what is covered by dental insurance. This is where financing options come into play!
The West 7th Smiles team accepts third-party financing through the following groups:
- Springstone, which allows you to finance as much or as little of your dental treatment as you want. Make low monthly payments on any treatment you are interested in, from dental implants to dazzling teeth whitening and more -- without having to suffer a big blow to your budget all at once.
- CareCredit, which works like a medical credit card you swipe at the time of treatment. You can then make convenient payments at the predetermined pace that suits your budget best. It only takes a few minutes to find out whether or not you are approved for CareCredit, and you can start using it almost immediately!
Even better, after you are a member you can use Springstone and CareCredit on any treatment you wish, including services in cosmetic, preventive, and restorative dentistry. That’s a big benefit for your budget!
In addition to working with dental insurance, Springstone, and CareCredit financing, we also accept payment with cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Where to Find Out What Your Dental Implants Will Cost
As we have said throughout this post, there is only one way to know how much you can expect to pay for your dental implant procedure -- and that is to schedule an appointment with your dental implant dentist at West 7th Smiles. When you come in for a dental implant consultation, Dr. Gonzalez will evaluate your oral and overall health to determine first whether or not you are eligible for this replacement method and, if you are, how much you should plan to budget for the procedure. Once you have an estimate, we can further discuss creative financing and payment options to help dental implants fit comfortably in your budget.
In conclusion, the most important thing to do after tooth loss is find an excellent replacement as soon as possible. For the majority of our patients, that means choosing dental implants! If you have lost one, two, or several teeth, we invite you to learn more about this comprehensive replacement option today. Contact West 7th Smiles by phone or go ahead and request a consultation online. We can’t wait to help you enjoy all of the benefits of a complete, sturdy smile with dental implants or any of our excellent restorative dentistry treatments!