Why are dental implants so expensive?Here's a quick summary of factors that affect the price of dental implants:
- Parts needed
- Type of material used
- Bone grafting procedure
- Who places the implant
- Temporary tooth while you wait
- Custom vs. stock abutments
- Where your parts come from
- Insurance coverage
- Expertise of your dentist
What are you paying for with a dental implant?A dental implant to replace a missing tooth. It consists of a:
- Post: A small screw that's surgically placed within your jawbone and acts as the new tooth's root or anchor.
- Abutment: The piece that connects the post and crown.
- Crown: Your new tooth.
Do you need a bone graft?To get a dental implant, you must have sufficient bone structure to support an implant post. To determine this, you'll need an exam and x-rays. If you don't have enough width or height of bone, you may need a bone graft. This procedure helps regenerate bone growth where it's been lost. Ask your dentist: Do I need a bone graft? And is it included in the fee?
Who performs the dental implant procedure?The next questions you'll want to ask is: Who will place the dental implant post? If it's an outside referral or specialist, that'll likely be a separate cost from your dentist. If this is the case, check to make sure the other provider accepts your insurance to maximize your savings. Keep reading to discover how a dentist's expertise can make a difference in price.
Do you want a temporary tooth while waiting for the implant?It'll take about three to six months for your implant post to fuse with the surrounding bone. If your missing tooth is visible, you may want a temporary tooth replacement. Some options include a dental flipper, a temporary bridge, or a retainer. Ask your dentist: What are my temporary tooth options? What's the cost?
Custom vs. stock abutmentOne of the challenges with dental implants is the area where the implant comes out of the gum line - where your post and crown connect via an abutment. There's often a little space there, where food can get caught. If your tooth is visible, this space can make the tooth look fake. A custom abutment solves many of these problems and gives you the most natural-looking and feeling restoration. However, it's usually more expensive than stock. A stock abutment is a one-size-fits-all abutment. This is usually cheaper but may not look the most natural at the gumline. Ask your dentist: What's the best option: a stock or custom abutment? What's the price difference?
What is your dental implant made of?From titanium to metal-free posts and ceramic to porcelain crowns, there are many ways the cost of an implant can vary based on materials alone. Ask your dentist: What materials do you use? What are the pros and cons? You may decide you'd rather pay more for a longer-lasting and more natural-looking implant.
Where are the parts from?Who makes your dental implant parts can affect the price. The lab fees for a crown can range from $100 to $500 or more. The difference in price varies based on the materials used and the skills of the technician. You can also get parts from out of the country to save on costs, like China.
Does your dental insurance cover dental implants?If you have dental insurance, you'll be happy to know most policies cover this restorative dentistry procedure - often at 50%! Ask your dentist: Do you accept my insurance? What's my expected out-of-pocket cost? P.S. If you don't have insurance, ask if the dentist has payment options or an in-house membership plan. Lastly...
What qualifications does the dentist have?This is quite possibly the biggest factor in why dental implants are so expensive! Generally speaking, a qualified implant dentist is more expensive than a new or inexperienced one. But if there's one take away from this blog, it's this: Don't choose a dentist solely on price, especially for the surgical part! Getting the implant requires a great deal of knowledge on where to precisely place the post for healing, bite functionality, and long-term health. If this fails, you've wasted your money. Experienced dental implant dentists don't just rely on their skills and training; they also invest in the best dental technology to better ensure your investment for decades to come. Ask your dentist:
- What training do you have on dental implants?
- How many years have you been providing this service?
- What technology do they use?
- Do you have before and after photos of real patients?
Are dental implants worth it?It's no secret: Dental implants are expensive. You may be wondering if dental implants are worth the cost? The answer is YES! Here's why:
- Dental implants save you money long term.
- Other restorations may be less money upfront but will require more ongoing maintenance or replacements.
- The implant post prevents bone loss, which can help you look younger.
- A crown is customized to look like your natural teeth so that no one will notice.
- You'll have full function of the restored tooth, allowing you to eat your favorite tooths again and speak normally.
- Replacing a missing tooth prevents your other teeth from shifting, saving you more money.
- Dental implant materials are not subject to decay.
Request a consultation for dental implantsWant to find out exactly how much it'll cost for a dental implant in Salt Lake City, UT? Our dentists at Legacy Dental have restored thousands of smiles with dental implants and take continuing education in implant dentistry to stay at the forefront. We offer in-office and virtual consultations, as well as second opinions, for new and current patients. Book an Appointment Online You can also contact us by: Legacy Dental proudly serves neighborhoods throughout the area, including Salt Lake County, Millcreek, East Millcreek, Holladay, Sugarhouse, Murray, Midvale, South Salt Lake, Sandy, Taylorsville, West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, and Herriman.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been completely revamped for comprehensiveness and timeliness.