The invention of dental implants changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Their ability to mimic natural teeth is so impressive that patients tend to forget they even have them.
Though implants are the most reliable restoration procedure, the cost of dental implants is what makes most patients procrastinate the procedure. Dental implant cost can double depending on the situation compared to dentures and bridges.
But if we take a closer look, dental implants are expensive only initially. Dentures and bridges need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years and the cost for regular maintenance may add up and outdo the cost of dental implants. On the other hand, once you have dental implants, you’re set for a lifetime.
Think of dental implants as an investment.
Let’s talk about the typical cost of dental implants so it doesn’t come as a surprise.
What Factors Determine the Cost of Dental Implants?
Dental implant cost is determined by lots of factors.
- Scans – Depending on the need and situation, a patient might need to undergo an X-ray or CT scan. Sometimes, multiple X-ray and CT scans are needed if the implant is needed in a complex area of the mouth. The higher the number of scans and procedure complexity, the higher the cost.
- Dental Implant Materials – A standard material used for dental implants are titanium and titanium alloy. A problem arises only when a patient requires modified materials due to metal allergy or sensitivity.
If a patient is allergic to titanium and titanium alloy, they would need to opt for ceramic, zirconia, or both.
As per the material used, a dental implant cost will either go up or down.
- Bone Density and Bone Grafting – Bone grafting is an extra step and adds to the recovery time required after the procedure. A patient will need bone grafting if they have low jawbone density. When a person has low bone density, there isn’t sufficient bone to support the implant.
Initial bone grafts or sinus augmentations are used to successfully prepare your mouth to receive a replacement tooth. Depending on the type of bone grafting, the cost of dental implants will vary.
- Number of Implants – It’s obvious that replacing several teeth will cost more than the restoration of a single tooth.
- Location of the Teeth – Each individual’s mouth and teeth are structured uniquely. Depending on the structure of the mouth, the placement of the teeth, and the person’s oral health, dental implant cost can vary. The cost of replacing front teeth will be cheaper than the cost of teeth located in more complex areas.
- Tooth Extractions – In some cases, when the teeth are broken, and a piece is still attached to the gum, the dentist will need to extract it before the implant is placed. This extraction will also add to the total cost of a dental implant. Extractions are separate procedures with an associated cost.
- Overall Oral Health – A person’s overall oral health also greatly determines the cost. If a patient has oral health issues, the problems should be taken care of first before the dental implant procedure. The treatment cost of other dental problems will also be included in your dental implant total cost.
- Dentist Training and Skill – A surgeon is paid more than a general physician. And there is good reason why. Surgeons are experts who have extensive training and experience. Similar to that, a dentist might charge more compared to other dentists if they have extensive training and are well-known in the area.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
There is no exact cost for dental implants, it varies depending on many factors.
The national average for dental implant cost:
- Single Tooth Implant – A Single dental implant can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. The implant procedure could cost $1,000 to $3,000 and an addition of $500 to $3,000 for the abutment and the crown. This is the average cost for patients paying without a dental insurance plan.
- Multiple Teeth – Compared to a single tooth implant, the cost of multiple dental implants could be much higher. The average cost for a multiple tooth implant can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000. Depending on the specific case, procedure, and geographic region the cost could reach up to $50,000.
- Implant Supported Overdenture – An implant-supported overdenture (ISO) is a removable complete denture combined with implants designed to improve stability. These require between 2 -4 implants and are most common for the lower jaw.
The cost of an implant-supported overdenture could range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in addition to the cost of the implants. Note that this implant is not a permanent option, but it offers better access to clean around the implants and under the dentures.
- Implant-Supported Bridge – An implant-supported bridge is best for people who have several missing teeth. With this type of dental implant, the implant acts as an anchor for the bridge instead of a natural tooth.
The cost of an implant-supported bridge greatly depends on the size of the dental bridge and the number of implants needed. The average cost could be anywhere from $5,000 to $16,000.
- 3-on-6 Dental Implants – 3-on-6 dental implant surgery consists of three individual dental bridges attached to six dental implants. The cost of 3-on-6 dental implants could range anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per arch.
- All-on-4 (Full Mouth Dental Implants) – All-on-4 implants are also known as full-mouth dental implants and are one of the expensive types. With the help of full mouth implants, you can restore all your upper or lower teeth or both. Another benefit of all-on-4 implants is its overdenture can be removed for cleaning and dental exams. These could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 per arch.
Breakdown of individual costs during dental implant treatment.
|Panoramic X-ray||$100-$250 |
|Cone-Beam CT (CBCT)||$150-$750 |
|Tooth Extraction||$150-$700 |
|Bone Grafting||$300-3,200 (depending on types) |
|Implant Crown||$900-$1,500 |
|Dental Implant||$1,500-$3,000 |
In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Dentists Costs
Who Are In-Network Dentists and How Does it Work?
In-network dentists are those dentists who are contracted with your insurance company. They have a deal with the insurance company to provide dental service at negotiated rates.
For example, say you go to a doctor that’s in-network and the total charge is $250. A discount will be applied to that amount as per the negotiation between the dentist and the insurance company. So, if the discount is $75, and the insurance company pays $140, you’ll have to pay the remaining $35.
Who Are Out-of-Network Dentists?
Out-of-network dentists are those who are not contracted with any insurance company and don’t have pre-established rates. But still, some insurance companies pay part of the charge for you.
Even though your insurance company is paying for your out-of-network dentist charge, no discount will be applied to the total charge. In this case, assume your total charge is $250, the insurance company will pay $140 as insurance coverage, and the remaining $110 will be your responsibility.
Example of In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Charges
|Charge $150||Network Discount: $50||Network Discount: $0 |
|Insurance Coverage||80% of balance: $80||50% of balance: $75 |
|Patient Responsibility||$20||$75 |
If you’re looking for an affordable dental implant plan, here are some plans that might help you save thousands of dollars.
3 Ways to Get Low-Cost Dental Implants Without Insurance
- Discount Dental Plans – Discount dental plans are becoming extremely popular, as they save you lots of money on dental implant procedures. There are different types of discount dental plans but all of them work similarly.
Discount dental plans give you a discount on dental treatments that helps cut the cost of insurance premiums. Unlike an insurance company, dental plans don’t need you to pay a monthly premium.
Members pay one low annual fee and with that fee, you get access to a network of dentists who offer reduced rates to members. Most discount dental plans provide 20 to 50 percent savings on dental care costs.
- Cosmetic Dentistry Grants (CDG) – Another best way to save your money on dental implants cost is to go for cosmetic dentistry grants. CDG is a nonprofit dental organization that provides funding for various dental procedures. If you’re lucky you might even get a free dental implant.
- Discounted Services at Dentistry Schools – Discounted services at dentistry schools can be another way to get affordable dental implants. Many dental schools offer discounted dental services as a way of serving people. Though the procedures are mostly done by students, there will be a professional dentist that checks each step in the process during treatment.
FAQs about the Costs of Dental Implants