If you’re looking for a reliable replacement option for your missing teeth and you’ve researched your options, you’re probably wondering whether the words “dental implants” and “affordable” even belong in the same sentence. One of the most commonly touted drawbacks of dental implants is the cost and, should you find a clinic offering “discount dental implants,” you can’t help but wonder how much quality and skill is sacrificed to make up for that discount. Today, we’re taking a look at why dental implants come with a high price tag and how implant dentists are working hard to make this innovative procedure more affordable.
Why Do Dental Implants Cost So Much in the First Place?
Placing a dental implant is like placing any type of artificial body part and, as such, involves coordinated efforts by several skilled team members across a series of complex procedure phases. Just a few highlights of what goes into the total procedure include:
- Planning and imaging. Your periodontist or oral surgeon will use 3D imaging, digital x-rays, and his own expertise to plan how, where, and at what angle to position the implant posts.
- Implant posts and abutments. During the planning phase, your periodontist will also determine what diameter, length, and variety of post and abutment will work best for your case. Unsurprisingly, better quality name-brand implants and abutments cost more than off-brand varieties.
- Surgery, sedation, and adjunct procedures. Placing dental implants is one of the most involved dental surgery procedures a person can undergo. In addition to placing the implant posts in the jaw, your periodontist or oral surgeon will also have assisting staff on hand to monitor your safety throughout the procedure. An anesthesiologist may be called upon to administer IV sedation. In addition, if you're having infected or “dead” teeth extracted prior to implantation or if you'll need a bone graft to strengthen your jaw, the cost and complexity of the total procedure will increase.
- Designing, fabricating, and placing the dental prosthetic. After determining what type of prosthetic will best suit your needs (dental crown, bridge, full denture plate), your periodontist will use impressions, photographic records, and your input to design a custom prosthetic. An offsite dental lab will fabricate the prosthetic according to design specifications. As with implant materials, the quality of the dental lab and materials directly impacts the total cost of the procedure.
Before proceeding with a dental implant treatment plan, your dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon will first outline the total expected cost of the procedure. At this time, the office financial coordinator will play a significant role in determining whether insurance will cover any portion of the procedure and whether you qualify for third-party financing. This type of financing, available from companies like CareCredit, work much like a credit card and allow you to space out payments to better fit your monthly budget.
About Dr. Marco Cueva
Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience providing a full range of dental implant options, including All-On-4 one visit implant dentures. New patients can schedule an appointment or consultation with Periodontic Excellence at our Allen, TX dental office by calling 972-390-9944.