Dental implants are the best alternative to a natural tooth. A dental implant can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or even be used to help retain dentures. They are simply one of the best advancements in the dental industry and are becoming available to a wider population of people as they become more affordable.
What affects a dental implant’s cost?
So how much does an implant actually cost?
To answer that question, there are a few things to consider.
The cost of a dental implant will depend on a host of factors. If you have a single implant placed, the biggest factor in price will be the location of your dental office. Practices in high cost of living states charge more for services. Otherwise, the cost could depend on:
- how many implants you need,
- the type of materials used,
- if the implant parts are prefabricated or custom,
- the skill level of your dentist (specialists charge more),
- if you need additional services.
Full mouth dental implants cost
If you are considering implant-retained dentures, there are a couple of options: fixed and removable.
As the name implies, fixed implant-retained dentures will stay in your mouth at all times. You do not have to remove them to clean or when you sleep. They are fixed in place and can only be removed by a dentist.
A fixed implant-retained denture averages about $21,500 per arch. Across the United States, you can see a range in prices from $15,000 to $28,000.
Removable implant-retained dentures are another great option. These still snap into place and will not come out when speaking or eating, but they can be taken out to clean and while you sleep.
A removable implant-retained denture averages about $10,500. Across the United States, you can see prices ranging from $8000 to $17,500.
Single dental implant
A single dental implant will replace just one missing tooth anywhere in the arch. As long as there is enough remaining bone, a single implant can be placed. The industry average for a single implant is $4800, but can range from $3500 to $6700 depending on where you live and a few other additional costs that may or may not be needed.
If you decide to get a dental implant, there are a few costs that you should inquire about. You may need all of these additional procedures, or you may need none of them.
The very first step to getting a dental implant is to have a consultation with your dentist. At the consultation, your dentist will evaluate your oral health to make sure you are a good candidate for dental implants. You should expect to pay between $50-$100 for the consultation.
There are a couple of x-rays that your dentist will need to evaluate your bone and plan the implant placement. The first is called a periapical (PA). It is a 2D x-ray of just one tooth. If you have an existing tooth that is going to be extracted before placing the implant, your dentist will need a PA to see the root structure before extracting. A PA will usually only cost between $20-$30.
The most important x-ray you’ll need is called a CT scan. This is a 3D x-ray of the area where the implant will go. This allows your dentist to make sure there is enough bone and allows them to plan where to place the implant. They will need to be sure not to place the implant where there are arteries, veins, and nerves. A 3D x-ray ranges in price from $150-$750.
If you have a current tooth that needs extracted, that will be another cost you must consider. A tooth extraction can be either “simple” or “surgical,” which dictates the price. (Your dentist will likely not know if it’s going to be simple or surgical until they begin the extraction.) Your extraction could cost between $200-$700.
Bone grafting or sinus lift
Lastly, you may need a bone graft and/or sinus lift. A bone graft is common. This procedure allows your dentist to place extra bone around the implant to give it a more solid foundation. The bone graft will be done at the time of your extraction and will need to heal before placing the dental implant. They range in price from $300-$800.
A sinus lift is only done when placing a dental implant in the maxillary arch. If the floor of your sinus extends too close to the roots of the teeth – where the dental implant will be placed – you’ll need a simple procedure that raises the floor to allow for more room. A sinus lift ranges in price from $1500-$2500.
Does dental insurance pay for dental implant procedure?
Many dental insurance carriers are starting to offer dental implants as part of their coverage and benefits. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, your insurance will have an annual maximum. This is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for services within a one-year period. (Many plans begin on January 1 of each calendar year, but your plan could have a different beginning month.) Maximum amounts vary by plan, but a typical insurance has a $1500 limit.
Second, you’ll need to see what your insurance pays for implants. Implants are considered “major” service and are usually covered at 50%. Again, this is different with every plan.
Lastly, read the fine print. There are clauses in every insurance plan. Some will not pay for a tooth replacement (like an implant) if the tooth was missing prior to the plan’s coverage. (This is called a “missing tooth clause.”) Others will downgrade the implant coverage to an alternative treatment like a partial. There are even some plans that only cover implants if you are completely edentulous (without teeth) on that arch.
Are dental implants really worth the price?
A dental implant is an investment. While the price may seem high, stop and think about how often you use your teeth. You use them every time you eat, and they play an important role in speaking. Plus, they can help you avoid more serious health problems down the road, which will save you money in the future.
What is a reasonable price for dental implants?
A single implant will cost somewhere around $4800. (You could pay more or less depending on your location.) That price includes the dental implant, the abutment, and the implant crown, and may include some other services as well. If you are comparing prices from different practices, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
If you are thinking about getting an implant-retained denture, a reasonable price for a removable one would be around $10,500, and a fixed one would be around $21,500.