Dental Implant Costs
Cost of Dental Implants: Most Frequently Asked Question
For thousands of years, people have searched for functional solutions for their tooth loss. Egypt’s Pharaoh tried to replace lost teeth with ivory, bone, and precious jewels. George Washington wore his famous wooden dentures. Museums have jaws with pieces of rock or shell wired to adjacent natural teeth. Today, we have the privilege that has historically been reserved for royals. We are one of the first generations with the opportunity to replace our teeth with something functionally and aesthetically equivalent to new teeth. Now that new teeth have turned from dream to reality through the services of most dental offices, the most common question people ask is: “How much do dental implants cost?”
Average Cost of Dental Implants
Cost: the most common question regarding dental implants
How Much Do Dental Implants Costs? Our experience in chatting with patients in the office, on the phone, and on our facebook page confirms that cost is the first and most asked question. The simple answer is that the average cost of the surgery for one dental implant in San Antonio, TX ranges somewhere between $1,000 and $2,200. Why such a range? An exact cost is difficult to give because it depends on the nature of the “implant service.”
Asking about the price is only part of the issue. You need to ask about the service required to provide you with your product.
Is it a Service or Product?
When someone purchases a product, they can ask how much the product costs. Dental patients, on the other hand, do not purchase products with a fixed price. Patients purchase a service. Dental offices purchase dental implants from the manufacturer so the dentist is in a position to ask the question “how much does an implant cost?” Since they are the only ones buying the PRODUCT packaged as a dental implant, the question has its proper place. In dentistry, the surgery fee for an implant varies on the complexity of the surgery and the number of implants placed during the surgery. So, the question, “How much does an implant cost?” ends up being a loaded question.
Let’s take the construction industry as an example. Assume for a moment that we have completed construction projects for a long time using basic elements such as bricks, stone, sand and mud. Now, let’s say that modern science has discovered a new and revolutionary type of cement which construction crews can now. Would a client ask the construction company how much is the newly invented cement? No, of course not. Clients would ask “How much is the project that is going to use the new cement?” The construction company would then ask the client, “What do you want to build with the newly available cement: a house, a shack, a driveway, a foundation, a road, a bridge, etc?”
In maxillofacial surgery, we have a similar situation. We have a new material (titanium screws) which allows us to provide patients with new services. Dental Implants are simply an additional tool used in the construction of a project. They are not in themselves a service a client can buy. The dentist needs to know if the client wants a single tooth replaced, multiple teeth replaced, all the teeth, or a removable denture support, etc. And there are almost always additional procedures required to complete the dental implant project. These additional procedures may include tooth or teeth extractions, gum tissue grafting, bone grafting, surgical guides, and/or CT scans and interpretation. Just like the cement construction example, dental implant projects vary by complexity and difficulty.
The question clients and patients should really ask is, “How much will the SERVICE cost?” And that is a reasonable question—one every potential client should ask their dentist.
Get an Estimate for your Project
Feel free to ask us! We want our patients to know the dental implant treatment cost before the project begins. And we happily evaluate any project and give our opinion as to its complexity and estimated cost to the patient. If you would like to interview our office and get an estimate of the work you would like to have done, please call us and request a no-cost, free “Meet and Greet” appointment with our office.
Key Factors Leading To Successful Dental Implant Treatment
- Missing tooth already, or will it need to be extracted?
- Site Preservation Grafting needed after tooth is removed?
- Sufficient bone to support the new dental implant? (If bone Augmentation is needed, will it be done prior to or during the dental Implant Surgery?)
- Enough tough, attached gum tissue in the area around future tooth?
- Thick or thin gum tissue type?
- Tissue grafting needed before, during, or after dental implant placement? Tooth placement?
- Will the new dental implant tooth be screw retained or cement retained?
- Is a custom or stock implant abutment needed?
- Titanium or zirconium material for implant abutment?
- Will the implant abutment engage or not engage the dental implant connection?
- Porcelain layering necessary for improved esthetics?
What is the Average Cost for Replacing One Tooth with a Dental Implant?
Dental implants have become a fantastic way to replace individual teeth, root to crown. They started out as a simple denture stabilizer, but quickly proved valuable for so much more.
Implants have turned into the gold standard for replacing lost teeth. Many patients opt for implants to replace teeth one at a time as they lose them. This helps to spread the cost of major implant treatment out over the course of many years. It also ensures that the client always has healthy bone levels and functional teeth to chew with.
We invite you to watch our video seminar about dental implants. In it, you’ll learn that missing teeth creates the problem of bone loss. A major benefit of dental implants is that they help to fight this. Implants retain bone in the jaw which slows aging and protects the face, sinuses and nerves. They also ensuring a strong bite for years to come. Dental implants remain the only tooth replacement option that actually prevents natural process of bone loss.
The average cost of the surgical and restorative steps for replacing one tooth with a dental implant ranges from $3,500 to $5,500. The monthly payment is as low as $100.
Implant Bridges - How to Save Money when you have Multiple Teeth Missing
Not only can implants replace single teeth, they can also replace groups of teeth. Anchoring small or large bridges or a partial denture to several implants allows for a cost effective treatment. Implant Bridges can restore a group of missing teeth at a significantly lower cost than replacing several teeth with individual dental implants.
The Average Cost of Full Mouth Dental Implants (Arch divided into Series of 3 Bridges)
Once engineers realized that implants provide a great way of anchoring a bridge, they began to develop a system to replace an entire arch of missing teeth with multiple bridges attached to dental implants. This also results in a much less expensive procedure than replacing all of the missing teeth with individual dental implants. When a patient has sufficient and adequate bone in key areas of the jaw, the patient receives 6 implants which will support 3 separate bridges: one bridge replacing all front teeth and two bridges for each of the posterior teeth segments.
Teeth that are split into 3 segments create a set of teeth that is more easily managed, repaired, replaced and maintained. The average cost of replacing all teeth in an arch with 3 separate dental implant supported bridges falls in the range of $28,000 to $34,000. Payment Plans for replacing all teeth with a series of 3 individual bridges cost around $500 to $600 per month.
Cost of All-on-4: The One Bridge for All the Teeth on 4 Implants
All-on-4 treatment, a phenomenal breakthrough in dentistry, gives a new option for clients missing most or all of their teeth or when bone loss makes Traditional Concept Complete Arch Replacement impossible. Dentists have discovered that we can securely anchor a full-arch of teeth to just four to six implants, even if patients have less bone. The secret lies in placing those implants at specific, special angles. In a feat of physics, dentists have found an ideal solution for the majority of patients missing all their teeth.
Requiring fewer implants and less bone reconstruction, All-on-4, also known as the On-4 procedure or On-4 implants, is less expensive than Traditional Concept and incredibly more stable and functional than classic dentures. All-on-4 teeth look and function like real teeth, and they don’t come out at night. Since this option became available, thousands of patients who couldn’t do traditional implants have benefited from All-on-4. This method has transformed broken and missing teeth into beautiful, steak-chewing, apple-crunching smiles.
Here’s how it works. All the artificial teeth get built as one single unit (or bridge), then get seated on 4 implants. This is the simplest form of full arch Implant Restoration. It costs the lowest of all types of fixed implant teeth because of its simplicity. On-4 treatment is the most straightforward; it maximizes areas of current facial bone; it minimizes the implant prosthetic components; and it rarely requires additional bone and soft tissue (gum tissue) grafting procedures.
Snap-on Dentures: The Most Affordable Complete Arch Replacement Implant Treatment
While All-on-4 can work as a fantastic treatment for some clients, it still doesn’t fit everyone’s budget. In these cases, Snap-on Dentures, also called Implant Overdentures, become the go-to choice.
Implant Overdentures provide a stable version of a classic denture. They require as little as 2 implants, so they have become an even more popular option than All-on-4. These Snap-on Dentures look great, chew well and provide a high level of patient satisfaction. However, these require removal every night for cleaning and are made from a less durable material than All-on-4 teeth.
The following factors greatly influence the treatment costs of All-on-4:
- Are there any teeth requiring extraction?
- Sedation necessary for the extraction appointment?
- Is there a current denture already made that can be used as a healing denture?
- Could implants be placed at the time of extractions or would it require a separate surgery once the jaw bone has healed after extractions?
- Is there sufficient tough attached soft tissue (gums) where the implants would come out of the bone?
- Is there sufficient bone in the key places where implants would be placed?
- How many implants are necessary: 2, 3, 4 or more?
- What is the Bone Density like? Would a Titanium Bar be required to splint together the implants?
- Would the implants need to be placed at an angle (as in All-on-4 cases) to maximize spread and distances, then additional angle-correcting abutments be required?
The average cost of Snap-on Implant Overdentures ranges from $5,500 to $17,500. Monthly payments range from $100 to $300 per month.
Read More , See Photos, and check out the Current Snap-on Denture Specials.
Guided Implant Surgery: How to Incorporate Technology for a Safer Surgery, Better Results, & Fewer Complications
We know that the word “surgery” can create fear for most people. Surgery involves more than just drilling and filling. It makes people feel helpless and it can seem unpredictable. Our staff understands these feelings; we’ve been patients ourselves. That’s why, as a team, we stay committed to making our patients’ implant surgeries as safe and predictable as possible.
We do this at Alamo Dental Health by using custom surgical guides for our dental implant surgeries. These guides are individually designed to uniquely fit each patient’s teeth, gums and bone, and the guides also incorporate the planned implant location. Using a CT Scan, these guides match the exact placement and angle of each planned implant. The result: implants go exactly where they’re supposed to go, how they’re supposed, and without any guessing or surprises. Guided surgery utilizes the latest technology to insure that surgeries remain smooth—not scary.
Fun Fact: A local San Antonio company, Implant Concierge, design and manufacture our patient’s surgical guides. We’re always excited to support local business and even more excited when it means better service and quicker turn-around times for our patients!
Dental Insurance Coverage for Dental Implants
What about dental insurance? If you have dental insurance, you probably wonder if your insurance pays for dental implants. The simple answer is many, but not all, dental insurance companies cover dental implant services.
Dental Insurance and their UCR Fee
When insurance plans do cover implant services, they typically cover 50% of the dental insurance company’s UCR fee, up to the yearly maximum benefit. UCR stands for usual, customary and reasonable charges. The insurance company sets this fee based on their own market research, which may be the same, higher or lower than the fee your dentist charges. The UCR fee usually comes close to what your dentist bill. However, it’s almost never exactly the same. You should remember that the UCR fee varies with every insurance company and in every zip code. The dental office does not have the ability to set the UCR fee. The insurance company’s willingness to accept the current market trends determines the UCR fee.
So how much does the dental insurance pay? Our office has seen dental insurance companies pay, on average, $800-$1,000 per implant surgery. For implant crowns, we have seen dental insurance companies pay $500 for the implant crown and $400 for the implant abutment. The abutment is the special component, stock or custom made, connecting the implant to the new crown. For most dental implant systems, the abutment is responsible for transitioning the implant through the gum tissue. Ultimately, the plan’s maximum sets the limit, as most plans have a maximum of $1,500 per year.
Complementary Benefits Breakdown
Because of the variation in what insurance companies pay, we advise all of our patients to become familiar with their own plans. As a courtesy to our patients, our office provides a complementary insurance verification of benefits every time our patients face the need for a dental implant patient.
What Is It Like Having Dental Implants? Watch and Hear Patty’s Experience.
Fear & Finances: The Biggest Objections
The questions we hear from nearly every person we meet who needs dental implants are either, “I’m afraid that getting dental implants will hurt!” or, “I’m afraid that paying for dental implants will hurt!” Sometimes we hear both! The truth is that having to sit with your mouth open while a dentist works on your teeth is intimidating to most people, and implants are not the cheapest dental solution around.
But I have good news for the first problem—sedation dentistry. Sedation allows patients to experience peace at the dentist—even those who have had terrible dental traumas from the past. Our office provides both IV Sedation and Conscious Oral Sedation for people who need help relaxing or who don’t want to feel anything physically or emotionally while in the dentist’s chair. Click here to learn more about Sedation Dentistry.
And the answer to anyone’s fear of cost is that the cheapest dental solution is the simplest—a cleaning and exam. In other words, prevention ALWAYS proves cheaper than treatment. At the point when teeth need replacing, the only cheap option is doing nothing, which carries its own cost—toothlessness. Just like getting a routine oil change costs less than getting a car repaired or rebuilt at a collision shop after an accident, cleanings are necessary for the “upkeep” of your dental health. But, if you do need the big repair provided by implants, you don’t always have to pay an arm and a leg. We can almost always provide several options for you depending on your health and your budget.