Dental Implants Cost: What am I paying for?

Dental implants are the perfect way to improve your smile. Unfortunately, dental implants cost can often be through the roof. In the US prices can range from $800 to $2000 for a single implant.  Anyone seriously considering opting for dental implants will already be aware of the costs involved but what exactly is it that makes dental implants so expensive and is this dental implant cost justified? Read on to find out.


A dental implant is an artificial component that is surgically implanted to act as a tooth root. The dental implant is placed and connected to the skull or jaw bone so that it can act as a support to hold a replacement tooth, several teeth, or the entire set of teeth. The dental implant is the closest thing to an actual tooth root. Since the implant is infused to the bone itself, it copies that of a normal tooth root and allows the tooth to stand on its own without causing disruption to other neighboring teeth. The dental implant procedure can be categorized as either a form of cosmetic dentistry or a form of prosthetic dentistry. Modern dental implants have been around since the 1970s.

The materials

Dental Implantation is one of the most technologically advanced cosmetic dental procedures available today. The titanium implants are extremely expensive as titanium in itself is an expensive material. The computer-aided equipment used by the specialists at the various stages of the procedure is all extremely costly. In addition, the prosthetic contains precious and semi-precious materials which are fused with porcelain.

The Procedure

The word ‘dental implant’ encompasses a very wide range of surgical procedures all varying in complexity. Most patients will require a combination of surgeries in order to fit just one tooth. This complexity is increased for where patients require dentures or dental bridges. Some of the most common elements of any dental implant procedure are the dental consultation, bone grafting, gum grafting, cost of the implant, cost of the abutment and the cost of the prosthetic. From the above, it is clear to see how the costs begin to add up. Unfortunately, this is not an area where you can afford to cut corners and most dentists will tailor the procedure to give you exactly what you need.

The Specialists

Due to the many elements involved in your surgery a very large team of specialists is required. Dental Implant Procedures are not routine and each patient receives a tailored plan procedure plan. A prosthodontist will intensely study your teeth and gums as well as your individual lifestyle and medical health and will create a detailed plan completely catered to you. In addition to this, there are many other specialists and lab technicians who utilize various techniques and conduct detailed tests and analysis at various stages in your procedure. The specialists involved in your procedure commit a great deal of time and effort and all of this meticulous attention to detail adds to your dental implants cost.

From all the above you can begin to see how the complexity of the dental implant procedure can add to your dental implant costs. Be sure to discuss all the elements involved in your procedure and exactly how much your dental implants cost before continuing.  This will avoid you incurring any unexpected fees.

What is a dental implant made of?

Today. most dental implants are made from titanium. Titanium is a metal that is known for its strength. Titanium develops a thin film over the surface area that makes it corrosion-resistant. This means that it won’t be affected by salts, acids, oxygen, and other elements. Titanium has been found to incorporate well with bone, making it easily accepted by the body and not have it be rejected as a foreign object.

Who can a dental implant be ideal for?

Dental implants are ideal for individuals who have experienced tooth loss. Tooth loss can be caused by a number of factors, such as an accident, gum disease, tooth decay, wear and tear, failure of a root canal, medication, and defects.

To determine if a dental implant is a right fit for them, an individual needs to schedule a consultation with a qualified dental professional who is trained in the dental implant dentistry. This may be their dentist, oral surgeon, periodontist or prosthodontist. A candidate for this type of oral work should ask the dental professional about their training and for patient references. The dental professional will give a full examination where they will examine the teeth, gums, and determine the bone density of the jaw area. This most likely will include x-rays and a CT scan of the area. Once the dental professional examines the patient and views the x-rays and CT scan, they will determine if the patient is the ideal candidate for a dental implant, what type of dental implant will be used, and where the dental implant will be placed. Also during the consultation, the dental professional will explain the procedure, how long the treatment takes, the number of appointments it will take, and what to expect once the procedure has been completed.

What can an individual expect during a dental implant procedure?

The dental professional will prepare the jaw for the dental implant. The dental professional will drill a small hole in the location where the implant will be placed. The dental professional will follow the x-rays or CT scan image as a surgical guide during the implant procedure. This will allow the dental professional to avoid any damage to the nerves and other tooth structure.

Once the hole is drilled into the jaw, the hole is widened slowly to allow the dental implant screw, cone, or nail to be placed. Once this is in place, a protective cover is added to the top and the location is allowed to heal. The healing process can take up to six months, depending on the individual’s case. Once the area is completely healed, the dental professional will uncover the implant area and attach an abutment. The abutment holds the crown, denture, or bridge to the implant. Once this is in place, a temporary dental fixture (crown, denture, or bridge) is placed. The temporary dental fixture will be worn until the permanent one is placed at a later date.

How long does it take to recover?

Dental implant recovery varies from individual and each case is unique. Once the procedure is completed, there will be some minimum discomfort in the area. There may be some swelling in the mouth and lower face area. There may be some bruising and some bleeding that occurs where the dental work was completed. The dental professional will most likely prescribe pain medication to help alleviate any pain or discomfort that is associated with the procedure. The complete healing time can take up to six months depending on the patient.

After the procedure, the dental professional will give the individual a diet to follow. The diet usually consists of soft foods and liquids. The dental professional will schedule follow-up visits to determine how the progress is going. The dental professional may need to remove stitches if they did not use self-dissolving stitches.

How are dental implants cared for?

Dental implants will last a patient for many years. It is important to take care of the dental implant just as if they were normal teeth. Proper brushing and flossing are needed to maintain them. Brushing the implant with a Teflon tool to remove any plaque that may be present. If proper care is not taken, there may be a failure with the dental implants. There may be an infection that appears in that area or the surrounding areas. Smoking, failure to brush, and floss properly are all factors that can lead to dental implant failure.

Why choose a dental implant over other forms of teeth replacement?

Dental implants tend to work very well for tooth replacement in adults. Dental implants have a 95 percent success rate. Dental implants are strong, durable, and long-lasting. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate individual or multiple missing teeth. They have the look and feel of one’s own natural teeth. The success rate for dental implants is ninety-eight percent.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants will vary depending on many factors. The price will depend upon the dental professional that is used, the type of dental implantation that is performed, the type of material that is used, the location of where the implant is inserted, and the amount that the insurance covers.

Single dental implants can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the factors mentioned previously. A full mouth of dental implants can range from $20,00 up to $100,000. There are usually payment plans, either with the dental professional or a credit financing company, that can be set up to pay overtime for the work that was performed.