Dental Implants Prices & More

by Nancy

Getting dental implants involves at least one surgical procedure in which the dental implant is connected to the jaw bone, giving the tooth or cap a secure base in the mouth. Sometimes when a dental implant is placed, it is necessary to build up the bone in the area to ensure the implant successfully connects to the jaw. The procedure of building up the bone is known as bone grafting. Then, after the implants have been inserted, the caps, or synthetic teeth need to be properly attached to the metal implants.

A poorly attached cap, or improperly secured implant can actually cause discomfort and necessitate the implant being re-done.  Fortunately any qualified dental implant doctor will take great care to go over the entire procedure with you beforehand, and outline all the risks. Obviously getting a single dental implant is not a simple process, and getting more than one means a more involved procedure. All of these procedures can quickly ratchet up the overall cost of getting a dental implants.  The implant can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 and the abutment (connective joint between the Cap tooth and the implant) can cost several thousand more.  So how can you get an implant if $7,000 is out of your price range?  There are options for you, if you know where to look.

Get The Procedure Done Through A Dental School

Getting a dental implant procedure done through an accredited dental school is going to be your best option to get an affordable cost for the full procedure. While no specific prices are given, dental procedures done through dental schools can be up to 50% off the market price. With the average cost of a single dental implant in the USA (Implant here meaning the actual implant, the abutment, and the synthetic tooth crown) costing between $3,000 and $4,000, a 50% reduction in price makes a huge difference. Of course, getting the procedure done through a Dental school does have some caveats.

Those performing the procedure will be dental students, similar to interns or residents at hospitals. These students have graduated from dental schooling in college but still need to get first hand experience before starting their own practices or joining an existing dental practice.  While you may have some reservation at a student handling a delicate medical procedure, you can rest assured knowing that all procedures are supervised and reviewed by the instructors at the school.  Another thing to consider is that appointments will take longer at a dental school, as the entire process is used as a learning or training experience for the students. In the end, this is probably the cheapest option to getting dental implants, assuming you are ready to take the extra time necessary for the procedure at a dental school.

Shop Around For Different Procedures

Unfortunately most dental insurance plans do not cover dental implant procedures. Most dental plans consider the dental implant procedure to be elective or experimental meaning you’ll need to pay for it out of pocket. Luckily, there is a wide variation in the cost of Dental implants across the country. Many dental implant procedures cost more in larger cities because of higher business overhead.  In larger cities with higher employee wages and increased building rent, you can expect to see higher prices for the procedure.  Traveling a few miles might net you major price decreases for dental implants.  New dental practices may be offering dental implants at reduced rates, usually an effort to attract new customers.  If the dentist is properly qualified this is an excellent method of obtaining cheaper implants.

You may also want to consider different procedures.  Individual implants can really rack up the price, especially if you need more than one or two.  You might be able to get an ALL-on-4 procedure, which will save you money, even though ALL-on-4 procedures tend to be expensive.  All-on-4 procedures are costly, but can be used to fit multiple implants, potentially even the entire set of teeth for a jaw.  The All-on-4 procedure fits a set of implants on four specially placed implants set into the jaw like a single implant would be.

Dental Policies and Savings Plans

If you’re a senior looking to get dental implants, we hope to provide you with all the information you need surrounding the process. There are some available dental plans that may offer some help with dental implants, but these are few and far between. Most dental insurance plans only help with dental implants when the implant is replacing a tooth lost in an accident or injury. You may be able to start a dental savings plan to help pay for your implants.  To start a dental savings plan you will need to discuss with your dentist and your insurance carrier about your next steps. A final option is to finance the procedure with a dental loan.  This allows you to pay back the cost of the procedure over time, so its not such an immediate shock to your finances. If these options are not available you might even find some Medicare Advantage plans that cover dental implants.