If you have recently lost a tooth from tooth decay, gum disease (gingivitis), periodontal disease or from injury, you have probably considered or have been curious about dental implants.
This guide outlines all the facts and cost-related factors which will hopefully answer most (if not all) of your questions so you can decide whether dental implants are the right choice for you.
- How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
- Cost of Implants Around the World
- Factors That Affect the Cost
- What Should Be Included in the Price?
- Will My Insurance Pay for My Implants?
- What is a Dental Implant?
- What Are the Benefits of Implants?
- What Are the Risks of Implant Surgery?
- Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
- Will it Hurt?
- How Long Will it Take?
- How Successful Are Dental Implants?
- Dental Implant Procedure Overview
- Alternative Implant Placement Techniques
- Alternatives to Dental Implants
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
According to reports submitted by Dental Implant Cost Guide readers, the cost of a single tooth implant ranges from $1000 to $3,000 in addition to $500 to $3000 for the abutment and crown, for an average total cost of $4000.
Once you get an examination and talk with your dentist, they will be able to provide you with a price estimate.
|Single Tooth Implant Cost|
|Implant Only||$1000 to $3000|
|Abutment & Crown||$500 to $3000|
|Average Total Cost||$4000|
|Cost of Additional Procedures|
|Simple Bone Graft||$200 to $1200|
|Complex Bone Graft||$2000 to $3000|
|Simple Extraction||$75 to $300|
|Surgical Extraction||$150 to $650|
|X-Rays||$20 to $250|
|CT Scan||$250 to $1000|
|Total With Add'l Procedures||$5000 to $10000|
However, if additional procedures such as bone grafts, extractions and extensive imaging and/or modelling are required, the price can easily inflate to $5,000 to $10,000. Your dentist will be able to give you an idea of what costs you are looking at after a preliminary examination.
A 3 or 4 tooth bridge mounted on two implants can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 (the average being $8,500).
A full set of upper and lower implant supported dentures ranges from $25,000 to $95,000 (average of $34,000), depending heavily on the condition of your gums, jaw bone and existing teeth (if any).
|Multi Implant Cost|
|3-4 Tooth Bridge (Two Implants)||$5000 to $15000 (avg. $8500)|
|2-6 Implants With Dental Bridge||$3600 to $29000+|
|Top & Bottom Supported Dentures||$25000 to $95000+ (avg. $34000)|
Cost of Implants Around the World
Some people opt to travel to foreign countries to take advantage of their cheaper prices for tooth implants. A few of the most popular destinations include Eastern Europe, India, Mexico and Thailand.
|Dental Implant Cost by Country|
If you receive a quote or see an advertised price that looks too good to be true, it most likely is. Safe, high quality and long lasting implants come at a price that depends on a variety of factors. Some or all of these factors may or may not be included in a particular estimate.
Visit our what people are paying page to find out what people like you have been quoted or paid recently to get dental implants. You might find an example of someone with a similar case or from your area!
Factors That Affect the Cost
- Brand (manufacturer), material and type of post, abutment and crown
- How many and what teeth need to be replaced
- Number of implants needed to support the replacement teeth
- Where you live (some cities are considerably more expensive)
- The particular dentist/surgeon’s experience, specialty & popularity
- How many professionals are involved in your case
- Complexity of the surgery
- Initial procedures such as CAD/CAM, x-rays and CT scans
- Additional procedures (if required) such as sinus elevation and bone grafting
What Should Be Included in the Price?
When getting a quote, remember that the total fee should include the cost of the implant, abutment and the crown, bridge or dentures as well as the surgeries. There could be additional charges for certain scans and types of anesthetic.
Will My Insurance Pay for My Implants?
Unfortunately, many insurance plans cover 10% or less of the total cost of implants, but provide significantly more coverage for more traditional solutions such as dentures. This is often because most companies classify implants and a cosmetic procedure. Surgical costs can be covered by health insurance in some instances.
The first thing you should do is to check with your insurance company to see if implants are covered by your plan. If they aren’t, then you can talk with your dentist’s office to find out if they provide or can recommend other payment plans/options.
You can also ask if they’ll cover part of the cost equal to an alternative treatment that IS covered by your plan such as dentures or a bridge. Remember that your dentist is there for you and will help you in any way that they can and give you all the information you need so don’t be hesitant to ask.
That said, more and more insurance companies are starting to offer some coverage as they are realizing the long-term health benefits over other treatment options.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. It is inserted into the jaw to permanently or temporarily hold artificial teeth in place. It is typically made out of titanium which is biocompatible with the jaw bone.
The direct fusing of bone and an implant is called osseointegration which is a special characteristic of titanium. When a tooth is lost, some bone that helped support the tooth is also lost. Dental implants help stabilize the jaw, preventing future bone loss and maintaining the jaw bone’s shape.
Implants are a convenient alternative to dentures because they never have to be taken out and they feel much more natural and comfortable. They are better than traditional bridges and crowns because they aren’t just cemented in place.
When mounted to implants, bridges and dentures won’t shift or slip in your mouth, which can make talking and eating easier and worry-free. This also avoids other common problems such as gagging, poor alignment and sore spots.
What Are the Benefits of Implants?
- Permanent and durable
- Natural and comfortable fit
- Look and function more like regular teeth
- Can be more cost effective over many years
- Require less maintenance
- Don’t require modifications to adjacent teeth
- Prevent further bone loss and shifting of existing teeth
- 95%+ success rates
There are many advantages to tooth implants. It is a permanent solution to tooth loss that is more durable and stable than alternatives such as conventional dentures, crowns or bridges which can make it easier to speak and eat. They also fit more comfortably and naturally and even look better cosmetically which can improve your self-esteem.
Convenience is another huge advantage as they do not need to be removed, cleaned or kept in place by messy adhesives. They also improve oral health by making it easier to clean between teeth and they do not require modifications to nearby healthy teeth in order to be installed.
What Are the Risks of Implant Surgery?
- Major investment
- Bone not accepting the implant
- Pain, swelling and bleeding due to surgery
- Nerve damage of adjacent muscles or sinus cavity
- Infection due to breaks and looseness
The risks are minimal as problems and causes of failure are rare and are often easily treated. They include but are not limited to: the bone not integrating with the implant, bleeding, injury or numbness of the nearby muscles or sinus cavity due to nerve damage and the chance of infection if the implant breaks, the crown becomes loose or a lack of proper oral hygiene.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Your dentist will be able to determine if you are a candidate for implants after completing the following checks:
- Examination of your mouth and teeth
- Evaluation of your medical & dental histories
- X-rays of your mouth
- CT scan
These evaluations will tell the dentist how much bone you have in your jaw as well as the location and shape of your sinuses and nerves.
To be a candidate for implants, one must have healthy gums and a strong jawbone with enough bone to fuse with and support the implant. However, some bone can be rebuilt via a bone graft if the patient has already last some bone in their jaw. It is also very important that the patient make a commitment to great oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist).
There are a number of contraindications that may complicate or completely disqualify you from implant treatment, including chronic diseases, smoking heavily and alcohol abuse which all reduce the rate of healing and can significantly increase the chance of failure.
Patients who many not be good candidates for implants include:
- Pregnant women
- Heavy smokers
- Alcohol or substance abusers
- Young people whose jawbones are still growing
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Immune deficiencies
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Medicines that suppress the immune system such as steroids
- Connective-tissue diseases
- High-dose radiation treatment of the head or neck
Even if you have one or more of the conditions above, you may still be a candidate for implants. It highly depends on the recency and severity of the condition.
Will it Hurt?
The procedure itself is not painful because it is performed with either local or general (intravenous or inhaled) anesthesia to completely numb your mouth.
However, as with any invasive surgery, some bruising, swelling, bleeding and minor pain is to be expected afterwards during the healing process. The procedure typically involves removing teeth, cutting gums, drilling into jawbone and inserting an implant.
That said, patients are often surprised by how much less pain they experience compared to what they were expecting and say that the aching and soreness is roughly the same as that what is felt after getting a tooth pulled or root canal done.
For more about the pain to expect and how to relieve it: How Painful Are Dental Implants?
How Long Will it Take?
From start to finish, the traditional process of placing an implant typically takes 6 months for an implant in the upper jaw or 5 months in the lower jaw and requires 2 surgical procedures. However, if additional procedures such as bone grafts or sinus lifts are required to build up the bone and make the implant site viable, the process can take a year or more.
The timeline for the placement of an implant and crown depends on a number of factors and is different from patient to patient. A few of the factors that affect the treatment include: type of implant, implant placement technique, number and location of teeth being restored, condition of the jawbone and the patient’s medical and dental histories.
After an initial examination and consultation with your dentist or implant specialist, they will be able to provide you with a treatment plan that includes an estimated schedule and date for each step of the process.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Success rates depend on a number of factors including the size and strength of the jaw bone and where in the jaw the implant is placed, but overall they are well above 90% (up to 98% if they are properly cared for) and are always improving.
More specifically, the success rate is around 90% for the upper jaw and 95% for lower jaw implants. This is because the bone in the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw which makes successful osseointegration more difficult.
It is very important to note that these numbers only include patients who were thoroughly assessed and approved for implants by a dentist since they had sufficient bone density and were good dental health. There is a chance of failure even when conditions are ideal.
The success and longevity also depends heavily on the skills of the surgeon and the amount of experience they have with the specific procedure(s) you need, so it’s important to determine how many and how frequently/recent they’ve done the procedure(s). In addition, routine visits to the dentist and dedicated, comprehensive oral hygiene are both required to maintain implants in the long term (no more skipping brushing your teeth now and then).
Dental Implant Procedure Overview
1) Evaluation & Preparation
Before the surgery can take place, meticulous planning must be completed by your to identify and analyze nerves, the sinus and the shape and dimensions of the bone in and around the area of interest.
During the preliminary examination, your dentist or specialist (prosthodontist) will take x-rays and CT scans of your jaw to analyze your bone structure to determine bone health, height and thickness. Specific attention is paid to the area that requires a dental implant. Your teeth and gums will be examined for disease and decay and treated prior to the procedure.
Getting implants is an outpatient procedure and can be performed at your local dentist’s office. The operation requires some form of anesthesia including local, general, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide. Dentists, periodontists and oral surgeons can all perform the surgery. Here is how to find a dentist you can trust.
The surgery is normally done in several stages:
1) Implant Placed
In the first stage, incisions are made into the gum to expose the bone. A hole is then drilled into the bone so that the implant can be placed. The implant is inserted completely into the jaw bone and lies below the gum tissue (see image above).
2) Healing (osseointegration)
The tissue is then stitched back into place or a temporary covering is used protect the gap from forces such as chewing. As the surrounding bone and gum tissues heal, the implant bonds itself to the bone. The healing process typically takes 3-6 months.
3) Abutment & Temporary Crown Installed
Once the osseointegration is complete, you have to go back to get the abutment installed. The abutment is a post that penetrates through the gums and connects the replacement tooth (or crown) to the implant. The gums above the implant are reopened to install the abutment.
This is another outpatient surgery and requires only local anesthesia. Once it is successfully placed, the gum is then closed up around but not over the abutment.
In some cases, it is possible to install both the implant and the abutment during the same surgery since research has shown that doing so has no detrimental effects as long as adequate time is given for everything to heal. In this case, it is important to note that the post will be visible and care must be taken not to apply any pressure to it during the healing process. It takes about 2 weeks for your gums to heal before you can finish the procedure.
4) Placement of the Permanent Crown, Bridge or Denture
Next the artificial tooth is made from impressions of your teeth and a model of your bite to ensure that it fits in naturally. Then it is attached to the abutment (it can take several appointments to get the fit right).
A removable prosthesis (denture or bridge) is often used if you had more than one tooth replaced. It is more affordable then implanting each tooth separately as it only takes one implant on either side to span an area and hold several artificial teeth in place.
For a more detailed description, please see our complete guide to dental implant surgery.
While losing a tooth can be stressful – remember that there are a number of options available to you, including dental implants. It might seem scary when reading about it, but there is minimal pain, risk and discomfort and the results are lasting and natural looking. Talk to your dentist about implants if you think they might be the solution for you.
Alternative Implant Placement Techniques
- All-on-4 Dental Implants Cost & Procedure
- “Immediate Loading” or Same Day Dental Implants
- Mini Implants
Alternatives to Dental Implants
- Fixed or Resin-Bonded Bridges: Dental Implants vs. Bridges
- Partial or Full Removable Dentures: Dental Implants vs. Dentures
What to Read Next
- Find a Dentist Using Our Clinic Locator Map
- All on 4 Dental Implants (Teeth in a Day)
- How to Save Money on Dental Implants
- Dental Implant Problems – What Can Go Wrong
- How to Find a Dentist You Can Trust
Over to You
Had a great experience with implants and want to recommend your dentist? Experienced nothing but pain, stress and frustration and would like to warn others?
Either way, we would like to hear from you. Your reviews and advice will be greatly appreciated by others who visit this website as many of them are in a situation similar to the one you were in once – trying to find a trustworthy dentist that provides quality dental implants for the right price. So no matter what city, state or country you got your dental implants in, you can help others out.