Finding Low Cost Dental Implants & Saving Money

Dental implants are the longest-lasting and most natural looking/functioning solution for replacing missing teeth. Unfortunately, the cost to have implants placed can be quite prohibitive since a single implant can cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, there are few ways in which a patient can obtain implants at a more affordable price.

In This Guide

1) Comparison Shopping

To find the best rates, patients should get quotes from several dentists, asking for a comprehensive breakdown of the fees and estimated total cost of the necessary consultations, imaging (x-rays or CT scans), anesthesia, modeling, surgery, materials (post, abutment and crown) as well as any additional procedures such as sinus lifts and bone grafts.

Dentists are not the only dental professionals that can be certified to perform implant procedures, so patients can get quotes from other qualified professionals including periodontists and oral surgeons. Selecting a newer dental practice may help reduce the price as a dentist who is looking to build a clientele and gain experience may charge less than a more established dentist. That said, be sure you know what to look for when you’re trying to find a good dentist.

2) Geographic Location

The cost of dental implants can vary quite significantly geographically, so patients can find savings by considering a larger geographic area. This is especially true for patients in larger cities. Dentists in urban centers generally have a higher cost of living and higher overhead costs than those in smaller towns and as a result, are more likely to quote higher prices.

3) Travel Abroad

Dental Implant Cost by CountryTaking the search a step further, dental tourism has become a popular option for those searching for low cost dental implants. Developing countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Hungary and many Asian destinations offer treatment for a fraction of the price patients can expect to pay in developed countries like the United States, Canada and the UK.

This is especially useful for less severe cases in which a patient is a candidate for simultaneous implant and crown placement. While the savings can be impressive, dental tourism should be approached with caution. The licensing standards and regulations of the country in question as well as the credentials and reputation of the prospective dentist should be carefully researched.

For more information on traveling for treatment, check out the Complete Guide to Dental Treatment Abroad which covers some of the most popular countries, the benefits & risks as well as interviews with dentists and patients.

4) Schools of Dentistry

Another option is to take part in a dental implant clinic/program held at a school of dentistry. These programs provide recently graduated dentistry school students looking to gain hands-on experience with the opportunity to perform dental implant procedures with the assistance and supervision of experienced dentists or dental surgeons. Some schools only offer this service to low income individuals – and don’t be surprised if you’re placed on a wait list. The work can take a long time (multiple visits), and the hours can be inconvenient (during working hours), but if you qualify, the wait is well worth the thousands of dollars you’ll save.

The work is typically very good quality since work done at a dental school includes quite a bit of oversight. Each diagnosis and treatment is analyzed and discussed by several students and professors. They provide the same quality treatment as professionals for a fraction of the cost since they’ve studied and practiced the procedures on models.

At the very least, these clinics are a great place to go for a second opinion.

Here are a few example schools/programs that offer implants at reduced rates (and the reader who mentioned them in brackets):

5) Dental Societies and Charitable Organizations

Some dental societies and non-profit charitable organizations offer free or discounted care for low income patients, often during planned events. There are also associations that provide free care for patients in specific demographic groups, such as victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, women and children. The American Dental Association lists both state and county dental associations in its online directory.

6) Financing

Care CreditThere are companies such as Care Credit that finance dental work, allowing a patient to receive implants and make monthly payments along with the applicable fees and interest. The main requirement to qualify for the loan is a decent credit score. Since they are the longest-lasting restoration option and typically do not require continuing dental work in the future, financing the cost (despite fees and interest) can be a great way to afford implants.

7) Discount Dental Plans

Discount dental plans are a membership-based plans in which patients pay yearly or monthly fees in order to receive discounts on dental care, ranging from 10% to 60%. Patients participating in these plans are generally required to use only affiliated dentists within the plan’s network, but the discounts can potentially take hundreds, if not thousands of dollars off of the total cost of an implant procedure.

Find out how one of our readers saved $3300 on his implants thanks to a dental discount plan.

8) Know the Alternatives

Dental BridgeBridges and partial dentures are the main alternatives to dental implants for replacing missing or extracted teeth. This is especially the case if there are still viable abutment teeth to support a bridge crown. They do not usually last as long as implants, but dental bridges can last an average of 15 years if they are properly cared for. Bridges are bonded to the abutment teeth so they do not need to be removed for cleaning like partial and full-mouth dentures. The drawback of a dental bridge is that the bone in the jaw supporting it under the artificial teeth will atrophy over time, eventually causing failure of the crown and bridge.

9) Insurance Coverage

Most dental insurance carriers do not cover implants because it is considered a cosmetic procedure, but company policies continue to change. Some dental insurance providers are starting to offer to pay up to the cost of similar, but less expensive procedure such as bridge or partial dentures. Insurance coverage will usually include procedures that restore functions that are compromised by the pain caused by missing teeth. If dental implants are the only procedure that can bring your oral health back to normal, then your insurance will probably cover at least a portion of it.

10) Fundraising Campaign

If you’ve tried all of the options above and found that they aren’t available in your area, don’t make the procedure affordable enough or that you’re ineligible, then you should consider starting a campaign to raise the funds using a website such as Indiegogo.com or GoFundMe.com. These services are similar to Kickstarter – the most well-known crowdfunding service – but they will allow you to raise money for a personal health matter.

Once you’ve setup a page and written an honest and detailed explanation of your situation (and maybe even created a video), you can send a link to your family, friends, co-workers, local churches and any online communities you’re a part of asking them to donate towards the cost of the dental work. Make sure that you outline how your new teeth will positively impact your life (and possibly the lives of your family) as well as exactly how the money will be spent.

Important to Remember

  • Asking other people for money isn’t for everyone – especially when it is for a personal health issue. If this approach would make your or a member of your family embarrassed/uncomfortable, then it might not be a good idea.
  • It isn’t advisable to pressure people, beg or ask multiple times for money.
  • Before asking somebody, ask yourself: If this person asked me for money, would I donate to their cause?

What to Read Next

Over to You

Which of these methods did you use to save money? How much did you pay for your treatment? Leave a comment and let us know!

LOOKING TO SAVE MONEY ON DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Guide to Getting Dental Treatment Abroad
If so, click the green button below to check out the Complete Guide to Getting Dental Treatment Abroad and learn:
  • How to find a dentist you can trust
  • What costs to take into consideration
  • What destinations offer the best value

70 thoughts on “Finding Low Cost Dental Implants & Saving Money

  1. The costs are still too high and are kept unnaturally high ironically by associations and “unions” who have a vested interest in keeping the pricing in line across all “competition”. It doesn’t help that insurance is there in the first place, giving people the false impression that no matter how poor a person is they can afford such bloated pricing especially in today’s economy (sorry Obama, I don’t believe your “recovery” propaganda). My last dentist actually caused my dental problems after my insurance back out in the middle or procedures that he caused the need for (pulpotomy in too long cuz he was too busy..then it finally broke while I was eating. Then he broke two teeth extracting that tooth) .. He did a spotty job cleaning up the mess because he wasn’t getting the pay he thought he was going to get. I probably had a law suit but I never wanted to see his face again. Now though to repair the damage years later I would need to mortgage my life. These procedures need to be more reasonably priced and there needs to be more real competition…so that the few outlets that there are aren’t overbooked the way they seemed to be now. I maybe be angry after reading the posts here..but this is how I feel. Sorry.

  2. Many of the comments that Medicaid won’t pay for dentures or dental work are wrong! It depends on your state. I have Mass Health (from Massachusetts), which is Medicaid. It started paying for dentures in 2015. Massachusetts also has a program called Health Safety Net that gives Medicaid clients further benefits. Health Safety Net will pay for root canals and crowns for front teeth, but only if you are a Mass. resident AND you go to a community health center for the work. They will not pay if you go to your regular dentist. There’s no paperwork to fill out, you should just make an appointment at your community health center and they take care of everything. The Brockton Community Health Center is an example. I qualified for six root canals and crowns (which is all the lower teeth I had left) and then they will make a partial denture for the rest, plus an entire top denture. But act quickly because they could end the program if they run out of money. Be sure to check your state. Many states were forced to add dental coverage to their medicaid plans in 2015! Even if you were turned down last year, things may have changed! Good luck everyone. I hope that all of you end up with beautiful smiles!

  3. I just have been reading the posts here and I have a couple of points to make for the people that for some reason can’t imagine certain situations.
    I need implants. I have Systemic Sclerosis and my teeth started shattering, abcessing and this during the year I was to celebrate living 10 years without major damage to my internal organs or dropping dead from a stroke or heart attack.
    I currently have 5 abcesses and my immune system has tanked and we have been trying to defeat a thrush infection that I’ve had for 6 months now.
    So my point is being disabled is just the 1st hurdle, the health problems and the corporate pirates called insurance companies don’t care that not everyone can just pop in a set of dentures. My condition doesn’t have the luxury of risking sores or raw areas of the gum that can get infections because my immune system is too weak to keep it from turning into a nightmare.
    So it’s not so cut and dry for some of us.
    So while this nightmare continues, teeth continue to shatter, tearing holes in my digestive system and poisoning my blood. I can’t do anything about it until I clear up a simple yeast infection.
    I have had several dentists say they would do anything for me…only to just fade into “your situation is just too complicated”.
    This whole system is flawed and I have full coverage both health and dental that is going to do nothing to fix my problem not caring that it could ultimately kill me.

  4. I’m not asking for help. Just want to comment. I hope the person who said 99% of dental problems are preventable read these accounts. I’ll add mine: I had radiation and chemotherapy 7 years ago for throat cancer which just ruined my teeth. Then a year ago the throat cancer returned so I had different chemo drugs and surgery. They had to break several teeth during the surgery. During that time I also had breast cancer which was like a stubbed toe compared to the throat problems. So more surgery and radiation. So for 7 years I’ve also had dry mouth which has also caused more tooth loss. I can’t chew at all, but that’s not a problem because I am still learning how to swallow and haven’t eaten or drank anything since November. November 2nd, 2015. I’m also in therapy to be able to move my neck and back.
    But I’m feeling pretty good because I’m feeling better each day. They eradicated all of the cancer! And for the first time since 3rd grade, I don’t think I’m fat!
    But, my teeth, or rather lack of teeth, has been quite a bummer. It has literally diminished my smile, outwardly and inwardly, deeply to my soul.
    This happy-go-lucky social butterfly morphed into a sluggish hermit crab. But not forever!
    Thanks to my sister I’m going to Mexico for a smile as soon as I can get rid of gum infections. Happy day! Seriously, though, dental and vision and hearing care should be integral parts of basic health insurance.

Leave a Comment