Finding Low Cost Dental Implants & Saving Money

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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!

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

  1. You don’t need implants to have teeth replaced. If you are low income, you probably qualify to some sort of state aid. In California, under the Obama Care Affordable Heath Act. Denti-Cal is the dental part of the Medi-Cal system. They pay for full dentures. They do not pay for the implants unless medically removable dentures are a problem
    (Epileptic, etc ) However, removable full dentures are better than no teeth at all and you can always put the implants in later if your financial situation improves. Contact the state you live in for their state aid insurance..

  2. Hi, I’m 40 years old and I have 3 kids, 3 of my bottom front teeth are loose and need to be pulled out, I was laid off from work and I’m unemployed, I was told it will cost me more than $10,000 if I want to get implants and about $8000 if I decide to get a bridge. I cannot afford it and i’m asking if I can be directed to any places where I can get dental help. Thanks.

    • Hi, I had a bridge about 7-8 years ago to replace one upper front tooth that cost very little. The periodontist I was seeing extracted the tooth and then shaped and bonded it right back in its original place to the two adjacent teeth. I much preferred it to any type of false-tooth pontic because it was my own and already the right shape, size and color. In addition, there was no grinding down and/or expensive capping of the adjacent teeth as so often is recommended.

      Having other dental problems, I no longer have that bridge but it was no problem in itself. I don’t know how long it would have lasted versus other options but when you start researching things you realize that none of them are that risk-free. Have friends who had failed implants and caps. The latter often enough can decay underneath. Good luck.

  3. I am 28 years old mother of 4 beautiful kids. Everytime I got pregnant I have lost a tooth. Also my canine teeth in the front decided not to grow in. I used to get made fun of for my teeth when I was a kid. Even adults would make fun of me. I just lost 2 more of my front teeth. I feel awful about myself. I don’t want to smile or talk to anyone. I am a nurse but with 4 kids and bills I haven’t been able to afford Dr get my teeth fixed. My teeth are just slowly rotting away…all of them….I wish there was something I could do. There must be someway I can get my teeth fixed. I hope there is…..

    • Sorry Mike but they don’t cover dental,only children. And then it’s cut off at age 18..Angola I am so sorry you are having trouble. I don’t see anything that referring that they want just money.people want their teeth fixed and dental insurance coverage is a joke. It’s so expensive I know that you are feeling the way you feel.because I am in the same situation. If the dentist did not charge you a arm and a leg for every thing that they do, people would not have all the dental problems. They only work three and half days a week why? Because they make enough money in that amout of time so they can take half days and not work at all on Fridays. The cost of dental in the United States is outrageous. Point blank period. Hope that you can find a way to get all the work you need done. Best of luck to you.

      • >>If the dentist did not charge you a arm and a leg for every thing that they do, people would not have all the dental problems.

        If what you state were true, then nobody on Medicaid would have medical problems because it is almost free. We all know that is not true, yet instead of seeking the source of society’s dental problems, you blame those who have the means to solve them. For example, did you know that 99% of dental related diseases are completely preventable. Just don’t expose your teeth to acidic foods and beverages, especially between meals, and brush and floss every night. It’s as simple as that.

        >>They only work three and half days a week why? Because they make enough money in that amount of time so they can take half days and not work at all on Fridays.

        My office is open Monday through Friday. We employ 18 people, and provide charitable care on a continuous basis. Most dentists who work four or less days per week have health issues, neck or back problems, or very low overhead because they are debt free. Also, most dentists spend at least 10 hours per week on nonclinical tasks such as human resources, office duties, continuing education, marketing, repairing their own equipment, etc. Ironically, if a dentist worked 60 hours per week they would be very wealthy. The truth is, most cannot handle that kind of stress or physical fatigue.

        >>The cost of dental in the United States is outrageous.

        Did you know the cost of a single crown is roughly the same as it was in 1950 when measured by the value of gold? Why is it dentistry’s fault that our dollar has devalued so much over time? While it is expensive, so is any plumbing, electrical, roofing, automotive, medical, legal, or any other professional service. Also, to receive the same level of care in any other modernized country, you will pay roughly the same as the work you pay for in the USA as the cost of materials is roughly the same around the world. The main difference is the cost of labor and the cost of rent, but when you add the cost of travel, housing, and the inability to sue a foreign dentist in many cases for malpractice, the real cost of having work done in the USA is not so bad. Finally, when I provide charitable care at up to 75% off, which pays for my staff wages and a portion of the materials, I make sure the patient promises me they will quit smoking, drinking, or doing any illicit drugs. Why should I have to subsidize their luxurious behaviors when I can’t afford to do those things myself?

        • >>If what you state were true, then nobody on Medicaid would have medical problems because it is almost free. <<

          After reading the opening arguement, it is clear your basis lacks any sort of reality. By that response, you are saying that because one would have medical insurance, wether Medicare/Medicaid or not, that nobody would have health problems. Go back and think about that "Dr." Last time I checked, people with cancer and other life threatening illness didn't get sick due to lack of insurance, they got sick regardless. And Medicare/Medicaid only covers a bare minimum. Case in point, if you go to a doctor and you receive poor care, depending on the type of visit you cannot get a second opinion if on Medicare or Medicaid. You can appeal, which takes a long time, or (we will say in the case of dentures) you can wait a year or more for that second opinion.
          Regardless, your basis for rebuttal are hilarious at best.

          • I may be wrong, but I think you misinterpreted Dr. Kim’s argument. He’s arguing that the “cost” of dental care has no correlation to the source of a person’s poor dental health. Whether dental care is expensive or not, is has nothing to do with “why” people have bad teeth. That would be like blaming the cost of birth control for getting pregnant. Sure, costly dental care prevents many people from getting treatment, which may cause their teeth to progressively worsen, but it is not the “cause” of one’s initial dental problems.

  4. I smoked meth for 9 years and ruined my teeth. I’ve been sober 2 years and really want to fix my teeth. The cost to fix them and get the implants I need is around 10,000 I need as much help as I can get to lower the cost as I am a single mom of two boys. Any and all help will be appreciated!

    • First understand that the primary necessity of teeth is to eat to nourish your body. To maintain health is also important. When those permanent teeth are gone there is no coming back. I am on a fixed income as well and can’t even fathom the thought of keeping rotting teeth in my mouth rather than get dentures. which if used properly will not fly out of your mouth spontaneously. What makes anyone in such a predicament, speak poorly about an option for a healthy pretty smile, simply because you prefer another more expensive option that clearly is not affordable. So either way you are asking someone to fix your teeth but only if it is with the most expensive dental treatment available. I don’t think that anyone willing to help would do so in that manner simply because. Answer this….Is your rotten mouth smile better than dentures?

      • I feel sorry for you that you can have so little compassion for other people. As was already mentioned, sometimes dentures are not appropriate for all situations. And unless you have had to deal with the shame and embarrassment of having broken, ugly teeth, you really don’t know how it feels.

        It seems like you assume that people seeking this type of treatment are all lazy, entitled people who don’t want to contribute toward treatment, when most of the time it’s actually people who don’t have the means to contribute very much. How dare they want something that will look nice and feel comfortable and improve their self-esteem and health, right?

        I bet you are the type of person who says ugly things to people about their appearance and is then surprised and offended when they get upset about it. Because you’re “just sayin” right? How nice it must be to be up on your high horse and tell people what you’d do in their situation when you really have no idea.

      • I get what you mean Jennifer, however some people can’t qualify for dentures-in my case steroids meant to fix my back injury resulted in the wearing down of my jawbone, leaving regular dentures a non-option-the bones need to be strong and the correct shape to hold in the dentures. I would qualify for what is called “permanent dentures” , however that requires a couple of implants to secure them to and they can be removed every so often to clean them and make sure your mouth is okay. My teeth got destroyed from the steroids after I received a back injury on my spinal cord after a violent domestic abuse situation, so I never asked for this. I constantly choke a lot trying to eat-it’s not fun and it looks terrible-I’m only 42 and I feel like I’m 80. 🙁

  5. I am on disability with an income of $866.00 per month. I have 8 teeth left in my mouth and have not smiled in four years. I avoid social situations and am afraid I embarrass my grandchildren. All I want is to smile again. Growing up I always knew that I wasn’t pretty, but people always said I had a pretty smile. I used to be such a happy person. I never had money or possessions, but I had friends, family and just an enjoyment of life. My lack of teeth has diminished my happiness so much. Having teeth again would change so much for me, to be able to smile and laugh with my wonderful grandchildren would be such a blessing.

    • If you receive a reply on completely FREE dental implants (this is all i can have because my crowns have totally rotted teeth beneath them and i do not want dentures that come out)
      please let me know. i am on social security too but since i worked under the table to support my children because i had no child support, i only get $379 a month!
      I have been living with an x boyfriend for years (no alternative) and can not afford any price at all. I am so depressed about not being able to get my mouth done!
      I am 64 years old, and so depressed. It makes me feel so ugly and i cannot smile. Feels helpless.

      • If your pay is that low both of you qualify for and probably receive Medicaid or Medicare. Either can take care of your dental needs.

        • From what I understand if you are disabled and /or over 65 and have Medicare they do not offer any Dental benefits unless you have Medicaid as well (which I know I and a lot of people don’t qualify for). The poverty level in my state is extremely low but I’m disabled and most of my money that I receive each month from SSD goes right back toward my regular medical bills and Rx. It’s hard enough to pay my bills each month with my income the last thing I can think about is paying crazy amounts of money for my long overdue; extremely necessary dental needs. If anyone has any suggestion please let me know. Thank You!

        • Dentical only pays for children, medical and medicaid do not cover cosmetic dentistry period and barely cover any routine servcices at all. Programs have been cut to bare minimum sorry

          • As of January 2014 dental in CA was restored to Medicaid recpients. Implants are excluded but dentures are covered

          • Dentures are not covered! Extractions are. The theory is that people die from abscesses and related conditions (brain and heart infections), but not from toothlessness. Never mind the despair, loss of functionality, and poor nutrition folks are left with. And the state doesn’t care if you’re 20 or 60. Just once I got teeth paid for by Medicaid, for a client of mine. He literally couldn’t eat anything and was too psychotic to work around it. Now I need the help and can’t get it!

          • Dentical has covered adults since Jan 2015. I have full dentures and they were covered by dentical.

        • Dear Mike,
          I just want to inform you that medicaid does not pay for tooth replacement for adults and only covers patient in pain. They will gladly pull your teeth but will not repair. Thats why you see so many poor people without them. And this woman does not qualify for medicare as she is only 64 and she probably will not be able to afford medicare anyway when it is available to her.
          Its so sad isn’t it. I truely wish i had the extra money to help this woman.

        • Medicaid dental plans only cover getting teet pulled..Certainly not implants, root canals, crowns, bridges etc. They are considered cosmetic. Medicaid wud rather pull All teeth n give u dentures than pay for one implant, sad as it sounds. “Catholic Charities” is the only place that covers most all non-implant needs for ppl with no income. If u have 3 or more teeth out in a row, they will also cover crown/bridges.

      • Are you seriously expecting someone to pay for you to have dental implants without any contributions. I wouldn’t be so quick to write off dentures which may be your only viable option in the real world for most people in your position. I think it is kind of crazy to hear so many people with that expectation or unrealistic fantasy. Truth is that if you got assistance for dental expenses it would be for necessity not for the most expensive dental procedure known for cosmetic purposes. Dentures are not all created equal and could benefit many of you greatly. You might want to try the more realistic approach and be happy with the denture smile rather than miserable with a rotten and broken smile. Just saying…

        • Not all people will benefit from denture wear and implant is the most viable solution to better overall health. You assume people just want the absolute best without regard to what they contribute, as in just a bunch of deadbeats that want something for free. This is sometimes true, but there also also legitimate needs to be considered. You obviously have not been put into any kind of situation like this, so I can understand your lack of understanding.

        • I have gotten dentures from my Ohio medicaid. The problem is they made them wrong for my mouth. So they are going to replace them. As it stands now the ones I have pop out when eating even mashed potatoes. And stuff gets between the dentures and gums so easy and this is with using denture cream. Stuff in between dentures and gums very painful. I would love implants because it’s frustrating when teeth pop out in pubic. Bus as most on medicare and medicaid are at the mercy of the State and government. Dental health is important. Especially for people with multiple health problems. I don’t think people on health programs are thinking oh i just have to have top of the line teeth. But they would like to look normal and eat like everyone else. If you have all your teeth you can’t understand the embarrassment or the pain of teeth missing or rotted. And for some it isn’t a matter of not taking care of them. Some have medical problems that causes the loss of teeth. And can’t afford new ones especially with the high cost of medicine and dental work in America

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