What Affects the Prices of Dental Implants?
What Affects Dental Implants Prices?
Dental implants treatment is actually a combination of different dental procedures (diagnostic, surgical and restorative) sometimes performed by different dental professionals. This is one of the main reasons to explain the significant variations of the dental implants prices from patient to patient or from dentist to dentist.
Main Factors Affecting the Prices of Dental Implants
The dental implants prices depend on a large number of different factors, which affect each step of the dental implants procedure. These include the kind of treatments required for each patient's case, the choice of materials to be used for the implantation or the restoration and finally geopolitical factors that usually affect the price of every dental procedure:
Preparation phase costs of Dental Implants
- Consultation fee. Some dental implant dentists may charge for the initial consultation appointment up to $100. Others provide this service for free.
- CT scans. Difficult cases when there is uncertainty for the condition of the jaw bone in the implantation area, x-rays do not provide adequate information. Computerized tomography (CT) scans can give a detailed 3 dimensional image of the jawbone and the location of structures such as nerves and sinuses that will help the dentist in treatment planning. Unfortunately CT scans or other special radiographic examinations may raise the cost of dental implants treatment by $500 or more.
- Extractions. If the implant is about to replace one or more damaged or loose teeth that have not been extracted yet, the cost of extractions may be added to the treatment price.
- Bone grafting. If the condition of the jaw bone is not optimum there is increased risk of implant failure due to not bonding properly with the jaw. Bone grafting is a procedure where a small piece of bone from another part of the body is placed on the jaw to provide better support for the implant. Bone grafting, if necessary, can add $1000 to $6000 to the cost of dental implants depending on the amount of bone that has to be grafted and the difficulty of the procedure.
- Gum grafting. If there is not enough gum tissue to cover aesthetically the implant and the restoration due to gum recession, gum grafting can add another $500-$1000 to the dental implants price.
Surgical phase costs of Dental Implants
- The implant dentist. The experience of an implant dentist in planning and executing properly the implant placement is the main factor for the success of the treatment. Experienced dental implant dentists have a much lower failure rate on the implants they place. As you should expect the fees of a dental professional that works only with dental implants and has obtained a high level of expertise in this field will be higher than the fees of a dentist who only sporadically works with implant patients.
- Location (country/town). Dental implants prices vary greatly from county to country or even from town to town. Implant dentists located in countries or areas of a country with lower cost of living and maintaining their dental practice can offer lower prices for dental implants. In the recent years many patients decide to travel abroad for dental implants placement.
- Type of implantation. The common types such as endosseous dental implants or the blade/plate form implants do not differ much in price. But the use of a sub-periosteal dental implant, that is required there is not much jaw structure for the placement of an endosseous implant, can raise significantly the total cost of dental implants.
- Brand of implant. There are many different manufacturers and brands of dental implants. Although the prices of the premium brands such as Nobel Biocare are within a close range, there are brands available at almost half the price but they come with only a 5 year materials guarantee. By paying the higher cost for a premium implants brand you get a 10 years guarantee for the material but also decrease the risk of treatment failure.
- Special implant coating. In cases where the bone structure around the implant lacks in density (soft bone), the dentist may recommend the use of specially coated implants that claim to help in the osseo-integration process. Coated implants will raise the cost by about $250.
- Special types of implants. If the spacing between the adjacent teeth is not enough for the placement of a regular implant, the dentist will use a special narrow diameter implant. If there is not enough bone height or when the implant is about to replace a large molar, the dentist may use a wider diameter implant for better support. The special diameter dental implants cost more, being about $250 more expensive.
- Mini implants. Some dentists, in order to offer a lower price, may suggest the use of mini implants instead of regular implants. Mini implants are a lower cost type of smaller implants designed primarily to be used for supporting dentures and not for teeth replacement. If the jaw bone is healthy some dentists promote the use of mini implants for replacing smaller front teeth. Due to their faster and easier implantation they are also called one-day-implants, but they have higher risk of failure in the long term.
- Location of the implant. Some dentists charge up to $750 more for implants in the posterior mandible (back of the lower jaw) due to the increased difficulty of the surgical procedure in this area.
- Number of implants. Generally, the price per single dental implant will be lower where more than three implants are placed.
- Implant abutment. When the osseointegration is completed the dentist fixes on the implant a post that will act as the base for the prosthetic restoration. Special types of abutments such as the zirconium coated may cost 100% higher.
Restorative phase costs of Dental Implants
- Temporary crown. During the osseointegration phase the implant is normally covered with the gum tissue and the space above the gums remains empty. In case of a missing front tooth that would severely affect the patient's appearance for about 3-6 months, the dentist may place immediately on the implant a temporary crown that comes with an additional cost.
- Type of permanent restoration. The price will be normally different depending on the type of restoration (crown, bridge or denture). Even if a single crown is needed there are different types of materials available with different benefits and prices.