What is Included in the Cost of Dental Implants?

Erin J. Hill

The overall cost of dental implants generally includes the cost of the actual surgery, the artificial teeth being used to replace missing or damaged ones, and in some cases, an initial consultation visit. Costs and procedures included for the price will vary from doctor to doctor. In many cases, the cost for the implant surgery does not cover any visits needed to determine a patient's eligibility, nor for visits needed to remedy any pre-existing conditions that may affect the procedure.

The parts of a tooth.
The parts of a tooth.

Most teeth implants are done by surgically inserting metal posts into the jawbone. Dentures are then inserted into the posts, generally by screwing them in. In some cases, the dentures can be inserted directly into the jawbone. The benefits of undergoing the procedure compared to more traditional dentures, is that the artificial teeth do not depend on the surrounded teeth to stay in place. Implanted dentures are also sturdier and do not shift or move when properly inserted.

An illustration of a dental implant with a titanium abutment.
An illustration of a dental implant with a titanium abutment.

The cost of receiving implants generally includes the dentures and the surgical procedure needed to insert them. Patients may pay varying amounts depending on the number of dentures needed and the extent of any oral damage. If a patient needs several dentures put in place, it is generally possible to break up the surgeries so that only one or two dentures are placed at one time. This costs less up front, but may add up to cost more over time.

Some patients may have to have additional work done before the cost of dental implants can be determined. Those who have gum disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other diseases will need to have those conditions under control before surgery can be performed. Any procedures, office visits, or medications needed to allow the patient to become healthy enough for surgery may result in additional costs.

The amount of type of dental insurance a patient has will also affect the final cost of dental implants. Some insurance policies may not cover implants if they are being placed for cosmetic reasons. If they are being done to help alleviate pain or to repair tooth decay or disease, then the amount covered will depend on the exact policy being used.

There are also other alternatives that can be used to lower the cost of dental implants. Mini implants can be in used for smaller teeth and molars and are generally less pricey than full sized dentures. Additionally, most implants only last 10 to 20 years. After that time, they will likely need to be replaced. Teeth located in the back of the mouth used for chewing food often wear down more quickly than teeth in the front of the mouth. In most cases, replacement dentures are often less costly than the initial procedure if surgery is not necessary.

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