If you need to replace multiple teeth or your entire mouth with dental implants, the cost can range from $30,000 to $75,000. Needless to say, that’s a lot of money. But we have a tendency to think it’s not worth it or we’re somehow getting ripped off by greedy dentists. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting dental implants is a complex process that requires practitioner skill and precision and components that are built to last.
All of this said, once you have a better appreciation of the cost associated with dental implants, you can set your frame of mind to seek the most savings possible.
It’s not a routine cleaning or even something as unpleasant as a root canal. When you receive dental implants, you are undergoing a major surgical procedure. An oral surgeon or periodontist usually conducts this surgery. They’re well-paid professionals and, let’s face it, deserve every dime. Would you want an underpaid, under-educated, half-heartedly trained individual replacing your teeth?
Don’t cut corners here. Only use an implant dentist who is accredited by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID). That said, one route you might consider is hitting up dental schools in your area. They might be able to provide options that help cut the cost, even if slightly, of dental implants.
Without getting too deep in the dental weeds, implant surgery requires several steps. It’s not the type of procedure where you sit down in the chair for an hour and grab a bite to eat in celebration once you’re finished.
A specialist starts the procedure by positioning the implant or implants -- in several steps -- in your mouth. To give you an idea of what’s involved, your surgeon will screw the implant fixture into the bone where it effectively acts as a root for the tooth. From there, the surgeon places the abutment above the gumline where it supports the actual restoration -- the crown.
But you won’t get the crown (or crowns) right away. After the surgeon sets the implant, you wait. He or she will keep tabs on the implant. When it’s ready, the specialist gives your dentist the green light to place the crown on top of the abutment. At this point, you have a working tooth in your mouth that has been built and “installed” to stand the test of time.
As you might imagine, the materials dental professionals use for dental implants are not cheap. For example, titanium is a popular (and solid) choice for dental implants. And titanium isn’t cheap. If you’re looking to save money, you might want to talk to your dentist about using other materials. If your dentist uses titanium it will be medical grade. It’s strong, but a titanium fixture/abutment alone can cost between $1,500 to $3,000.
Most dentists and oral surgeons lease office space. Naturally, rent -- and other operating expenses -- will cost more in, say, New York City or Los Angeles than they do in Boise or Baton Rouge. It’s no different than going to a restaurant in a big city versus a small town. You’re likely to pay considerably less for food and drink in the latter simply because there isn’t as much overhead for the business operator.
This being said, you might be able to save money and not skimp on quality of care, if you seek dental professionals in less expensive cities. Let’s say you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but have close relatives or friends in Spartanburg, South Carolina. You might be able to save a considerable bit of money if you head southeast and get your dental implants done in Spartanburg rather than San Francisco, even when you factor in the cost of travel.
Many factors come into play with respect to dental implants. The best thing you can do to control costs is do research. This page is a great place to begin the journey. It also pays to sit down and talk to your dentist and/or oral surgeon. Explain your situation and see if they’re not only willing to work with you on price, but tailor the procedure to your needs in a way that saves money, but doesn’t sacrifice the quality of your dental implants.