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  • Writer's pictureChris Salierno, DDS

How much do dental implants cost?

If you're considering replacing a tooth or multiple teeth with implants, you may be getting frustrated trying to get a straight answer on how much the procedure will cost. The answer is: it depends. In this short article, I'll tell you what you'll need to consider before speaking with a dentist.

(1) How many implants do you need?

Obviously there's a big difference between replacing a single tooth and a whole mouth of teeth. The good news is that you don't necessarily need to place an implant for every missing tooth. Dentists can sometimes use a "bridge" of teeth on top of implants, similar to what we do on regular teeth. For example, if you're missing three teeth in a row, we may be able to only place two implants and then make a three-tooth bridge.

(2) What is the current situation with your gums, bone, and teeth?

If you still have the tooth or teeth that will ultimately be replaced with implants, then we'll need to factor in the cost of extracting those teeth. A single tooth extraction can cost a few hundred dollars. It's also important to consider that implants need to be surrounded by a certain volume of healthy bone and gum tissue. If you're missing that, there will be additional costs to replace that before or at the same time the implants are placed. The cost of a gum graft or a bone graft can also be a few hundred dollars.

(3) What kind of teeth will you have on the implants?

This is especially important if you're missing multiple teeth. As I mentioned in #1, there are creative ways to replace missing teeth. There are also different materials that the dentist can use, like zirconia and acrylic. Your dentist may present a few different options based on your individual case and your needs. Each of these options can have a different cost. For example, a removable denture that snaps into 3 implants might cost $3000-$6000, not including implant surgeries. Meanwhile, a non-removable, zirconia bridge on 6 implants might cost $12,000-$15,000, not including implant surgeries. There are many more options than these, so please do not hold your dentist to these fees!

(4) Do you have dental benefits coverage?

Third party payers (aka "dental insurance") are starting to cover implant procedures more than they used to. Once your dentist determines your treatment plan (how many implants, need for grafting, etc.) then they can send a "pre-determination" to your benefit provider and get an estimate on how much you will owe out-of-pocket. Please note that some benefit providers will not cover certain elements of the procedure.

In my dental practice, I've completed many, many implant procedures. They are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth and they can change a person's life. Dentists will want to be as transparent as possible with their fees, but as you can see just from the 4 considerations above, there are a lot of variables that make it difficult to give an accurate estimate. However once the dentist performs an examination and gets the necessary diagnostic information, he/she should be able to give you a fee before you begin any treatment.


Disclaimer: ToothQuest is for informational purposes only and is not to be taken as dental, medical, or legal advice.  Please consult with your dentist or other appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions that would affect your health.

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