Quality dental care is not cheap. Looking good and feeling good can come with a high price tag, especially in regards to dental implants. While you may have dental insurance, you may wonder why it doesn’t always cover your dental implants and associated procedures. Even with partial coverage, you will likely have to pay some of it out of your own pocket. So, why are dental implants so expensive?
Three million people in this country have dental implants and that number is growing by 500,000 a year, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. In addition, the estimated U.S. and European market for dental implants is expected to hit $4.2 billion by 2022. To review, dental implants are basically replacement tooth roots, designed to provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth made to match the natural teeth. It’s very common to lose a tooth, whether through trauma, injury or decay.
What Contributes to the High Cost?
Understanding cost is predicated on knowing what the procedure entails. One of the reasons why implants are so expensive is because they are considered surgical procedures. Your dentist must have training in implantology in order to perform this surgery; if not, you will have to see a specialist, such as an oral surgeon or prosthodontist. That alone can jack up the cost due to the credentials and training required to perform the work.
The other reasons why implants are so expensive is because the actual implant is just a small portion of the entire procedure. How successful your implant is will depend on the right diagnosis and care, from the first consultation through application of the crown. Each of the steps involved costs a lot of money, leading to the final price tag which can be shocking. Here are a few of the things involved that can contribute to price:
- X-rays (standard or panoramic x-rays or a CT scan)
- Impression of the teeth and gums
- Possibility of bone graft
- Implant insertion
- Temporary crown
- Abutment placement (this connects the implant to the replacement tooth)
- Permanent crown (crafted in a lab according to your exact specifications)
Breaking it Down
As you can imagine, not all of these steps are performed in one visit. The whole procedure can take several visits before your final crown is attached.
Because most insurance companies consider a dental implant an elective procedure, they don’t always cover it. However, be sure to check your policy, as a dental implant, as we have shown, involves many different steps that could be covered by insurance.
Bottom line is, don’t avoid getting a dental implant based on cost. If you don’t take care of a decayed or dead tooth, you will lose it and be left with a gap. If your tooth has been knocked out, you still need to replace it, and fast. Many dentist’s offices offer affordable payment plans to help you pay for the procedure according to your budget.
Gary C. Demetriou DMD is a specialist in dental implants and can address your needs quickly and efficiently. We are happy to work with patients on payment plans that help them more affordably budget for such a procedure. Call us today at 978-794-0010.