By now, almost everyone has heard of dental implants. You probably also know that dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. There's no doubt that dental implants offer the best solution to replacing missing teeth. Implants are strong, durable, and offer full chewing capability. The implant screw helps preserve your jawbone and maintain facial muscles to make you look and feel younger. Dental implants are superior to both dentures and bridges. You can learn more about the benefits of dental implants by clicking here.
What people don't understand about dental implants is "why are they so expensive?" The biggest obstacle to getting dental implants is the cost of treatment. Typically, replacing a single tooth with a dental implant in the U.S. costs anywhere from $2,000 up to $8,000! So why are dental implants so expensive? Why can't they just cost as much as a crown or a root canal? Believe it or not, dental implant prices are actually the lowest they have ever been. However, don't expect implants to become much cheaper anytime soon. Here are a few reasons why dental implants continue to maintain their premium pricing:
Dental implant parts are very expensive
Most dental implants consist of three parts, which are the implant post (screw), the abutment, and the implant crown. The implant post is made from bio-compatible titanium or zirconia. The abutment is designed to fit precisely into the implant post. The implant screw is very expensive. The abutment is not cheap either. Finally, the implant crown is made by your local dental lab. Most dentists use screw-retained crowns to restore most of their dental implants. These crowns cost much more than traditional crowns do. Add in some bone graft, membrane, and suture material, and you'll soon realize that the dental implant parts alone are costing your dentist several hundred dollars, sometimes thousands of dollars. In fact, a full mouth dental implant case typically runs your dentist close to ten thousand dollars in implant parts and lab bills. So the first reason why dental implants cost so much is due to the cost of the parts themselves.
Treatment takes forever!
Another reason why dental implants cost so much is the duration of implant treatment. Most dental procedures, like fillings and crowns, take a few weeks. If things go wrong, maybe one or two months at the most. In contrast, dental implant treatment always takes a much longer time. Most implant treatments take anywhere from several months to a few years to complete. You may have to visit your dentist anywhere from four to five times for a single implant. For a larger case, like all-on-four or full mouth restorations, you may have to see them 10, 20, or 30 times to finish your treatment. Implant dentistry is complex work. It requires numerous visits and plenty of chair time. This is another reason why dental implants are so expensive.
Making prosthetic teeth that resemble your natural teeth is very challenging. There are many things that could go wrong, and will go wrong, during the course of implant treatment. Some issues have to do with the surgery, others to do with the restoration. For example, your implant may not take. You may need additional grafting procedures. The tooth size, shape, or color may not be to your liking. You may have a food trap that needs to be fixed. There are implant failures, prosthesis failures, and countless other problems that you may come across during treatment. The cost of addressing these complications needs to be factored into the implant fee upfront. Otherwise, you will be paying extra every single time your dentist has to perform an additional procedure. This is yet another reason why implant treatment is so expensive.
Skill set involved in implant dentistry
The final reason why dental implants are expensive is the challenges of becoming an expert in implant dentistry. Implant placement and restoration are different from other dental procedures. After all, not every dentist performs implant treatment. The ones that do typically invest a decade of training beyond dental school. Many have sought specialty training in periodontics or oral surgery to learn more about dental implants. This is already in addition to the eight years of post-high school training required to become a dentist. Add these all up, and it takes nearly 20 years of education and experience before your dentist becomes proficient at implant dentistry. This is another reason why dental implants cost as much as they do.
Are dental implants worth the price?
Dental implants are absolutely worth the price for those who need them. Missing teeth can cause cosmetic, psychological, and health problems. Missing just one tooth can throw off your entire bite and lead to additional tooth loss over the years. Besides, what could be better than having permanent teeth in your mouth and being able to chew, eat and speak properly? Having a healthy mouth is the gateway to a healthy body. Missing teeth leads to jaw atrophy, digestive issues, TMJ pain, and other medical problems. People with all of their teeth in their mouths live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. Investing in your teeth is no different than investing in your overall well-being. So yes, dental implants are expensive but ask anyone who has had them and they'll admit that implants are absolutely worth the price!