Why do dental implants cost so much?! If you’ve ever had a tooth extracted, by accident or by a dentist, then you’ve probably looked into your tooth replacement options, including dental implants.
There’s no question that implants are the best longterm tooth replacement option, but the cost of the procedure can give some patients sticker shock. Many patients leave the office wondering why something as “simple” as a tooth replacement can cost as much as $5000.
In this week’s post we pull back the curtain so patients can begin to see why dental implants cost so much.
Why Do Dental Implants Cost So Much?
Depending on the circumstance, a singledental implant can range from $2500 to as much as $5000. Even if some of the cost is covered by your insurance, that’s still a big chunk of change coming out of your pocket.
So, what exactly are you paying for when you get an implant
First, there’s the implant itself. Dental implants are made of a titanium post that’s screwed into your jaw bone and designed to simulate the form and function of your tooth’s natural roots. Titanium is a strong, lightweight, and long-lasting metal.
When you think about something that’s going to be in your mouth for a number of years, strength and durability is key. The last thing you want is to use a cheap material that won’t last a lifetime and requires replacement.
The other part of a dental implant is a porcelain crown that sits on top of the post and resembles your original tooth. Crowns are custom made to fit in with the rest of your teeth. It will match the shape and color of your other teeth so it blends in as seamlessly when you smile.
The final dental implant cost that many people overlook is that this is a surgical procedure. Even though it may not be performed in a hospital setting, there is years of training, knowledge, and experience that go into knowing exactly where to place the dental implant. The dentist must drill into your jaw without hitting any of the major nerves and in a way that ensures that the implant integrates correctly with the jaw bone. This is a carefully planned and precise installation that may patients overlook.
An implant that isn’t properly placed can fail to heal with your jaw or, worse case scenario, can result in pain, discomfort, headaches, or even lost feeling in parts of your face.
Additional procedures may also be needed in order to install the implant and to make sure it lasts a lifetime. Some common procedures include extraction of your original tooth and bone grafting.
Long-Term Health Risks
Given these costs, it might be tempting to let your missing tooth go and not replace it with a dental implant. Doing this will cost much more over your lifetime.
A missing tooth can harm your self-esteem as you constantly face the shame of having a missing tooth. It can also lead to more serious dental problems down the road.
Over time, the missing teeth will shift toward each other in an attempt to fill in the gap between them. This can cause issues with the teeth surrounding the gap and even throw off your bite.
Gum disease is another common oral health issue that can creep in if the teeth and gums around the missing tooth are not taken care of. What starts out as the need to replace one tooth can quickly turn into the need for multiple implants.
Missing teeth can also cause problems with digestion. If food is not chewed properly, it leads to issues like acid reflux and malnutrition from nutrients that are not absorbed by the body. All of your teeth are necessary for proper chewing, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
As you can see, dental implants are a complex procedure. While they may seem expensive, there is a lot that goes into the procedure to ensure you have a strong and durable tooth replacement that will last a lifetime.
While you may be considering holding off or passing on replacing that tooth for financial reasons, keep in mind the longterm costs and potential health impacts of just one missing tooth. Also keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Just as you wouldn’t want cheap materials to be used to repair a broken bone or to have surgery by someone that is untrained, the same is true for dental implants.