Cost of Dental Implants: The Most Frequently Asked Question
For thousands of years, people searched for functional solutions for missing teeth. Egypt’s Pharaoh tried to replace lost teeth with ivory and precious jewels. George Washington wore his famous wooden dentures. Museums have jaws with pieces of rock or shell wired to adjacent natural teeth.
Today, we are one of the first generations with the opportunity to replace our teeth with something functionally and aesthetically equivalent to new teeth. Naturally, now that replacing lost teeth is possible, people’s first question is “How much do dental implants cost?”
Average Cost of Dental Implants
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The simple answer is that the average cost of the surgery for one dental implant in San Antonio, TX ranges somewhere between $1,000 and $2,200. Why such a range? An exact cost is difficult to give because it depends on what the “implant service” includes.
When it comes to implants, there are a number of factors that vary from patient to patient. For example, no one has the exact same type and quantity of bone. That’s why it’s important to ask about the service required in order to get an accurate price. If someone gives you a flat fee over the phone, they either lost money, overcharge or under-provide service for most patients. Beware of one-size-fits all prices for such complex procedures.
Implants Are a Product AND a Service
When someone purchases a product, answering how much it costs is simple. Dental services are not fixed products with a fixed price. In dentistry, the surgery fee for placing an implant depends on the complexity of the surgery, the individual patient’s health and the number of implants placed during the surgery. So, the question, “How much does an implant cost?” is a not a simple one. It requires knowing key information about the patient receiving the implant in order to answer it accurately.
When you get a quote from a builder for a new house, you don’t ask him how much the two-by-fours cost and assume that’s the cost of the house. We all realize that would be ridiculous.
In maxillofacial surgery, we have a similar situation. The Dental Implant itself is one element used in the construction of an implant tooth. Quoting a price for an implant requires the dentist to know details about what the patient wants as well as their mouth and health.
How to Get a Dental Implant Estimate
Come in and talk to us about what you’d like done with your dental implant and allow us to gather information about your health and bone. Oftentimes, people treat us as if we are trying to keep the cost a secret because we won’t give quotes over the phone. We want our patients to know the dental implant treatment cost before the project begins. Does a builder quote a price for a complex building project prior to seeing the blueprints and talking to the clients? That would be a disaster!
If you would like to interview our office and get an estimate of the work you would like to have done, please call us and schedule an implant consultation. We’ll go over all the factors involved in your case and give you an accurate price for the implant surgery cost and restoration cost.
Key Factors Leading To Successful Dental Implant Treatment
- Missing tooth already, or will it need to be extracted?
- Site Preservation Grafting needed after tooth is removed?
- Sufficient bone to support the new dental implant? (If bone Augmentation is needed, will it be done prior to or during the dental Implant Surgery?)
- Enough tough, attached gum tissue in the area around future tooth?
- Thick or thin gum tissue type?
- Tissue grafting needed before, during, or after dental implant placement? Tooth placement?
- Will the new dental implant tooth be screw retained or cement retained?
- Is a custom or stock implant abutment needed?
- Titanium or zirconium material for implant abutment?
- Will the implant abutment engage or not engage the dental implant connection?
- Porcelain layering necessary for improved esthetics?
What is the Average Cost for Replacing One Tooth with a Dental Implant?
Dental implants have become a fantastic way to replace individual teeth, root to crown. They started out as a simple denture stabilizer, but quickly proved valuable for so much more.
Implants have turned into the gold standard for replacing lost teeth. Many patients opt for implants to replace teeth one at a time as they lose them. This helps to spread the cost of major implant treatment out over the course of many years. It also ensures that the client always has healthy bone levels and functional teeth to chew with.
The average cost of the surgical and restorative steps for replacing one tooth with a dental implant ranges from $3,500 to $5,500. The monthly payment is as low as $100.
Implant Bridges – How to Save Money when you have Multiple Teeth Missing
Not only can implants replace single teeth, they can also replace groups of teeth. Anchoring small or large bridges or a partial denture to several implants allows for a cost effective treatment. Implant Bridges can restore a group of missing teeth at a significantly lower cost than replacing several teeth with individual dental implants.
The Average Cost of Full Mouth Dental Implants (Arch divided into Series of 3 Bridges)
Eventually, dentists realized that by anchoring multiple bridges to dental implants, they could replace all the teeth in an arch. This cost less than using individual implants to replace each individual missing tooth. When there is sufficient bone in key areas of the jaw, the patient receives 6 implants which will support 3 separate bridges: one bridge replacing all front teeth and two bridges for each of the posterior teeth segments.
These implant teeth are more easily managed, repaired, replaced and maintained. The average cost of replacing all teeth in an arch with 3 separate dental implant supported bridges falls in the range of $28,000 to $34,000. Payment Plans for replacing all teeth with a series of 3 individual bridges cost around $500 to $600 per month.
Cost of All-on-4: The One Bridge for All the Teeth on 4 Implants
All-on-4 treatment was a breakthrough for patientw with more extreme bone loss. In All-on-4, a full-arch of teeth anchors to four to six implants. The secret lies in placing those implants at specific angles.
Here’s how it works. All the artificial teeth get built as one single unit (or bridge), then get seated on 4 implants. The teeth do not come out at night like a regular denture.
The average cost of All-on-4 Dental Implants ranges between $28,000 and $38,000. Payment Plans for All-on-4 cases range from $600 to $800 a month. In the long run, when repairs or replacements will be necessary, patients should expect higher costs and more complex solutions than the multiple bridges approach discussed earlier
Snap-on Dentures: The Most Affordable Complete Arch Replacement Implant Treatment
While All-on-4 is a great treatment for some clients, it doesn’t fit everyone’s budget or bone anatomy. We recommend Snap-on Dentures, also called Implant Overdentures, as an excellent choice for full arch solutions.
Implant Overdentures are a modern, stable version of a classic denture. They require as little as 2 implants, so they typically cost much less than All-on-4.
Snap-on Dentures look great, chew well and provide a high level of patient satisfaction. They require removal every night for cleaning; however, this is healthier for tissue.
The following factors greatly influence the treatment costs of Snap-on Dentures:
- Are there any teeth requiring extraction?
- Sedation necessary for the extraction appointment?
- Is there a current denture already made that can be used as a healing denture?
- Could implants be placed at the time of extractions or would it require a separate surgery once the jaw bone has healed after extractions?
- Is there sufficient tough attached soft tissue (gums) where the implants would come out of the bone?
- Is there sufficient bone in the key places where implants would be placed?
- How many implants are necessary: 2, 3, 4 or more?
- What is the Bone Density like? Would a Titanium Bar be required to splint together the implants?
- Would the implants need to be placed at an angle (as in All-on-4 cases) to maximize spread and distances, then additional angle-correcting abutments be required?
The average cost of Snap-on Implant Overdentures ranges from $7,500 to $17,500. Monthly payments range from $100 to $300 per month.
Check out the Current Snap-on Denture Specials.
Guided Implant Surgery: Using Technology for a Safer Surgery
The word “surgery” causes fear for most people. Surgery involves more than just drilling and filling. It makes you feel helpless and seems unpredictable.
Our staff understands these feelings; we’ve been patients ourselves. That’s why, as a team, we stay committed to making our patients’ implant surgeries as safe and predictable as possible.
We do this at Precision Cosmetic Dentistry & Digital Dentures by using custom surgical guides for our dental implant surgeries. These guides are individually designed to uniquely fit each patient’s teeth, gums and bone. Designed using a 3-D CT Scan, our guides match the exact placement and angle of each planned implant. The result: implants go exactly where they’re supposed to go, how they’re supposed, and without any guessing or surprises.
Fun Fact: A local San Antonio surgical team, Implant Concierge, designs and manufactures our patient’s surgical guides. Thanks to their digital surgery technology, Dr. Bec performs every surgery digitally alongside Implant Concierge’s surgical guide team before he does the surgery in your mouth. We’re always excited to support local business and even more excited when it means better service and outcomes for our patients!
Dental Insurance Coverage for Dental Implants
What about dental insurance? If you have dental insurance, you probably wonder if your insurance pays for dental implants. The simple answer is many, but not all, dental insurance companies cover dental implant services.
Dental Insurance and their UCR Fee
When insurance plans do cover implant services, they typically cover 50% of the dental insurance company’s UCR fee, up to the yearly maximum benefit. UCR stands for usual, customary and reasonable charges. The insurance company sets this fee based on their own market research, which may be the same, higher or lower than the fee your dentist charges. The UCR fee usually comes close to what your dentist bill. However, it’s almost never exactly the same. You should remember that the UCR fee varies with every insurance company and in every zip code. The dental office does not have the ability to set the UCR fee. The insurance company’s willingness to accept the current market trends determines the UCR fee.
So how much does the dental insurance pay? Our office has seen dental insurance companies pay, on average, $800-$1,000 per implant surgery. For implant crowns, we have seen dental insurance companies pay $500 for the implant crown and $400 for the implant abutment. The abutment is the special component, stock or custom made, connecting the implant to the new crown. For most dental implant systems, the abutment is responsible for transitioning the implant through the gum tissue. Ultimately, the plan’s maximum sets the limit, as most plans have a maximum of $1,500 per year.
Complementary Benefits Breakdown
Because of the variation in what insurance companies pay, we advise all of our patients to become familiar with their own plans. As a courtesy to our patients, our office provides a complementary insurance verification of benefits every time our patients face the need for a dental implant patient.
What Is It Like Having Dental Implants? Watch and Hear Patty’s Experience.
Fear & Finances: The Biggest Objections
The questions we hear from nearly every person we meet who needs dental implants are either, “I’m afraid that getting dental implants will hurt!” or, “I’m afraid that paying for dental implants will hurt!” Sometimes we hear both! The truth is that having to sit with your mouth open while a dentist works on your teeth is intimidating to most people, and implants are not the cheapest dental solution around.
But I have good news for the first problem—sedation dentistry. Sedation allows patients to experience peace at the dentist—even those who have had terrible dental traumas from the past. Our office provides both IV Sedation and Conscious Oral Sedation for people who need help relaxing or who don’t want to feel anything physically or emotionally while in the dentist’s chair.
And the answer to anyone’s fear of cost is that the cheapest dental solution is the simplest—a cleaning and exam. In other words, prevention ALWAYS proves cheaper than treatment. At the point when teeth need replacing, the only cheap option is doing nothing, which carries its own cost—toothlessness. Just like getting a routine oil change costs less than getting a car repaired or rebuilt at a collision shop after an accident, cleanings are necessary for the “upkeep” of your dental health. But, if you do need the big repair provided by implants, you don’t always have to pay an arm and a leg. We can almost always provide several options for you depending on your health and your budget.
Schedule an implant consultation today and get the answers for all your questions!