There are many good reasons to choose dental implants over other teeth replacement options. Dental implants look, function, and feel the same as natural teeth do. No other treatment comes close in this respect. Unfortunately, dental implants are expensive. As a result, some patients may need to wait before they can replace teeth with dental implants.
Many factors affect the cost of dental implants.
1. The Number of Tooth Extractions Needed
Dental implants are preferable to badly damaged teeth, which may cause pain and discomfort. But before dental implants can replace damaged teeth, those damaged teeth first need to come out. This requires surgery. Surgery to remove teeth will add to the overall cost of dental implant placement since it is a separate surgery.
The good news is that even badly damaged teeth will ensure that there is sufficient bone in the jawbone for dental implants. As long as the root of a tooth remains in the jawbone, the bone in the area won't resorb.
2. The Quality and Quantity of Remaining Jawbone
Bone is important when placing dental implants. Just as tooth roots require bone to hold them in place in the jawbone, so do dental implants. But when teeth fall out, this signals the body that the jawbone no longer needs the bone that once held the lost teeth in place. As a result, the bone starts to resorb following tooth loss.
If a patient decides to get dental implants a year or more after tooth loss, they may have lost too much bone for dental implant placement. A bone graft will then become necessary prior to dental implant placement. This will add several months to the treatment time and increase the cost of the treatment.
3. The Number of Teeth to Be Replaced
A single dental implant is already expensive by itself. But quite often, a single dental implant isn't enough to improve a patient's bite and smile. Several dental implants may be required, and this can become very expensive.
4. The Quality of a Patient's Oral Health
If a patient has poor oral health, existing oral health conditions need to be treated first before dental implants can be placed. Otherwise, those oral health conditions may reduce the lifespan of the dental implants. For instance, research shows that patients with periodontal disease have a high risk of dental implant failure.
The treatments and medication necessary to treat existing conditions will increase the overall cost of dental implants.
5. The Type of Dental Implant to Be Placed
Patients and dentists can choose from several types of dental implants. The most costly type of dental implant consists of a titanium post (endosteal) that inserts into a patient's jawbone. This is also the most common type of dental implant.
Some patients choose to have subperiosteal dental implants when they have insufficient bone for an endosteal implant. Subperiosteal implants attach to gum tissue and not bone tissue, which means patients can save money by foregoing the bone grafting procedure.
Mini-dental implants are another less expensive option than typical dental implants. Because mini-dental implants are smaller and easier to place, they cost less.
6. The Location of the Dental Implant
The most difficult location to place dental implants is in the front of the mouth. This is because the surgeon needs to ensure that the implant lines up properly, and at the correct angle, with the other teeth in the smile zone. Because of this, the surgery will take longer and be more complicated. The dental implant placement will cost more as a result.
All of these factors can increase the cost of dental implants. Fortunately, most dentists will try to come up with a payment plan that allows their patients to get dental implants sooner rather than later.