You need to know a few things before you can get down to the root (pun intended) of a dental implant cost.
Like it or not, where you live plays a role in the cost of a dental implant. This procedure will cost significantly more in a place like San Francisco compared to — let’s say — California City. Large cities across states (i.e., Los Angeles versus Orlando) will also have different prices for dental implants.
The average cost of a dental implant depends on how many you get, where the implants are going, and the materials used. Your dentist’s experience plays a role as well. An oral surgeon may even charge more if dental implants are their specialty.
But don’t worry— we’re going to go through all your options. We may even show you a few tricks where you can save money!
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a permanent fix to a missing or damaged tooth.
This kind of problem is more common than you might think. There are 178 million Americans that are missing at least one tooth. You may even be in the group of 40 million Americans that are missing all of their teeth.
See? You’re not alone.
And while you may be looking for something more cost-effective like dentures, dental implants are well worth the cost when you consider their longevity and function.
Dental Implant vs Dentures
Why do some people decide to get dentures instead of implants?
Dentures, on the one hand, are more affordable. Made out of plastic or resin, dentures are custom made to fit your mouth. You can get complete dentures to replace all of your teeth, which is ideal if you have lost quite of bit of your teeth.
Partials are another option. These are similar to retainers, considering how they feel and how they’re made. Both are made with a wire “base,” which you can pop in and out of your mouth. The difference is that your partial will fill the gaps in your mouth with missing teeth (usually just a few in the front).
Dentures only take 3 weeks to 3 months from start to finish. On the other hand, dental implants can take 3-18 months to transform your smile completely. And while the cost for a dental implant is significantly higher than dentures, implants can last up to 20 years. You’ll need to replace your dentures every 5 years or so.
Dentures can be as low as $600 up to $5,000. This all depends on your dentist, location, and the materials used.
Dental Implant vs Bridge
We might recommend a bridge over a dental implant if your remaining teeth are relatively healthy.
A bridge is basically when we place dental caps over the two teeth on either side of your missing tooth. These act as the “anchors.” A third tooth is placed in the middle to fill the gap, effectively forming a bridge.
A bridge can last 10 years as long as you keep a good oral hygiene routine. The average cost of a bridge in California is about $1,500 to $5,000.
A dental implant essentially replaces how your tooth is anchored in your mouth. Instead of roots and nerves, we fabricate your anchor with a screw and permanent cap. A bridge uses your existing teeth to anchor your caps into place. So, if you need a bone graft or have gum disease, a bridge won’t be an option for you.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
As you read earlier, your dentist’s experience, location, and oral health play a factor in the cost. For example, the price goes up if you need multiple implants, tooth extraction and if you need extra services such as a bone graft. The latter will ensure that your dental implants last a lifetime if you have a weak jawbone structure.
However, there are 5 things that everyone who gets a dental implant has to pay for:
- CT Scan: These 3D scans are necessary for your dentist to determine if you need bone grafts or root canals. These typically cost for 3D dental scans is $350-$600 per session. But at Lasry Dental Clinic in California, they’re FREE for dental implant patients.
- Tooth Extraction: A tooth extraction can cost anywhere between $75 to $600. However, your insurance may pay for some of this for you. Here’s more info on tooth extraction costs.
- Implant: The implant itself costs about $1,000. This covers the permanent steel rod and the service itself. You may also pay for anesthesia.
- Abutment: Your dentist places this small attachment weeks after the implant to give your gums and mouth time to heal. To learn more about the dental implant procedure, you can read our guide here.
- Crown: The average price of a dental crown is $300-$2,500, depending on the type of material used. Again your insurance may cover some of this for you.
Dental Implant Cost in California
Lasry Dental Clinic is located in Los Angeles, California. So if you’re looking for an average dental implant cost in California, you’ve come to the right place!
The average cost of dental implants in Los Angeles, California, is between $2,000 and $80,000.
The $2,000 price tag is for a single plant, and the $80,000 service is for a full mouth reconstruction.
Keep in mind the national average cost for full mouth implants is around $35,000. Between this average and the highest cost for a dental implant in California, a Beverly Hills resident can anticipate paying about $50,000 for full implants.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Dental insurance may code this service as “cosmetic,” which means they won’t cover the full procedure.
However, your insurance usually covers the other services needed for a dental implant (such as a tooth extraction, root canal, or crown). This can drastically decrease the overall cost of your implants.
How To Figure Out How Much Your Insurance Will Pay:
- Step 1: Get a full evaluation by your dentist so you can get a treatment plan.
- Step 2: Your dentist will be able to determine which services in your plan are and are not covered by your insurance. Your complete treatment plan should give a price for each step of the procedure and a final price.
- Step 3: Talk to your dentist about payment plan options or CareCredit.
Dental Implant Payment Plan Options
Not everyone has $3,000 of spare change lying around, though. So, is there a payment plan option?
First of all, your dental insurance may cover some of the costs of your implant. Check with your provider to see if they cover essential services such as teeth extraction and crowns. From there, you can determine what the final payment will be out-of-pocket.
If you still feel like you can’t cover the full dental implant cost, ask your dentist about payment plan options. Those without dental insurance can still have their dental work taken care of with options such as Care Credit.
Read more about how much it costs to go to the dentist without insurance here.
Why Dental Implants Are Worth the Cost
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Let’s math this out for a minute. You want the best yet affordable option, right?
- Dentures: If you decide to go with dentures, you’ll have to replace them every 5 years. Let’s say you’re 50 years old, and you replace your dentures every 5 years until you’re 80. Using the lowest cost of dentures ($600), that’s a lifetime cost of $3,600.
But let’s assume that you’re looking for a long-lasting and permanent solution. Your first option could be a:
- Bridge: Again, a 50-year-old who needs to replace their $1,500 bridge every 10 years is looking at a lifetime cost of $4,500.
Or, if you want a:
- Complete Dental Implant: A dental implant cost is (at its lowest) $3,000. Not only are they a permanent option, but over the span of 30 years, they’re also the most affordable.
So what can you take from this? The average dental implant cost is about $3,000. Looking at it as a one-time investment, this is by far your best option.
However, we want to reiterate that cost is dependent on a lot of things. If you don’t need a bone graft, it will be hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars cheaper. Likewise, a single dental implant will cost less than a full-mouth restoration which can get up to $30,000. 3D scan costs are also factored into your final price.