There are a few things you need to know before you can get down to the root (pun intended) of a dental implant cost.
Like it or not, where you live plays a significant factor. This procedure will cost significantly more in a place like San Francisco compared to — let’s say — California City. Even large cities across states (e.g. Los Angeles versus Orlando) will have different prices.
Your dentist’s experience also plays a role. An oral surgeon may even charge more if dental implants are their specialty.
And finally, the average cost of a dental implant depends on how many you get, where the implants are going, and the materials used.
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!
RELATED: WHAT IS A FULL MOUTH RECONSTRUCTION?
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 full 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. Dental implants, on the other hand, can take 3-18 months to completely transform your smile. And while the cost for a dental implant is significantly higher than dentures, implants can last up to 20 years. Dentures need to be replaced about every 5 years or so.
The cost of dentures can be as low as $600 all the way up to $5,000 depending 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 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 you have gum disease, a bridge won’t be an option for you.
How Much Does It Cost For a Dental Implant?
Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for: what is the average cost for a dental implant?
This all depends on how many implants you need, whether or not you need to pull teeth, 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.
So let’s math this out for a minute. You want the best, yet affordable option, right?
If you decided 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 maybe you’re looking for a long-lasting and permanent solution. Your next option is to get 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.
A lifetime 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.
Dental Implant Payment Plan
Not everyone has $3,000 of spare change lying around though. So is there a dental implant 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 basic 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.
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 dependant 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.
If you’re in Los Angeles, contact Lasry Dental Clinic to talk about your implant options! We’ll customize a plan specific to your needs and you get FREE 3D scans.