Why Dental Implants?
If you’re missing some or all of your teeth, you know how much it affects you. It can be difficult to bite and chew when you’re missing teeth. And your confidence takes a huge hit — smiling or laughing often feels out of the question. No one feels good about showing the huge gap in their smile.
If you’re missing many teeth, you could consider regular dentures (removable false teeth) to fill the gap. However, many people don’t like the look or feel of dentures. Also, if you’re only missing one tooth, or a few that aren’t next to each other, then dentures may not be the best option for you. Dental implants are implanted into the jaw using a small titanium rod, with a false tooth attached over it. After healing, it feels and functions much like a normal tooth. For more detail, please visit our Dental Implants page in our Education Wiki.
While many people would prefer to have implants instead of dentures, they do cost more.
A single implant generally costs around $2,400 to $3,000. For a full set of implants, the average cost is around $34,000, although this is widely variable; it could be up to $80,000 or even more. There may be separate prices for the placement of the implant into the jaw, the placement of a metal connector to the implant, and the connection of the replacement tooth to the connector.
Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual dentist, so you should check with the dentist(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later; you may need multiple procedures, and they may not all be included in the initial price quote.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Dental implants are usually considered cosmetic, and are not covered by insurance. Your insurance will often cover dentures instead. However, in some cases, part of the cost of implants may be covered by dental insurance. You should call your insurance company to determine your coverage, or ask for help from the staff at the dental office; they’re used to dealing with insurance companies and can help you accurately determine your coverage.
Medical insurance typically does not cover dentistry at all. You need to have a separate dental insurance plan to cover dental care.
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. In some cases, dentists offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Dentistry Financing page.