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Why are dental implants so costly?

The first thing that patients usually say or know about dental implants is that it is very expensive. Compared to other forms of dentistry, the price is staggeringly higher, and for a layperson, it may not be completely clear why this is the case. In this article I wish to speak a little about dental implants, how they are used, what kind of process you need to go through to get them, how much they cost and what extra fees you may need to pay in order to get your dental implants.

Parts of a dental implant

First of all, let’s see what a dental implant is. A dental implant is a kind of dental prosthesis that makes it possible to replace an entire tooth anatomically, meaning all of its parts. From here it follows that a dental implant is not a single item, like a denture or a crown. It is made up of three parts: the dental implant itself, which is an artificial tooth root that is drilled into the jawbone, replacing the tooth root, an abutment which connects the dental implants with the crown, which is a replacement of the visible portion of the tooth. This means that besides the actual dental implant, you are also paying for an abutment and a dental crown. Depending on what kind of crown you are buying, the cost of the dental implant can rise very significantly, as crowns come in basically two different kinds; you can get the cheaper, traditional ones that have a metal base, or you can upgrade and buy zirconium crowns that mimic natural teeth- for a price.

The process

But what makes the price go so high is not so much the dental implant itself, which although costly is only so much of the end price. What makes it really rise is the process and all of the extra things that can come along the way. For instance, if you need an extraction, you have to pay for that procedure separately. If your tooth has been gone for too long, you may need a bone graft to fill up the area and make it possible to receive dental implants. This can make the cost almost twice what it would be without a bone graft, and the price of a bone graft can vary greatly as well, depending on which quadrant it is on, how large the area is, and how much bone grafting material needs to be used to rectify the situation.

Extra fees in connection with the dental implant procedure

Additional costs may easily be incurred. Sometimes, the dental implant fails and needs to be re-implanted, but this happens in roughly 2% of the population. If you need to get an extraction or a bone graft, you may see a surprising amount of extra fees, for membranes, bone graft materials, for special crowns and bridge work that may need to be done and also for certain preliminary procedures that may be needed to be done before you get your dental implants. To guarantee that the dental implant lasts as long as possible, you may need to get fillings, root canals or a hygiene treatment, and this will cost extra. 

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