Nowadays, tooth loss is very much rarer than it was once. As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the number of people with total or partial tooth loos has fallen significantly since the year 1970. This doesn’t mean that people still don’t loss their teeth. One option available to the 178 million people who are missing at least a single tooth is replacing it with the dental implant.
Around 2.3 million dental implants are made each year for permanently replacing the lost teeth. Hence it is essential to know how much do the dental implants cost and are you really getting a good value for your money when you get them?
Dental implants versus other replacement options
The dental implants and dentures are two of the most common options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. The big difference between the two is the way they fit in your mouth and their cost.
The dentures are not permanently attached to your gums or jawbones. Instead they are meant to be removed at night so that you do not accidently swallow them. They can replace just one tooth or all of your teeth. They tend to cost less than the dental implants. A full set of dentures will cost about $2,500.
The dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Unlike the dentures, these are permanently fixed in your mouth and held in place by a titanium post. This is covered by a crown which looks like a natural tooth. A single dental implant starts at $3,000. If you need to replace multiple teeth, then the cost will climb up to $11,500 and can reach up to $4,500.
Big picture cost of dental implants
Although you might get sticker shock when you find out the cost of dental implants, it helps you to look at the big picture. While the dental implants will cost more as compared to the dentures, you are less likely to need replacing them. Also the success rate for the dental implants are higher at 95%. Meanwhile, over a period of time the dentures tend to wear down. Usually, they need to be replaced every few years, which will add to their total cost. You might need to pay $2,000 for dentures each year and the need to pay another $2,000 to get a new set within a few years.
Insurance coverage for dental implants
Having a dental insurance may lower the upfront cost of getting the dental implants. Most insurance companies do not provide the coverage, since they don’t view the implants as necessary. Some insurance companies expect you to get a pre-treatment estimate from your dentist before you get the implants. You may go through the estimate in hand and the insurance provider can confirm which services will be covered under it. The insurance company will also provide you with a fair idea of what to expect to pay out of pocket.
Ways to lower the cost of implants
If you do not have the cash on hand to cover the cost of dental implants and your insurance company policy also doesn’t cover them, then you have a few options to get the treatment at reduced cost. One such option is to sign up for a dental discount plan. Typically, the discount plans charge you an annual or a monthly fee. In exchange, you will get a certain percentage off the cost of dental treatments including the dental implants.
Another way is to visit a dental school where a dental student who is supervised by a professor will place the implants and hence you will get lower than average cost dental implant. Using money from a fexible spending account or a health savings account will allow you to pay for dental implants using tax-free dollars. You can save up to 20% depending on your tax bracket.
The dental implants aren’t cheap but usually they are a one and done treatment. It is therefore up to you to decide if you want to pay a higher price up front for the replacement teeth which last for a long time, pay less now and have to replace the dentures in a few years.