If you need to replace a tooth, dental implants are a reliable solution. An implant is designed to last for decades and function the same way a natural tooth does. Getting a dental implant is an intensive treatment that requires multiple sessions, but dentists often recommend them because they are so durable and feel the most like real teeth. Mill Dam Dental is a Virginia Beach dentist that offers high-quality, long lasting dental implants. If you’re considering dental implants, you may be wondering how much they are going to cost. Here’s everything you need to know about dental implants, including how to estimate the overall cost.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a long term solution for tooth replacement. If you have lost a tooth or have a damaged tooth that needs to be replaced, your dentist may recommend dental implants. Dental implants are surgically placed beneath the gums so they attach to the jawbone. Their structure is very similar to that of a screw and is very structurally sound. Crowns, which mimic the shape and structure of a natural tooth, can be attached to the implant. If you are missing multiple teeth, bridges can also be applied to an implant. A bridge uses one or two implants as anchors for a row of several crowns. Dental implants require several trips to the dentist in order to install and maintain, but they often last a lifetime once they have completely integrated with your teeth and jaw.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants can vary depending on a variety of factors. When you pay for your implant, you will also need to pay for the crown and the abutment, which is the piece that attaches the crown onto the implant. The total cost of a dental implant can range from $1500 to $6000 with all parts included. If you need more than one implant, the cost will go up significantly, and if you opt for a full mouth of implants instead of dentures, you could end up spending as much as $30,000 or more. Keep in mind that this is just the cost of the implants themselves – you’ll also need to factor in costs for any necessary tooth extractions, maintenance visits, and x-rays you might need from your dentist.
There are a number of reasons why the cost of dental implants can vary so widely. Some of the factors that affect the cost of dental implants include:
- The type of crowns you’re using. There are a number of different options available for your crowns, and their costs can vary depending on how durable they are as well as how lifelike they are. For example, a zirconia crown will generally cost more than a porcelain crown because it is more durable and less likely to cause gum irritation. If you’re worried about the cost of your implants, ask your doctor about different crown options that will allow you to save money.
- Your dentist’s experience level. In many cases, dentists who have been in business for a long time will charge higher rates because of their expertise. If your dentist specializes in implants, you can expect your rates to be slightly higher.
- Your dental insurance. While your dental insurance doesn’t affect the initial cost of the procedure, it does affect how much you’ll end up paying. If you have a comprehensive plan with a low deductible, you will pay much less than someone who has a high deductible plan. If you don’t have insurance at all, you will end up paying for the entire procedure out-of-pocket. If you’re unclear on what your insurance does and doesn’t cover, don’t be afraid to call and ask before you commit to getting dental implants.
- Your location. Surprisingly, where you live can actually affect the cost of your procedure. If you live in a large city or another area with a high cost of living, you will likely end up paying more than someone who lives in a small town with a lower cost of living.
- The complexity of the procedure. Some dental implants are much more complex to put in than others. For example, some people require a tooth extraction before they can get an implant put in, which adds to the cost of the procedure. If you have an atypical jaw structure, this can make your implant more difficult to install and therefore make your procedure more expensive.
Before getting implants, talk to your dentist as well as your dental insurer to get a better idea of the overall cost. They’ll be able to break down the cost for each part of the dental implant. If you’re struggling to afford your dental implants, they may be able to work with you on a payment plan as well.
What can I expect from dental implants?
Getting dental implants takes more than one dental visit – it can actually take several months before the implant is completely installed and healed. The amount of ongoing care that dental implants need in the beginning is one of the reasons why they are so expensive. The first step towards getting implants is a consultation. Your dentist will do an evaluation of your mouth and jaw, and they will take a scan or impression of your mouth that they can use to develop a model for the implant and crown.
The next step is in the implant surgery, which is where your dentist will insert the implant into your jaw using a drill. You will be given appropriate sedation and painkillers for this treatment. Once the implant has begun to integrate into your jaw, you will have another appointment where the dentist will place an abutment and crown onto the implant. Depending on how your jaw is accepting the implant, you may need further dental appointments afterward so your dentist can check on the healing process.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are many benefits to getting a dental implant if you have lost a tooth, or damaged a tooth to the point that it needs to be removed. While there are other options for tooth replacement, like dentures, an implant gives you more value for your money. Although dental implants are expensive, they look and feel much more like your real teeth than any other alternative. Some of the benefits of dental implants are:
- They are extremely durable. Many people get dental implants once and never need to get them replaced, or only need a replacement after several decades. Implants are structured so that they can integrate with your jaw and function like a regular tooth. This means they won’t wear down over time.
- Dental implants are customizable, so they can be made to look like your real teeth. When designing the crowns, your dentist can take a 3D scan of your mouth and jaw, and create a tooth model that fits in with the structure of your teeth. The finish of the tooth can also be customized to blend in with the rest of your mouth.
- Implants are designed to integrate with your teeth, gums, and jaw as smoothly as possible, and minimize irritation. New guided surgery technology helps dentists be more accurate when placing the implant, so it can integrate with the rest of the face very quickly. While there is a period of adjustment after the initial implant surgery, eventually it will feel similar to a natural tooth.
What should I do if I can’t afford my dental implants?
Dental implants can be very pricey, and not everyone has extra room in their budget for this treatment. If you think you need dental implants, but are worried you can’t afford them, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to mitigate the cost of dental implants. The first is to talk to your dentist about a payment plan. Dentists understand that the cost of treatment can be stressful, and typically will be willing to work with you to come up with a payment solution that fits your budget and doesn’t hurt your credit.
If you don’t already have dental insurance, now is the time to look into a plan that covers implants. Many dental insurance plans are relatively low cost and will dramatically lower the amount of money you’ll spend on implants overall. When shopping for an insurance plan, be sure to ask about deductibles and make sure intensive treatments like dental implants are covered. If you’re struggling financially, look for plans aimed specifically at low-income dental patients.
While dental implants aren’t cheap, they are an important investment in your future dental health. Mill Dam Dental offers dental implants Virginia Beach residents can rely on, as well as other treatments to help you get the smile you’ve been looking for. We specialize in sedation dentistry and aim to create an experience for our patients that’s comfortable and low-stress.