Dental implants are one of the most common dental surgery procedures in the U.S., with approximately 2.3 million single implant-supported crowns made annually. For patients, implants can make an incredible difference — but the procedure can be expensive.
By reviewing their options, patients can find the resources they need to learn about dental implants and keep costs under control. That process starts with research, and the resources on this page can help.
Scientific studies suggest that oral health is linked with overall life expectancy, as well as a patient’s chances of developing heart disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and a myriad of other ailments. Injuries and severe dental issues can require the complete removal of teeth — which can have a negative effect on quality of life and self esteem.
Fortunately, modern treatments provide options for these patients. Dental implants allows patients to restore their smiles and improve their dental health; successful implants behave like normal teeth and can even prevent bone loss. The implants can stabilize bone, reduce the risk of gum disease, and prevent facial sagging caused by missing teeth.
The dental implant procedure is completed over several sessions months apart. The root of a tooth is replaced with a metal post where a fake tooth is eventually screwed into place. This post must become fused tightly into the jawbone, which is why the process has to be completed over a relatively long period of time.
However, once the implants have healed in place, they provide stability and permanence that other tooth-replacement procedures can’t offer. They’re an excellent option for older adults, but patients of any age can qualify as candidates.
In order to schedule a dental implant, patients need to work closely with their dentists. Some people aren’t candidates for the procedure; typically, qualified candidates don’t smoke, have healthy oral tissue, have an appropriate jawbone structure, and are willing to make temporary lifestyle changes to improve the chances of a successful implantation.
By researching online, a patient can learn about different implant methods and prepare for their consultation. A dentist will need to complete a full oral examination, perform x-rays, and create a plan. After the consultation, the process for implants includes:
Because implants involve an intensive process, their upfront costs are often much higher than alternatives. The good news: Implants are permanent, so over time, they can be less expensive than crowns, bridges, and even some dentures.
Dental prosthetic costs vary depending on the patient’s specific needs, but a typical implant can cost between $3000 to $4500 according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Some dental policies cover a portion of those costs.
By comparing clinics, patients may be able to find options that fit their budgets. Some tips for researching:
Of course, dentists won’t be able to provide pricing without an in-person evaluation, but reviewing clinic websites can help patients develop a thorough understanding of the process. A few quick internet searches can provide patients with the information they need to have knowledgeable conversations with their dental team.
While dentures, crowns, and bridges can be effective for some patients, dental implants provide permanent improvement — and given the popularity of the prosthetics, many clinics offer affordable options. Some even offer payment plans, and a growing number of insurance providers provide partial or full coverage for necessary implant procedures.
Implants act like natural teeth and have enormous benefits, and patients considering this procedure can use online resources to take the first steps towards better oral health. Researching local dental clinics can give people the information they need to make an informed decision.