Cost of dental implants: What you should know

Does the cost of dental implants keep you from showing your smile? A dental implant is a titanium tooth...

Does the cost of dental implants keep you from showing your smile? A dental implant is a titanium tooth root placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Did you know there are several ways that dentists in Atlanta arrive at a certain price for the procedure?

The price of dental implants depends on many factors, from the type of dentist required to where the surgery will take place. Yes, dental implants are a surgical procedure; therefore, the costs are considerable. Here are some points to consider when you are estimating the general cost.

Consult, consult, consult

The good news is that all dentists will offer an initial consultation. This way the doctor can evaluate the condition and health of your overall mouth, gums and jawbone, or mandible. Many doctors will take intraoral and panoramic X-rays in the office and in one sitting. Most offices will also have digital imaging, which will greatly expedite your results. Depending on the amount of work required by the doctor, they will determine if the consultation will be charged or included in the overall price.

How the cost is determined

First, the doctor will judge whether the site of the implant is acceptable and if the bone condition or depth is adequate. Sometimes a bone graft is necessary, or the sinus cavity is too low and must be lifted in order to give room for the implant. This decision will greatly impact the price.

Secondly, if a graft or other surgical procedure is required, your dentist may refer you to a specialist, such as an oral surgeon or periodontist. Then you may accrue costs from these offices as well.

Thirdly, titanium screws are implanted into the bone under the gum. The implant is then slowly screwed onto the bone using a guide. The type of implant needed depends on the shape and health of your mandible. This decision will also affect the price.

The overall cost of dental implants include materials, anesthesia, laboratory fees, and the doctor and staff's time and effort, which all depend on your overall health and the anatomy of your mouth.

How much am I looking at?

According to the Center of Advanced Dentistry, if you're a no-frills, easy, by-the-book patient, expect to pay within the range of $1,250 to $3,000, depending on the specific situation. If you require extra work and attention, like a bone graft, the cost quickly escalates to as much as $15,000 to $30,000 for the complete procedure. Also, take into consideration how many implants you will need.

Some dental insurances will cover the cost of dental implants and dental surgeries, but if yours does not or you don't have dental insurance, you may want to look into a third-party financing company. Usually, they can work with you to find a payment plan that fits your budget.

A smile affects so many aspects of your life, from self-confidence to new opportunities. Go on, make the call--you're worth it.

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