Why quotes for dental implant surgery vary greatlyDr Alice Yang
When a tooth is badly damaged and has no hope of survival, it has to come out. The best option is to replace it with an artificial tooth that we call a dental implant.
The concept is simple. A metal fixture – usually a screw – is placed in the jawbone to act as an anchor for a crown, which looks very much like the natural teeth around it.
It gets a little more complex if multiple teeth are being replaced, mainly because you might not need a screw for each one. For example, two screws might support three crowns as a ‘bridge’ replacing multiple teeth.
There are several variables that impact on the cost of dental implant surgery, including what needs to be done prior to surgery, what type of implant is suitable and what sort of crown is used.
Are implants suitable for everyone?
The starting point for assessing the suitability of a candidate for a dental implant is by taking an x-ray of the jaw. We need a reasonable amount of dense bone tissue at the point of the implant to have the best chance of successful surgery.
If the bone quality and quantity isn’t good enough, bone grafting might be necessary, adding both cost and time to the process.
Unfortunately, some people have periodontal disease, a form of gum disease, which can reduce the success rate of implant surgery. Smokers might also be unsuitable. At the very least, you’ll have to significantly cut down on smoking for several months during the healing phase.
What are implants made of?
Most dental implants are made from titanium, a lightweight, non-magnetic metal that is resistant to corrosion and – most significantly – that the human body tends to accept.
Where there is enough jawbone, the most common type of implant is the screw or cylinder shape known as an endosseous implant.
How much will it cost and what is involved?
A single implant can cost on average $4000-6000. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or calculation. The variation in costs will depend on each individual’s situation, based on the following factors:
- What work needs to be done before the implant surgery?
Extraction of the existing tooth needs to be done in a non-traumatic way. Preparing the jaw for an implant might take a little more work, especially if the bone needs a graft to ensure it is sufficient for the surgery.
- What sort of implant do you need (or want)?
Once you know what sort of implant is best, you might still have a choice of materials or manufacturers. Your dentist will advise you on the options.
- What crown design will you get?
The crown will ideally mimic the size, shape and colour of the original tooth. Its height will be designed according to your natural bite.
- How many visits will you need?
It might take four or five separate visits to the dentist over three months before the work is complete.
How can I minimise the cost?
This is, perhaps, the key question. Costs can start to add up when you need an initial dental consultation, specialist referrals, x-rays, impressions, extraction, the implant procedure, a check-up and the permanent crown fitting.
Having to go to different clinics for your implant means you will most likely need additional temporary crowns between visits too.
If your case is straightforward, there’s a good chance it can be done at the same clinic from start to finish. With no need for referrals the process is streamlined with no surprises to add to the cost.
At Middleborough Dental Care, we do a thorough assessment to come up with a suitable treatment plan for each patient following their first visit, then carry out all of the necessary work ourselves.
If you are considering implant surgery, don’t take any chances. Come and see us first.