Dental implants are an increasingly popular choice for replacing missing teeth. They are customised fixtures fitted directly into the mouth and benefit the patient greatly.
How much does a dental implant cost?
When most people think of dental implants, they think of the high cost associated with the procedure. However, it is worthwhile to remember that dental implants cost is an investment in better dental and general health and confidence.
Why are tooth implants so expensive?
The cost of dental implants might look high at first, and can vary slightly depending on the following:
Material Used for Manufacturing
The best implants are made of bio-compatible materials like titanium or zirconium.
The crown is made of the highest-quality porcelain and ceramic.
The better the material used to make the implant components, the higher the cost.
Some brands that manufacture dental implants charge higher prices for their products than others. This price difference could be for several reasons, including the location of the manufacturing premises and the raw materials used, among others.
The dentist or oral surgeon’s skill
Dental implant surgery is performed by oral surgeons or dentists who have taken courses and gone through special training for this surgical procedure. These dental care practitioners have spent considerable time and money gaining expertise in dental implant placement and so charge a higher fee for the procedure.
Location of the dental clinic
The cost of a tooth implant can also depend on the location of the dental clinic. Those located in affluent areas of a city will charge a slightly higher rate for a tooth replacement than a clinic located in a middle-class neighbourhood, due to the higher overhead costs.
Dental implant surgery is not a stand-alone procedure. In fact, a single tooth replacement may require many pre-implant procedures.
Bone grafting repairs diseased or damaged bones. A bone graft is done to increase the volume and density of the jaw as it needs to be strong enough to support the implant and to sustain the considerable pressure exerted on it during regular chewing. This is one of the foremost reasons for the higher tooth implant cost.
When placing a dental implant in the upper jaw, a sinus lift is required as the sinus lies quite close to the roots of teeth. In case bone augmentation is required in the upper jaw bone, this, too, is added to the list of pre-implant procedures.
Your dentist may think there is a need to remove one or more natural teeth before a dental implant is fitted. This could be because these natural teeth could be damaged or decayed or may be shifting their position, moving into the gap where the dental implant is to be fitted.
Treatment of existing dental conditions
Before getting dental implants, it is imperative that the patient’s oral health be in very good condition. Pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis), damaged teeth and tooth decay can raise tooth implant costs quite a bit.
What are dental implants?
The dental implant procedure involves the placement and fixing of three separate components.
This is a screw-like device made of titanium or zirconium that is placed in the jaw and allowed to integrate into the bone before any further dental implant treatment is undertaken. This is the part that acts as an artificial tooth root.
Once the implant has fused with the jaw, the next step in dental implant treatment is the placement of the abutment.
The abutment is made of the same material as the implant and acts as a connector. To fit this, the dental practitioner will slice into the gum and place it on the implant, allowing the gum to grow around the part.
Once the gum tissue around the abutment has healed, your dental practitioner will place the crown on the abutment. This is a custom-made part that looks, feels and functions exactly as real teeth do.
Who is eligible for dental implants?
Young and not-so-young people can lose one or more of their teeth, requiring dental implants to fill in the gaps left by the broken tooth. Usually, the process to replace a missing tooth starts once the patient is at least 18 years old when their jaw bone has stopped growing. There is no upper limit on a patient’s age for teeth implants, with people as old as 85 undergoing successful dental implant treatment.
Why do teeth fall out?
Teeth can fall out for various reasons. Traumatic injury to the face or dental disease are causes of tooth loss. An initial consultation with your dentist will pinpoint the reason and pave the way for treatment.
Being involved in an accident or getting hit by something hard can have an impact strong enough to break one or more teeth partially or completely.
Poor oral health
A leading cause of tooth loss is poor oral health. Bacteria occur naturally on our teeth and need to be removed with proper brushing.
Bacteria on teeth eat away at the enamel and create holes that expose the sensitive inner tooth to infection.
A severely infected tooth or one that is eaten away needs to be removed in emergency dental treatment.
As a person becomes older, their gum tissue starts to recede, the roots of their teeth can weaken, and their jaw bone deteriorates. All of these are causes for a tooth to become wobbly and create trouble for the patient until it falls out on its own or has to be pulled out by a dentist.
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Plaque that builds up on teeth can harden into tartar along the gum tissue. This allows bacteria to find their way under the gum and inflame it, causing a problem called gingivitis.
In this case, the dentist will need to extract the tooth and talk to the patient about replacement teeth.
In severe cases, the bacteria cause periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease which can cause the gum to pull away from the tooth and make the tooth loose enough to fall out.
What are the advantages of getting dental implants?
Dental implants improve oral health
Dental implants fill gaps in the dental arch created by missing or damaged teeth. Teeth that drift from their original place can cause problems with malocclusion, which may need a separate dental treatment to fix.
Missing teeth can also cause loss of jaw bone. When the bone does not support a natural tooth, the body simply reabsorbs the bone matter, requiring major dental procedures to correct the problem.
Dental implants can improve general health
Having a full set of teeth improves our chewing action, allowing food to be ground properly, which in turn helps absorb nutrients, leading to better general health.
Dental implants boost self-confidence
Dental implants can help boost a person’s self-confidence. Unsightly gaps in the teeth can make a person self-conscious about their smile, but dental implants can rectify this problem and help create a beautiful smile.
Dental implants last a lifetime
While the dental implant procedure is pricey and long, the dental implants themselves are permanent and can last for a lifetime if they are taken care of.
Dental implants are easy to manage
Once fitted, tooth implants require no more care than natural teeth do. Proper brushing and flossing will ensure the dental implants’ cost is paid off over the years they last.
Dental implant procedures are low risk
While the cost of dental implants is high, the dental treatment and the tooth implants themselves are low-risk. The titanium screw in dental implants holds the teeth in place, so they don’t slip. Implants don’t damage the bone like a dental bridge could or decay.
Dental implants are a wise investment
The cost of dental implants can be considered an investment as they are a one-time expense that can benefit the patient for many years. They help improve facial structure by filling in gaps and facilitating clear speech, which is required in social and professional interactions.
What is the price of a dental implant?
The price of a single dental implant starts from $2,000, while a dental implant arch cost starts at $17,000.
How can I afford dental implants?
Medicare and most private insurance companies don’t cover the cost of dental implants.
If you want an insurance company to meet the cost of dental implants, you could opt for premium coverage but do read the terms and conditions to know exactly what the company will pay for.
An affordable way to meet dental implant costs is to opt for a payment plan which gives you the flexibility to pay over a certain period. Some companies offer payment plans spread out over months with 0% interest!
Dental implants at My Local Dentists, Sydney
My Local Dentists are leading dental practitioners with expertise in dental implants. There are many reasons why hundreds of Sydneysiders trust us with dental implant procedures.
Highly competent team
Our team of highly qualified, experienced and caring dentists is available at all of our five locations, conveniently spread around Sydney. They have experience in fitting all sorts of dental implants, be it endosteal, subperiosteal or zygomatic.
We maintain high standards for pre- and post- implant care and are sensitive to a patient’s concerns during the treatment itself.
Best quality materials
We use the latest technology and the highest-quality implants to give you the smile you want. This ensures the implant is custom-made to fit your mouth and, once fixed, will last for decades without needing care more than a natural tooth does.
Various payment options
We accept major health funds and payment plans so you can have the perfect smile without worrying about tooth implant cost. This enables us to give you a better, brighter smile at an affordable cost!
Multiple locations across Sydney
My Local Dentists have five locations around Sydney and are a great choice for people looking for dental implant treatments in and around Burwood, Northbridge, West Ryde, Leichhardt or Northmead.
Contact us to book an initial consultation for dental implants at your nearest My Local Dentists clinic!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Bone Grafting | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Dental implants: Costs explained | How to check your health cover | Finder
Dental implant surgery – Mayo Clinic
MedicineNet – Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants can cause nerve damage, warns study – BBC News