What are dental implants? Dental implants replace an extracted tooth with an artificial tooth root, shaped like a screw, surgically inserted into the jawbone.
A natural process called osseointegration occurs in which the implant fuses with the bone, creating a firm foundation on which to place an implant crown. The crown fills in the empty space left between the remaining teeth.
Nearly 6% of American adults have dental implants and by the year 2026, this number may rise to 23% or more of the adult population.
How much do dental implants cost? Dental implants cost between $3,000-$4,500 per tooth on average, including the total price of the implant, abutment, and crown. Bone grafting, which is also required in many cases, costs an additional $200-$3,200.
This is a lot of money, but because implants last so long and don’t have to be replaced every few years, they can be less expensive over time than options with cheaper up-front costs.
How can you save money on dental implants? Popular ways to save on dental implants may include utilizing dental insurance coverage, choosing a special type of implant like All-on-4®, or traveling abroad for treatment.
Let’s take a look at a breakdown of the cost of dental implants, what you can expect during your procedure, and 10 ways to save on your dental implants.
Dental Implant Cost
Dental implants, also known as tooth implants, may cost as little as $500 and as much as $8,000 per tooth for the implant, abutment, and crown. The average cost of a single tooth dental implant procedure is $3,000-$4,500 in the US.
The cost to get a full mouth of individual dental implants ranges anywhere from $25,000-$80,000.
In the UK, a single dental implant costs £2,000-£2,500. A full mouth of implants in the UK will probably cost £25,000 and up.
These costs may or may not include bone grafts, which are often a recommended or required part of dental implant surgery but billed as a separate item.
This price varies greatly by location, even within the same country. You may be able to get standard implants at a reduced cost based on the number of implants you get at one time.
Cheap implants may look like a great option for your wallet, but they are far less likely to last a long time. Some cheap products will list a price in the $500-$1,000 range but fail to include necessary parts of the procedure in that cost, such as the crown.
There are many factors that determine the price of a dental implant, like the dentist’s overhead, location, and individual fee structure.
The cost of an implant also includes assessment of each patient’s jawbone and gum condition, whether or not a bone graft and/or extraction or temporary tooth is necessary, and anesthesia requirements.
Breakdown of Individual Costs During Dental Implant Treatment
Let’s break down all of the costs involved in the process of dental implant treatment. Some of these are not included in the average dental implant cost but are still important to consider as you consider whether or not this is the right choice for you or your family.
- Consultation/evaluation: $50-$300
- Panoramic X-ray: $100-$250
- Cone beam CT (CBCT): $150-$750
- Tooth extraction: $150-$700
- Bone grafting:
- Simple (cow, cadaver, or synthetic): $200-$300
- Complex (cow, cadaver, or synthetic): $1,000-$1,200
- Simple (patient’s bone): $1,800-$2,200
- Complex (patient’s bone): $2,800-$3,200
- Abutment: $300-$600
- Implant crown: $900-$1,500
- Dental implant: $1,500-$3,000
All of these costs vary greatly depending on your dentist’s location.
Costs by Dental Implant Type
The exact type of dental implant your dentist recommends plays a part in the total cost of your dental implant. Keep in mind, not every dental implant is right for every patient.
Mini Dental Implants
These implants are used as temporary implants or to stabilize a denture. Mini dental implants were not originally intended for long-term use.
However, many of them have to be placed for success of the dental implant. Sometimes, a mini dental implant is the only choice because there’s not enough bone for a full-sized, standard implant.
Cost: $500-$1,000 per tooth
Standard Dental Implants
The standard dental implant is made of titanium alloy. You can choose various materials for your dental implant crown, including porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), e. max, layered zirconia, full-contour zirconia, porcelain-filled composites, and full dental gold.
Zirconia and dental gold options are typically the sturdiest and longest-lasting of the choices.
Cost: $3,000-$4,500 per tooth
All-on-4® Dental Implants
All-on-4® Dental Implants are a trademarked dental implant procedure that uses 4-6 titanium implants to secure dentures to an entire arch (either top or bottom).
This brand of replacement teeth offers snap-on (removable) implant-retained dentures as well as screw-retained (fixed) implant-retained dentures. The major difference between the two is that screw-retained dental implants can only be removed by your dentist, while removable dentures can be removed at any time.
There are a number of risks associated with the All-on-4® procedure, and it’s not right for everyone. However, you may consider this option with your dentist as an alternative treatment plan to individual dental implants or a set of normal dentures.
Cost (removable): $8,000-$17,500
Cost (fixed): $15,000-$30,000 per arch
Clear Choice Dental Implants
Clear Choice Dental Implant Centers offer a specialized dental implant treatment that is offered as an all-in-one procedure at an individual location.
Cost: $3,000-$6,000 per tooth
Same Day Dental Implants
The process of same day dental implants combines dental implant surgery on the same day as tooth extraction and bone grafting.
Same Day Dental Implants are also known as:
- Immediate dental implants
- Immediate loading of dental implants
According to a Cochrane systematic review, this less conventional process can be successful, but results are still unclear. Individual dentists have more varied results with same-day implants compared to conventional implants, which are placed about 4-6 months after the initial extraction.
Cost: $5,000-$8,000 per tooth
Why are dental implants so expensive?
Dental implants are expensive because they are an invasive treatment but long-lasting option, and the gold standard for tooth replacement.
What are the exact reasons dental implants cost so much?
- Dental implants require a surgical procedure. Dental implant surgery is far more complex than other restorations like dental fillings. For the most part, patients will require local anesthesia and a form of dental sedation.
- To place a dental implant, a dentist must have specialized training. Your general dentist must have completed training in implantology to perform a full dental implant. Otherwise, you will have to see an oral surgeon, prosthodontist, or another type of specialist. Either way, the rate charged may be significantly higher than other procedures because of the credentials and training required to do the work.
- The implant requires many hours of dental laboratory work to fabricate.
- High-quality implant materials and specialized types of implants are usually more expensive.
- Most dental implant procedures take multiple visits and several steps to complete. In order, you can expect a tooth extraction, bone graft, implant consultation, implant insertion procedure, abutment placement, and permanent crown placement. At a minimum, this usually requires at least 2 visits.
The Dental Implant Process (Before, During, and After Surgery)
The process begins with an initial consultation. Before or at an appointment for tooth extraction, your dentist will determine a diagnosis and treatment plan. If your tooth has already been lost, the tooth extraction procedure is unnecessary.
S/he may discuss this plan with you when determining whether a root canal or an extraction with dental implant is the right choice for correcting extensive tooth decay.
Usually, s/he will do this by taking X-rays (preferably, panoramic X-rays or a dental CT scan), examining your jawbone and gum condition, and observing the location of the tooth in question.
An impression will be taken of your teeth and gums. The dentist will explain the procedure and timing and whether or not he or she thinks a bone graft will be necessary to create a more secure base for your implant.
You will also discuss anesthesia options at this time.
Then, your dentist will perform a simple tooth extraction, if required.
Implant insertion is the surgical procedure in which a hole is drilled into the jawbone and the implant is placed. Insertion is sometimes done on the same day as your extraction in a very healthy jawbone, but more frequently is scheduled 3-6 months after extraction to allow time for healing.
Your dental surgeon will probably use a combination of local anesthetic and dental sedation determined during your initial consultation.
You may leave the office with a “fake tooth”, also known as a temporary crown or a temporary denture, if you have a hole in your smile that you want to be covered. On a back tooth, a temporary crown is not necessary and your dentist will place a healing cap.
After the gum is healed, you’ll return to the dentist for an abutment placement. Generally, this is done after 2-6 months. In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
A dental abutment is a structure that connects the titanium post of your dental implant to the implant crown.
The abutment is screwed into the implant and a temporary crown is attached to the implant. Sometimes, a healing cap or collar is needed to help the gum continue to heal properly.
About two weeks later, after your gum has fully healed, the temporary crown is removed and a permanent crown is attached.
A standard dental implant process takes anywhere from 6-12 months. Same day dental implants may allow for a shorter time frame of 3-6 months when extraction, grafting, and implant insertion are performed on the same day and the permanent crown is placed later, after the gums have healed.
Implants & Dental Insurance
Are dental implants covered by dental insurance?
Some dental insurance plans allow coverage for a portion of the dental implant process. Unfortunately, many dental care plans consider implants an elective procedure of cosmetic dentistry and may only cover the initial extraction and permanent crown.
Even if your dental insurance covers additional costs like implant insertion and abutment, it’s unlikely to cover more than $1,500/year, which is the maximum coverage amount of most standard dental insurance plans.
To ensure your dental insurance plan covers your implant, your dentist must prove the extraction, bone graft, implant treatment, and permanent crown were necessary based on your specific symptoms and issues.
Ultimately, your insurance company will decide if the procedure was required and will use this decision to choose what, if any, of your implant is covered.
At what rates does dental insurance usually cover dental implants?
In general, each part of the process may be covered by your dental plan as follows:
- Tooth extraction: 80%
- Implant: 50%
- Abutment: 50%
- Permanent crown: 80%
While these are considered “standard” coverages, check your specific dental plan to ensure you aren’t surprised by the costs of your dental implant with insurance.
Keep in mind that using up your entire maximum benefits for the year mean that other procedures, like dental cleanings or fillings, will likely be paid out-of-pocket. However, you can still use an FSA or HSA to fill in the gaps not covered by your insurance.
Will your medical insurance cover your dental implant?
A select number of medical insurance plans will cover dental treatment, but only when there has been a serious injury to cause the damage (e.g., a traumatic fall). In no cases will medical plans cover dental procedures caused by poor oral hygiene or natural causes.
Medicare Advantage plans may provide similar coverage (again, check your plan before treatment to be sure), but fewer dentists accept Medicare and you’ll have a smaller selection of dentists to choose from.
Don’t make your decision based on what was covered for your co-worker or even someone in your immediate family. There are yearly limits, pre-existing conditions, reasons for replacement, and deductibles that must be taken into account.
How to Financially Prepare for Dental Implants
Think you’ll need an implant in the future? Use this as a checklist of how to prepare for the financial and insurance hurdles of a dental implant now:
- Request a full copy of your dental insurance plan from your provider. Be prepared: it’s a long document. However, reading your entire plan might help you find exclusions and treatment loopholes you probably wouldn’t know about otherwise.
- Request a detailed quote from your dentist including each part of the dental implant process. Get a price for the complete procedure which should include the implant, abutment, and crown. Ask about the cost of an extraction and bone graft if either is needed. Remember to ask if you’ll be charged for a temporary tooth.
- Talk to your dentist about their in-house payment options or financing options. They may offer financing through CareCredit or another long-term payment plan that’s easier to budget.
- Get a bone graft when your tooth is extracted, or else you risk not having enough bone to support the implant. This could necessitate more expensive (and unexpected) treatments.
- Prepare by saving the money you need as early as possible. Use personal savings techniques, Bento dental, and HSA/FSA plans to help offset the cost.
How to Save Money on Dental Implants
Because implants are expensive for the average person, you may want to save money on them. Below are a few popular ways to save money on or reduce the cost of dental implants.
- Travel abroad. Traveling to get inexpensive dental work, also known as “dental tourism,” is one way to get implants at a lower price. Before you travel, ensure that you are seeing a top-rated, well-educated dentist in whatever country you have your procedure. Consult online sources like PatientsBeyondBorders.com and TreatmentAbroad.com. These sites will give you information on accreditation, facilities, cost comparisons, and offer a look at what to consider before going abroad. Just remember — implants are a several-month process and the cost of your travel may outweigh your savings in the end. Alternatively, you may want to have implants placed elsewhere, keep the abutments in your carry-on, and have a local dentist place those and the permanent crown after the gums have healed.
- Talk to your dentist. Many offices offer special discounts for services you are prescribed not covered by your dental insurance. These may be anywhere up to 40%, depending on the individual office, especially if you pay in cash rather than via credit card.
- Go to a dental school. Dental procedures at a dental school are charged at a lower rate than a normal dental office but are supervised closely by an experienced dentist. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has a list of participating schools.
- Find an AAID dentist. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), a dentist credentialed by AAID has extensive experience to help minimize the costs and risks of implant failure.
- Research alternative financing options. If you’re planning to finance your dental implants, consider multiple options. These may include CareCredit, a local bank or credit union, your dentist’s in-house financing, or even a new zero-interest credit card. While this won’t reduce how much you pay for the procedure, it may help reduce the amount of interest you end up paying for a high-interest financing option.
- Discuss temporary tooth options with your dentist ahead of time. A temporary crown is placed at your implant insertion because the bone needs time to heal after the implant is placed. However, if your implant is in an inconspicuous part of your mouth or if you don’t mind having a missing tooth showing, you won’t need a temporary crown, which can reduce your overall cost.
- Choose a different treatment option. In some cases, implants are suggested, but not your only option. For a cavity, a root canal with crown may be a more appropriate option. In other cases, veneers, dental bridges, or dentures might serve you better at a much lower cost. Talk to your dentist before making any decisions about your treatment plan.
- Talk to charitable organizations about covering the cost of your implants. Various organizations may help cover the cost of your dental implants in special situations:
- Apply for a grant for your dental implants. The CDG Grant Program and the ADA Foundation offer grants that may cover certain dental procedures, like implants. To apply, you’ll fill out an application to determine eligibility.
- Search for a clinical trial near you. If you are willing to participate in a clinical trial, search ClinicalTrials.gov for “dental implants” (in the “other terms” field). Clinical trials may provide you with free or inexpensive dental implants in exchange for using your experience as data in a future study.
Cheap Dental Implants Near Me?
Are cheap dental implant ads legitimate? There are many clinics that offer “cheap dental implants” for $999 or less. Unfortunately, many of these ads don’t show the whole picture and often leave out costs for abutment placement, implant placement anesthesia, or crowns, leaving you to pay unexpected costs later.
Sometimes, though, reputable dentists run these ads to bring in new patients.
Before scheduling an appointment from an advertisement for cheap dental implants, do your research. Read the dentist’s reviews, call the office to discuss the true cost of dental implants, and ask plenty of questions to make sure you’ve found a good dentist.
Just remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
FAQs on Dental Implants
Q: What are the benefits of dental implants?
- One of the biggest benefits of a dental implant is that it preserves bone in a way no other tooth replacement can.
- Dental implants look and feel very much like real teeth, especially when compared to other replacements for missing teeth.
- Unlike dentures, implants allow for almost totally normal chewing and overall function.
- Dental implants, especially in seniors, may last for the rest of your life (much longer than the 5-7 years of a dental bridge).
- They prevent shifting of your teeth that might otherwise cause problems with your bite, TMD, or orthodontic growth.
- To care for implants, follow good oral health practices like dental check-ups, brushing, and flossing (no special habits or products required).
Q: What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
- Significant healing times required after a surgical procedure
- Very high cost with little to no dental insurance coverage
- The potential mechanical failure of the components of the dental implant (like the implant, abutment, screw, or permanent crown)
- A risk of fracturing the dental crown (although this is far more likely with crowns on natural teeth)
- The potential risk of bone loss, particularly as you age
Q: How long do dental implants last?
Q: How does my dentist decide if I need a bone graft for an implant?
Occasionally, the graft is unnecessary, as the socket is small enough to accept the diameter of the implant and “take” right away. in other words, if the threads of the impact can engage healthy bone after an extraction, the graft isn’t necessary.
Q: Who is a good candidate for a dental implant? Who isn’t?
- Over 60 years of age
- Under 20 years of age (most dentists won’t place an implant before this age)
- History of any head or neck radiation
- Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Q: What are the options for a temporary tooth?
- Dental Flipper: Essentially, a partial denture. It is made of plastic and is easily removable.
- Clear Essix: This retainer fits tightly over the entire arch of your teeth and will include a tooth to cover your gap. It is nearly invisible and also removable.
- Snap-on Smile: This retainer is made out of crystallized acetyl resin. It is a full set of “teeth,” is more durable than the Essix, and may be recommended for someone with multiple implants. It is also more costly.
- Temporary Crown
Q: How do I choose a dentist for my dental implant?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, prosthodontist, or a periodontist are specialists that are more educated on the processes and procedures of dental implants. They’re the three specialties recognized by the ADA as best for dental implants.
Their training includes a residency for specialty programs related to dental implants and they have more surgical training and real-life experience than your general dentist has.
However, your general dentist may have completed one or more educational programs qualifying him or her to place dental implants.In general, reviews from former patients are one of the best ways to choose the best dentist for your dental implant. A general dentist may have fewer total hours of education, but if their patients speak very highly of their dental implant experiences, that’s a strong signal that you may want to pursue an appointment with him or her.
Are dental implants worth it?
Dental implants have a very high up-front cost. However, they may be worth the investment for several reasons:
- They have an incredibly high success rate of 94% or more.
- They look, feel, and function like real teeth.
- They last much longer than alternative options, such as dental bridges or dentures. Depending on the quality of the material used and the skill of the dental surgeon, dental implants may last 10-15 years or more.
- They are less likely to result in the same degree of bone loss as bridges or dentures.
- Unlike dentures, dental implants won’t interfere with your sense of taste.
- Unlike bridges, dental implants require no special dental hygiene habits and can be kept clean through normal toothbrushing and flossing.
- To get implants, the teeth on either side of your missing tooth don’t have to be ground down or affected in any way. With bridges, this can make the teeth on either side of a bridge more susceptible to decay.
- Titanium implants are very unlikely to fail or cause allergic reactions (although it can happen).
- Implants won’t decay.
Before you invest your time and money, consider some of the ideas above to save on your dental implants and to financially prepare. Whatever you choose, find a dentist who puts your individual needs first.
- Elani, H. W., Starr, J. R., Da Silva, J. D., & Gallucci, G. O. (2018). Trends in dental implant use in the US, 1999–2016, and projections to 2026. Journal of dental research, 97(13), 1424-1430. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30075090/
- Charyeva, O., Altynbekov, K., Zhartybaev, R., & Sabdanaliev, A. (2012). Long-term dental implant success and survival–a clinical study after an observation period up to 6 years. Swedish dental journal, 36(1), 1-6. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22611899/
- Esposito, M., Grusovin, M. G., Willings, M., Coulthard, P., & Worthington, H. V. (2007). The effectiveness of immediate, early, and conventional loading of dental implants: a Cochrane systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials. International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, 22(6). Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18271370/
- Moy, P. K., Medina, D., Shetty, V., & Aghaloo, T. L. (2005). Dental implant failure rates and associated risk factors. International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, 20(4). Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16161741/