If you have missing teeth, you may have considered dental implants to restore your smile. Dental implants use a titanium post to support an abutment and dental crown to help you regain normal chewing and speaking functionality.
However, many people are concerned about dental implant cost. Exploring the factors that contribute to the cost of dental implants can help you understand how dental implants are a lifelong investment in your oral health.
Factors Contributing to Dental Implant Cost: Number of Implants
Dental implants are priced per tooth for single or full mouth procedures. So, the more implants you need, the greater the dental implants cost. If you need several consecutive teeth replaced, your dentist may prescribe an implant-supported bridge or All-on-4 dental implants. These procedures use fewer implants to support the dental restoration, saving you money on the overall dental implants cost.
An implant-supported bridge uses two dental implants instead of abutment teeth to hold a pontic (false tooth) in place. This ensures adequate bone stimulation to prevent resorption that typically occurs with conventional bridges but reduces the number of implants needed to replace your missing teeth.
All-on-4 implants use four posts strategically positioned toward the front and rear of the dental arch to hold a denture in place. This dental implant treatment is ideal for those missing an entire arch of teeth.
Factors Contributing to Dental Implant Cost: Materials Used
Dental implants are made from biocompatible materials to prevent the body from rejecting the device or causing an infection. Materials used to create dental implants include titanium, zirconia, and porcelain ceramic. Each of these materials is designed for long-term use, and the dental implants cost reflects the quality of the components.
Titanium is used for the dental implant post. It is highly durable, rating a 6 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it tougher than steel or gold. This property makes it scratch- and corrosion-resistant. Titanium is used in dental implants because it has low electrical conductivity and can withstand the pH levels in your mouth. It also fuses easily with jawbone tissue, which facilitates osseointegration.
While titanium remains the most popular choice for dental implant treatment, zirconia is sometimes used for posts and abutments because it is considered more aesthetically pleasing.
Zirconia is a tooth-coloured material that offers similar biocompatibility and osseointegration properties as titanium. It also assists with soft tissue regeneration and inhibits bacterial growth to prevent infections like peri-implantitis.
Porcelain or ceramic
Porcelain or ceramic are used to create dental restorations for dental implant treatment. They are naturally tough, stain-resistant, and reflect the light similarly to your natural teeth giving you a natural smile.
Factors Contributing to Dental Implant Cost: Additional Surgeries
Before you can schedule a dental implant procedure, you need to get a consultation at your local dental clinic, Pearl Dental Care in St. Mary’s. During your initial consultation for dental implant treatment, your dentist performs diagnostic tests, including digital imaging and X-rays. This allows them to assess the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants.
Any additional surgeries, including tooth extraction, incur extra fees, contributing to the overall dental implants cost. If the images reveal poor jawbone density or thickness, your dentist may prescribe a bone graft or sinus lift.
A bone graft involves the placement of graft material in the jawbone underneath the missing tooth to stimulate bone tissue growth. This increases bone density to create a stable foundation for the implant post.
A sinus lift is necessary for patients who need implants to replace missing molars or premolars in their upper (maxillary) jaw. The maxillary sinus membrane is lifted during a sinus lift procedure, and graft material is placed in the gap. This increases the depth of the jawbone.
Gum disease treatment
If you have signs of advanced gum disease, you’ll need to undergo periodontal therapy before dental implant treatment. In most cases, you can manage periodontitis with an antibacterial mouthwash and a course of antibiotics. However, if you have severe gum disease that has deteriorated the tissue, you may need flap surgery. This allows your dentist to repair damage to the underlying bone.
Factors Contributing to Dental Implant Cost: Medicare or Private Health Insurance
The out-of-pocket dental implants cost depends on your level of insurance coverage. Public health coverage, like Medicare, does not cover the dental implants cost, except in some instances.
Medicare may cover part of the dental implants cost if your oral health is adversely impacting your general health. If your dental implants are deemed medically necessary, you will need a referral from your GP as part of the GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangement.
Medicare may also cover a portion of the dental implants cost if you are a concession cardholder. A concession card makes you eligible to receive state-based dental vouchers, which you can use towards dental implant treatment. At Pearl Dental Care, we accept NSW dental vouchers, but please be aware that they have an expiry date.
Private health insurance
You can get coverage for the dental implants cost if your insurance plan includes the procedure as part of your extras policy. It is typically included under the category Major Dental.
The dental implants cost may also be covered under your Hospital Cover; however, this requires you to be admitted to a hospital for dental implant treatment.
Check your policy with your private health insurance provider to find out what level of coverage you have.
Visit Pearl Dental Care to Rejuvenate Your Smile
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, visit our single-chair dentist that offers a consultation and exam. Our experienced dentist can discuss your dental implant options with you and further explain the factors influencing dental implant cost. Find a dental consultation near you in Western Sydney at Pearl Dental Care.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Biocompatibility of Advanced Manufactured Titanium Implants—A Review
Zirconia in dental implantology: A review
Chronic disease GP Management Plans and Team Care Arrangements
Prosthodontic Perspective to All-On-4® Concept for Dental Implants
Everything to Know About a Dental Implant Procedure