It’s hard to put a value on a smile, especially when you need to make a solid first impression. So the feeling that you need to hide your smile due to damaged or missing teeth can be debilitating. And it’s more common than you probably think, with only 48% of Americans aged 20 to 64 having a complete set of permanent teeth.

Getting dental implants can be a life-changing decision for those dealing with damaged or missing teeth. But many hold off on the surgery out of concern for how much dental implants cost.

If that sounds like your situation, then let’s take a closer look at what the implant process entails, the kinds of procedures available, and if the price of dental implants is worth the result.

What Does Dental Implant Surgery Entail?

Dental implants have a longer history than many realize. As far back as 2500 BC, the ancient Egyptians used primitive implants made from gold ligature wire to stabilize loose teeth. And by 500 BC, the Etruscans were fabricating replacement teeth from oxen bones.

Oral surgery technology has advanced quite a bit since then, of course.

Modern dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure that only lasts between 30 minutes and a few hours, depending on the number of implants that need to be placed.

There are two main types of dental implants, and what your surgical and recovery timeline looks like will depend on which type you are the best candidate for.

Endosteal implants are the more common of the two and are usually the preferred method. These implants look like small screws made from body-safe materials like titanium. These implants are placed deep into the jawbone where they take the place of the roots of the missing teeth.

The main drawback of endosteal implants is that the patient must have enough jawbone left to support them. This is problematic because when someone loses one or more teeth, jawbone deterioration tends to occur as a side-effect.

When there’s not enough jawbone left for endosteal implants, your surgeon may recommend subperiosteal implants instead. Rather than being implanted into the bone, these implants are grafted on top of the jaw, beneath the gums.

The type and number of implants used will dictate the surgical and recovery timeline.

Single and Multiple Tooth Implants

One of the main factors influencing the cost of implants is the number of teeth that need to be replaced. If you need to have multiple implants placed next to each other, you may have some options that can save you money on the overall procedure.

For example, if you need to have three or four teeth replaced that are all right next to each other, your surgeon may be able to fit the crowns to a bridge held in place by only two implants. This allows for significant savings, as well as reduced recovery time than if you needed four implants put in.

The same holds true if you need to have full-mouth implants put in. Anytime you can group multiple implants in the same area of the mouth together, you can save money over having the teeth replaced individually.

The Benefits of Getting Dental Implants

Before you decide if dental implants are right for you, you should weigh your other options.

The most common remedies for missing teeth are either dentures or dental bridges.

Dentures you’re no doubt familiar with. They’re removable sets of false teeth that fit over the gums.

The main drawback to dentures is that they tend not to last as long as bridges or implants. Although they’re the cheapest option up front, you can expect to replace them at least once over your lifetime. Furthermore, many people find them uncomfortable or even painful to wear.

Dental bridges are the next step up.

These are false teeth that use the healthy teeth on either side to anchor them in place. They’re less expensive than implants and don’t require jaw surgery to install. However, they are subject to chipping and breaking, so they tend not to last as long.

In contrast to dentures and bridges, implants are characterized by their longevity. Well-cared-for, implants can last a lifetime. And as they’re fitted into the jaw like a natural tooth, they don’t cause discomfort and are indistinguishable from the real thing.

How Much Will Dental Implants Cost?

So the main question at hand: how much can you expect your implants to cost?

As we discussed, there are several variables at play. Both the type of implant and the number of teeth being replaced will play a role.

On average, a single implant costs about $2000 to $3000. Having an abutment or a crown placed on top of the implant is usually an additional $2000 to $3000. So the total for a replacement tooth may be as high as $6000 when all is said and done.

That may sound like a steep charge. But remember that implants are designed to last for decades with proper care. Over their lifespan, that can lead to considerable savings over dentures or bridges.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

Most dental insurance providers classify implants as an “elective” procedure. That means that, while bridges or dentures are often covered, implants usually are not.

But as implants became more common, that rule started to change. You can still expect to pay a significant portion out of pocket, even if you do have coverage. But many providers are expanding their plans to cover at least a portion of the cost of receiving implants.

Plans that cover implants will usually reimburse you to the tune of about $1,500 per implant. And if you have a flexible spending account, health reimbursement account, or health savings account, you can almost always put those funds towards the cost of dental implants.

Make an Appointment to Renew Your Smile

Determining how much dental implants cost depends on the type of implants you opt for and your level of insurance coverage. That said, it’s hard to undervalue the confidence and mental well-being that comes with a sterling smile at any price.

The best way to determine what dental implants prices will look like for you individually is to get a consultation from a dental professional. So to learn more about your options, find an oral surgery specialist near you today.