Category: Dentistry

Dental Implants - Calculating the Cost

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While the dental implant surgery is not complicated, the costs presented to you by the dentists are general and may not include some necessary operations. Read more to find out in detail what constitutes the final cost of having dental implants. Here we discuss the type of implants, anesthesia options, bone addition, sinus lift surgery and many more important options.

How is the Dental Implants cost calculated?


            If you have been researching about the dental implant surgery then you probably found out that the operation is not limited to just inserting a titanium implant into the jawbone. The dental implant will be useless without a proper restoration prosthetic. You have to take into consideration that the surgery may include other costs such as anesthesia, bone addition, or an additional sinus lift surgery. Read bellow to better understand the total pricing calculation that comes with dental implants.


A few details about the procedure

             The dental implant procedure will replace a missing tooth with an artificial one. The first step is to implant a titanium post into the jawbone (endosteal implant). It’s crucial that there is enough thickness and height in the bone for the proper placing of the implant. The longer you have missing teeth there are higher changes that you will need extra procedures like sinus lifting or bone addition. After it integrates itself successfully with the bone tissue then the restoration stage may begin. At this time (3 to 6 months after the implant’s placement) a dental prosthetic (dental crown or dentures) will be prepared and placed on the implant. Read more about the procedure in your guide about dental implants.


X-rays or CT-scan

            The dentist will plan the surgery after looking at the Xray of the mouth or a CT-scan. The latter is preferable since it offers a 3D view of the bone structure. In the US or UK a CT-scan will cost from 250$ to 1000$, while in Eastern Asia or South America it will cost up to 150$.


Anesthesia and Sedation - only anesthesia is necessary

  • The most common and less expensive option (around 20$) is the local anesthesia. It may come free for dental implant treatments. This numbs the surgery area and leaves you awake and fully aware.
  • If the procedure is long lasting or you are very anxious about the surgery, you can request to be sedated. When sedated you will be conscious but very calm.
  • Inhalation sedation (laughing gas) is the less expensive and costs usually under 100$. Some providers may offer it for free.
  • Oral sedation is deeper than the laughing gas inhalation, but costs 200 to 400$. Oral sedatives as Valium are used.
  • IV conscious sedation has a more powerful action, but it’s also the most expensive conscious sedation technique at an average of about 500$. There are more regulations for IV sedation and the dentist must meet certain requirements in order to use it.
  • General anesthesia and deep sedation, also known as “sleep dentistry” renders you unconscious and unaware of the surgery, but also comes with the highest price tag. It can be performed only by an anesthesiologist and it’s paid by the hour. On average, an hour costs about 700$.


Sinus lift surgery - may be needed

            This procedure is used to supplement insufficient bone structure in the upper jaw where the bone height to the maxillary sinuses is less than the height of the implant. If you need an implant for the back teeth (molars) on the upper jaw, there is a chance that a sinus lift will be necessary. Also, if you have missing molars for more than a couple of years then it’s likely that the bone in that area has thinned and sinus lift surgery will be needed.

            Having sinus lift surgery in USA costs from $1800 to $4000 for one side. Dental clinics in South America, Eastern Europe or South-East Asia will offer you prices for sinus lifting starting from $350 up to $1500.


Nerve repositioning –rarely needed

            If the lower jaw has insufficient bone structure above the jaw nerve to hold the implant, a reposition of the nerve may be necessary. The risks that come with this procedure include permanently numbing the lower lip and jaw, thus alternatives such as bone grafting, multiple splinted short implants and dental bridges are better suited.


Bone addition or bone graft – may be needed

            There are three types of bone addition that you may require, each depending on the state of the bone structure.

            Socket Graft or “Alveolar ridge Preservation”

            The most common situation is when a permanent tooth is extracted. The dentist should fill the resulting empty hole with a bone graft if an implant cannot be placed immediately. This constitutes the base on which a future implant will be placed. The cost is determined by how large is the empty socket. A small bone addition goes at around $300 in South America while in USA it can cost up to $1500.

            Sinus Lift Bone Graft

            It is included in the Sinus Lift surgery cost.

            Autogenous Block Bone Graft

            If a bone graft or implant are not placed after the tooth removal, the surrounding bone will suffer severe changes over time as it will be reabsorbed. The result may be a very thin bone structure that requires a larger bone graft, most often taken from the patient itself. The bone can be taken from the chin, the backside of the lower jaw, or the hip bone. This is the most expensive procedure since the tissue acquiring surgery has to be done in a hospital under general anesthesia. In USA the cost is around $2500 and $3000 while in Mexico it’s valued at around $750.


Different types of dental implants

            The great majority of dental implants are made of titanium. Depending on the way of fixating to the bone, there are root form implants, also called endosteal implants, ramus-frame implants and transosseous implants. Endosteal implants are the most common form of implant and the cheapest to have as their placement is the less invasive. The latter type is not very much used as it requires extensive surgery, and the ramus-frame implants are recommended only to the patients where their lower jaws have very little bone.

            Root form implants come in different models by several top manufacturers like 3M ESPE, Nobel Biocare, Straumann, etc. As long as it’s made by a reputed company, it depends on the dentist which one will be used. Prices for the implant surgery includes the titanium implant and costs from $1800 to $4000 in the USA. In Costa Rica a Nobel Biocare implant costs around $600, and in Turkey it’s $722. Read the “Prices and insurance options” chapter from the guide “All you need to know about dental implants” to see a table of dental implants around the world.


Abutment and temporary crown – may be included

            On top of the inserted titanium post an abutment is serving as a base for fixing the dental restoration, be it a crown or dentures. While the restoration is being manufactured, a temporary crown will be seated on the abutment. The abutment is priced at around $500 per piece in USA and less in abroad destinations. Many facilities offer the abutment included with the dental crown or implant. Temporaries can be included in the final price of the crown. In USA a temporary crown can cost up to $200.


Crown types

            There are many types of crowns, each having their own pros and cons. If you want to know more, including average prices for popular destinations, just read our guide about Dental Crowns. The most popular types of dental crowns are “Porcelain fused to metal” and “Porcelain fused to zirconium”. The latter is the best looking one as the zirconium support offers a great aesthetic value, but it’s also more expensive. The cost in USA/UK for a dental crown made of porcelain on a zirconium base is around $1200. In popular destinations like Mexico, India or Eastern Europe the average prices are $550, $200 and $400 respectively.  

Tags: dental implants, dental implant, dental implant surgery, medical tourism, how is the dental implant cost calculated, dental implant price

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