A dental implant is a post that is placed in the jawbone to serve as a replacement for the root of a natural tooth. It provides a long-lasting foundation for dental prosthetics without altering the surrounding teeth.
Although the initial dental implant cost is higher than other tooth replacement treatments, dental implants cost less over the long term, as they need fewer repairs and replacements over the years.
Learn what factors affect the price of dental implants, the cost-effectiveness of this treatment, and how you can pay for dental implants.
Factors That Impact Dental Implant Cost
While there is no set price, dental implants cost several thousand dollars on average. Additionally, several factors can change the cost of the procedure, depending on the type of treatment you need and what implants you receive.
Your dentist can give you a specific estimate of what the procedure will cost based on your oral health and dental history. Some of the factors that influence how much your dental implants cost include:
Number of Teeth to be Replaced
Your total dental implant cost depends on how many teeth you need to be replaced. The price is calculated per tooth if you receive a single dental implant. The more implants you receive, the more you will have to pay. Find further details.
If you have insufficient jawbone density due to tissue resorption, you may need a bone graft or sinus lift to ensure the implant remains in place. These surgeries integrate more bone into the upper or lower jaw.
However, surgery requires several appointments to determine the size of the bone graft you need, and it often takes six months or more to heal from the procedure fully. The cost of these appointments and surgeries adds up, resulting in a higher overall price for your dental implant surgery.
Your Oral Health
Your gums and remaining teeth must be healthy to support the implant. If you have gum disease, cavities, or severe tooth decay, you may need further treatment before the implant can be placed. This can include periodontal therapy, fillings, root canal treatments, or tooth extraction. These require additional appointments and follow-ups, contributing to the total dental implant cost.
Type of Implant Received
Implants are priced differently depending on the type of implant. For instance, single crowns or implants are usually priced by the tooth, while the cost of implant-supported bridges depends on the number of implants and the bridge’s size and material.
All-on-4 dental implants cost the most, as they replace the entire row of teeth and can sometimes require extraction of any teeth remaining in the arch. However, they are still more affordable than a complete arch restoration, which uses single-unit implants to replace every tooth in the dental arch.
Materials Used in the Implant
Implants are designed to last a lifetime, so they must use sturdy materials. Most implants are built from titanium or zirconium, both highly resistant to corrosion and biocompatible to reduce the risk of implant rejection.
These materials also have high impact and torsional resistance, ensuring they can withstand the repeated force of chewing and biting. Implants are also coated in a biocompatible film and growth matrix that speeds up the osseointegration process.
Oakleigh Smiles offers state-of-the-art dental implant treatment with the choice of MIS implants, Straumann implants, and Nobel Biocare implants. While they all function as implants, they are all made of different materials, affecting their cost.
- MIS implants are made of titanium alloys.
- Straumann implants use a blend of titanium and zirconium, which strengthens the implant and makes it less likely the jawbone will reject it.
- Nobel Biocare implants are made of titanium and contain a surface called TiUnite that helps the implant quickly fuse to the bone.
Practice Location and Dentist’s Experience
The location of the dental clinic can partially influence the cost of treatment. Practices in affluent areas or the centre of the CBD often have higher rent and utility costs. Those practice overheads are integrated into the dental implant cost.
Implant dentistry is also a complex process that requires extensive, specialised training. The more experience and expertise a dentist has, the more they tend to charge for dental implants.
The Risks of Not Getting Implants
Some people miscalculate the dental implant cost-benefit analysis and choose not to spend the money on implants, believing that a missing tooth won’t harm them. However, forgoing dental implants increases your risk of oral and physical health problems over time. If you lose a tooth and fail to replace it, you will eventually have issues with:
- Shifting and misalignment of your remaining teeth
- Changes to your facial shape
- Gum infection and disease
- Speaking clearly
- Gum recession
- Breakdown of the jawbone
- Further tooth loss
Are Dental Implants Cost-Effective?
Alternative tooth replacement options, like dentures and dental bridges, may seem cheaper than dental implants. However, over the years, you will often pay more for these replacements than for implants.
Dentures require a specialised cleaning solution rather than ordinary toothpaste. Additionally, dentures need regular replacement once worn for several years. Because dentures sit on the gums rather than integrate with bone tissue, they do not stimulate bone metabolism. This leads to resorption, changing how your dentures fit in your mouth over time.
Dentures need to be replaced on average after 6.5 years. However, dentures in the upper jaw tend to last longer than those in the lower jaw.
Dental bridges are sturdier than dentures but have a higher risk of breaking or failing in the long term: only 80 to 89% of bridges last ten years. Bridges also require significant preparation of the supporting teeth to fit the bridge. Since this thins out and removes some of the protective enamel layer on the supporting teeth, these teeth have a higher likelihood of developing tooth decay.
Implants tend to be longer-lasting and cause less damage.
Between 90 to 95% of implants last at least ten years, most lasting a lifetime, so you will need fewer clinic visits for repairs or replacements.
You can brush and floss with implants the same way you would with natural teeth, with no need for specialised cleaning tools. This makes dental implants more cost-effective over the long term than dentures and bridges.
How Can I Afford an Implant?
Even though dental implants are crucial for maintaining long-term oral and physical health, many Australians cannot afford to pay a dental implant cost out-of-pocket. If your dentist’s estimated dental implant cost is outside your budget, there are still ways to pay for the procedure without using up all your savings.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
In Australia, Medicare does not cover most dental services, as they are classified as an out-of-hospital medical service. This means Medicare typically will not cover your dental implant treatment or any related procedures.
However, there are a few exceptions where Medicare will cover these treatments. For example, they may pay for your dental implant treatment if you hold certain concession cards or if your GP refers you due to impacts on your overall physical health. Outside of these exceptions, however, the full dental implant cost must be paid by the patient.
Does Private Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
While private insurance companies in Australia sometimes cover dental implant treatment, what and how much they cover depends on your level of coverage. Most insurers will only cover implants if you have Major Dental Extras.
Contact your insurance if you’re unsure whether your private plan covers dental implants. They can tell you if your plan will fully or partially reimburse you for what your dental implants cost.
Can I Use Payment Plans?
Many dental clinics accept payment plans for treatments not covered by private insurance or Medicare, including dental implant treatment. With these payment plans, you can pay back the dental implant cost in multiple instalments over weeks or months rather than paying for it all at once. The length of your payment period depends on which payment plan you use.
At Oakleigh Smiles, we accept multiple payment plans, some of which you can apply for when visiting our clinic. Some of the plans we accept include:
- National Dental Plan by Humm, which you can apply for at our practice
- AfterPay, which you can sign up for through your smartphone
- SuperCare, which you can apply for at our practice
- Humm, which you can sign up for through your smartphone
If you don’t see your payment plan on this list, contact us to find out if we accept it.
Get Quality Dental Implant Treatment at Oakleigh Smiles
Although dental implants cost more initially than other tooth replacement options, they are a cost-effective long-term investment in your oral and general health. Dental implants can prevent severe health issues that may cost thousands of dollars and numerous treatments to repair.
Oakleigh Smiles provides top-of-the-line dental implant treatment in Oakleigh South. If you need dental implants or other dental care, our experienced team of dentists can help determine the best treatment option for you. Give us a call on (03) 9007 2258 or book an appointment online today to keep your smile happy and healthy.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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