All-On-4® dental implant procedures are a much sought-after solution for replacing missing or disfigured teeth. However, dental implant therapy can often be expensive. I'll share the reasons why.
All-On-4® Dental Implants: The Best of Teeth-Replacement Procedures
It’s no secret that dental implant procedures, like many cosmetic medical operations, can be expensive for anybody. Replacing a single tooth can cost thousands of dollars out of pocket. Full mouth reconstruction surgery, which may involve replacing multiple or all of a patient’s teeth with dental implants can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. While pricing for medical products, services, and procedures can sometimes seem outrageous (often justifiably so) it is helpful to understand the economic factors driving these prices.
By understanding why dentists and prosthodontists charge what they charge, you can better understand and appreciate the difference between a good deal from a reputable prosthodontist versus a too-good-to-be-true deal from a not-so-reputable dentist or dental chain that may seem attractive at first glance.
Ultimately, dental implantation procedures require the care and diligence of a skilled, trained, and experienced prosthodontist to last a lifetime as well as look beautiful and natural. For this reason alone, sometimes paying a little more can be well worth the investment.
It is also important to understand that dental implants are the recommended tooth replacement strategy for many reasons. Unlike other teeth replacement alternatives such as dentures, dental implants are physically and biologically integrated into your bone structure. This makes them functionally (and aesthetically) superior to any other teeth replacement therapy, which also means they have a higher cost. Dental implants are the best of teeth-replacement strategies.
According to the New York Times, a single-tooth dental implant procedure can cost on average between $3,000 and $4,500. These prices are merely a rule of thumb and may cost more or less depending on a variety of factors.
One factor which is often overlooked is the quality of the dentist or prosthodontist. This can best be surmised through skill and experience. A good rule of thumb is not to comprise on either skill or expertise. It's not good to take chances with your teeth.
When comparing prices, always take a doctor’s surgical and dental implant experience into consideration. Paying a little more for a doctor with decades of experience and a daily history of successful work could be well worth the investment if it prevents a lifetime of dental pain as a result of a failed dental implant.
A good example of failed dental implants is Gloria. Gloria was referred to me by another surgeon. Gloria was desperate for the right dental implant treatment plan. After multiple failures and incredible pain, she came to ArtLab Dentistry, and we helped change her life, you can see for yourself the before and after results.
I can tell you story after story of patients I receive from around the world who come to me to repair their failed implant. Let me encourage you to read my article When Dental Implants Go Wrong.
Dental Implants: Lifecycle Costs
One consideration that is often ignored or misunderstood is the idea of lifecycle costs. When the total cost of a dental implant procedure is taken into account, including the initial cost as well as the cost of maintenance, dental implants often can cost the same or less than other less expensive alternatives.
Take dentures, for example. Traditional dentures are less expensive than dental implants, with a full mouth prosthetic costing as little as a few hundred dollars for an acrylic set. However, these inexpensive dentures neither last very long nor work particularly well. In fact, acrylic dentures must be replaced every couple of years and require meticulous maintenance. On the other hand with dental implants or All-On-4® dental implants, they often can last decades. In cases where the budget is the deciding factor, it is understandable if dentures are the right solution.
As a leading prosthodontist, I have observed over the last several years a lack of price transparency when it comes to dental implant costs. Patients did not know the questions they should be asking a prosthodontist or know precisely what they needed with regards to features and quality, or what was considered a luxury.
This is one of the reasons I recently took on the task of creating an online digital calculator that will provide people like you with all the options available and give you the cost as well as an analysis to help you make an easy, informed decision as to the cost of All-On-4® Dental Implants.
5 Reason Why Dental Implants Are The Ultimate Value --- But Not the Least Expensive
1. Requires a team of specialists
A dental implant procedure requires a team of specialists. You will want to be sure you have a prosthodontist like me and an in-house team of specialists that include an oral surgeon, anesthesiologist, and highly skilled staff that will provide you with care. This is not common to find in most dental chains.
2. Requires a Prosthodontist
Dental implant procedures cannot be executed by just any dental professional. For example, you wouldn’t want a dental hygienist conducting oral surgery. Instead, the best person for the job is a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is considered the quarterback of the team. He leads with the strategy and treatment and has the know-how and training to extract, fabricate, and replace failing teeth.
Becoming a prosthodontist is very difficult. A prosthodontist must complete four years of dental school followed by three years of specialized training in an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited graduate program. Then, many become board-certified. All this time, effort, and specialized training are difficult and time-consuming. According to the American Dental Association, there are only 3,500 practicing prosthodontists in the United States.
3. Requires medical-grade materials
Dental implants must be able to withstand tremendous forces. The average human bite at the molars exerts 171 pounds of force. Also, successful dental implants must also withstand and be able to grind down harsh substances from acidic beverages to tough foods. In other words, they need to be fabricated from sturdy and resilient materials that, unsurprisingly, can be expensive. Similarly, dental implant materials must also be inert, or inactive, and entirely safe for human implantation.
One of the critical characteristics of a dental implant is its ability to osseointegrate into the underlying jawbone in which it is embedded. Successful integration means a successful implant. If the dental implant does not osseointegrate into the bone, the implant will sooner or later fail.
4. Requires precise state-of-the-art fabrication
A state of the art dental implant prosthetic includes a milled titanium bar framework with CAD-CAM and acrylic resin teeth. You have several options with regards to quality and price. Check out our All-On-4® Dental Implant Assessment for the costs for various options.
5. Requires the highest level of care
Every procedure is performed with the highest level of care to ensure optimal aesthetics and dental function. Dental implants are rooted into your jaw using a post that acts as an artificial tooth root. As such, they fit securely and mimic your natural teeth. You can brush and floss them as usual, and you don’t have to make changes to your diet, as you do with dentures. Dental implants also don’t rely on neighboring teeth, like bridges, so they don’t put any of your remaining natural teeth at risk, and because they are anchored in your jawbone, they help to prevent the bone loss that can occur with dentures.