What makes the cost for dental implants?

An important aspect when considering a dental implant is, of course, their cost. Although they may be the best solution out available for teeth replacement, you must understand what the cost will entail. Many patients believe the implant is restricted to the screw drilled into the bone on surgery day, but even this implant is useless without other parts or procedures associated with it. The total cost for a dental implant includes not only the surgical placement of the implant but also the abutment and the final restoration.

The implant placement

Many clinics, when asked what the cost for a dental implant is, will answer with the cost of this part. The implant is similar to a screw that is surgically placed into the bone. This screw is fabricated and provided by one of several companies. Their brand may or may not be familiar to the patient, but based on these and the type of technology they use will influence the final cost of the implant. The brand and type, also called system, will be of great importance to the final restoration because their cost and availability will ultimately be transferred to the final price. Common brands include Noble Biocare, BioHorizons, Zimmer, Intralock, Straumann and 3i. Also note that zirconium implants will always have a higher cost than titanium implants.

The abutment

The implant was placed at bone level and after a few days it will be partially or fully covered with gum tissue. Once the implant is ready for restoration, usually several months after placement, and the implant uncovered, the dentist prepares to place the abutment. The abutment is a part or set of parts that connect the implant to the surface of the mouth and that serve as support for the final restoration, be it a crown, a bridge, or even an implant-supported denture. Now, the abutment must be of the same system as was used for the implant, or there must be compatibility between them. Also, the type and angle of the abutment will further influence on the final cost. Sometimes, the abutments require customization, which may add to the cost. Most clinics will also include in the total cost of the abutment the cost of parts necessary to take impression of the implant area. These may or may not include copings, analogs, caps, screws, or jigs.

The restoration

The final restoration is the part that actually replaces the missing tooth. It may be a crown, a bridge, or a full denture. The material used for this part is directly related to the cost and the quality. You must be aware what material will be used here because it is what you will see. In general, the quality–cost hierarchy for crowns and bridges stands thus: porcelain fused to non precious metal as last, porcelain fused to noble or high noble metal next, all metal restorations despite their non-esthetic qualities,  and full-ceramic or full-zirconium first. Also, it will be expected that a bridge will have a higher cost than an individual crown, and a full denture over a dental bridge. The material for an implant-supported denture will likewise factor heavily on the final cost. There are many considerations, cosmetic or otherwise, involved in the material chosen or recommended for implant-supported dentures. Generally speaking, zirconium and Crystal Ultra supersede acrylic and plastic in quality, durability, and cost. 

When considering the cost for a dental implant, be sure to consider all the factors above. The total cost should include not only the implant itself but also the abutment and restoration. Accurate comparison should also take into consideration the materials used. It might be also important to consider costs of x-rays, surgical guides, local or general anesthesia, and bone grafts.

At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we use the best materials available and still offer a competitive price compared to implants and restorations of inferior quality in many places in the United States. Contact us in order to get a quote for your implant.

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