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The cost of dental implants

Dental Implants are expensive and usually not covered by dental insurance. In the United States, the reason that they are so expensive is that you usually have to see two different dentists to get your teeth replaced! 

If your general dentist is going to replace a missing tooth utilizing a dental implant, he will usually refer you to an oral surgeon or a periodontist to have the implant placed. The placement of the implant will be one fee and then you return to your dentist to have the job finished for a second fee. Those of us who provide both parts of the process for our patients can charge much less for the same procedures.

In some situations today, we still pay for these services according to the number of implants used. Dentistry, however, has realized that the number of implants used for a given restoration is most important in terms of the success of the restoration, not the overall fee and we have begun to start charging patients according to the complexity of the overall procedure. It is certainly much more cost effective when the same dentist both places and restores a patient's dentition, but this is not always possible. In the future, as dental implants are incorporated into the scope of general practice, implants will be not only much more widespread in their use, but much more cost effective for the patients. If you would like more detailed information about dental implant fees and the opportunity to see my fee schedule, just check out my Cost of Dental Implants module. If you would like to get an idea of the range of fees for dental implants, check out my Comparison of Dental Fees.

 While fees for dental implants and the restorations that attach to them vary greatly from dentist to dentist and from one area of the country to another, patients have to be aware of what they are getting for their money. In the last few years, many dentists have been offering the use of mini implants to secure dental restorations at reduced fees. They work very well in stabilizing a lower denture.  Mini implants may not have the longevity of regular implants but for many people, they can provide a very economical solution to providing a stable and functional dentition.

Cost of Dental Implants

Dental Implants are Expensive...

There has, in my opinion, been a tendency for many practitioners to overcharge for dental implant procedures. If you are interested in my commentary about excessive fees in this field of dentistry, Click Here for information about excessive Fees. . .

There are two major costs involved in dental implant treatment. The first is the implant itself and the second is the restoration (tooth or teeth) that is anchored by the implant. In the United States, these two procedures are usually done by two seperate dentists thus increasing the cost to the patient substantially.  Fees for these services vary considerably. I have seen fees for a single implant that range from $ 300.00 to $ 3 ,000.00. I think that an average fee for the placement of each is between $800.00 and $1800.00.

In my practice, the fee per implant is $ 1850.00, however, if you contract to have me do all of the work associated with that implant or implants, then I may waive or modifythat fee. This is the advantage that I pass on to the patients in savings because I can do both procedures for them in one office.

I would charge for the implant if I were not doing the restorative work. Right now, I am offering to place implants to support an existing lower denture at a fee of $ 1900.00 complete. For that fee, I will place implants in your lower jaw and attach your existing denture to these implants for excellent stability and retention of the denture. To see all of my fees, you can view my fee schedule.  Remember that out of state patients will get great incentives to fly to Boynton Beach for their dental treatment.

Restorations on implants vary to a much greater degree and an individual can pay as much as several thousand dollars for a single restoration up to over$ 80 ,000.00 for a complete rehabilitation involving dental implants. Fortunately, there are implant restorations available for most people that are in the realistic range and allow many more people today to find a suitable solution to replacing missing teeth. You have to make sure that the dentist that you choose is familiar with all of the restorative options to suit your needs and that he can provide the treatment at a fee that you can live with.

Fees for dental implants are often inflated. Many patients save on their dental implant treatment when they become patients of Dr. Davidoff in Florida!

Long Distance Implant Dentistry Fees

A word about the fees in this treatment.. . .

The fee for this treatment was $20,000.00. That included 8 implants, 14 crowns, the provisional restorations, the extractions, but not the travel to and from Texas. When I presented this fee to the patient, she seemed very pleased. After treatment, I asked her what her previous dentists in Texas had proposed for her treatment and what the costs would be. Here's how it broke down:

Her previous dentists (who will no longer see her since she jumped ship and came to me for treatment) had told her that implants could not be placed behind the bicuspids. They therefor proposed a treatment plan for 5 implants and either a screw retained or cemented prosthesis. The fee for this was $26,565.00.

In retrospect, I feel that 5 implants would have been totally inadequate for this patient's needs. Obviously, while it was extremely difficult to place the four implants behind the bicuspids, it could be done. It would be much easier to place implants in just the anterior mandible, but to do that and then charge the patient such a high fee for what today is a routine procedure does not seem very nice to me.

Excessive Fees

 

The problem with Excessive Fees in Implant Dentistry. . .

 
I will start this section by quoting from an email that I recently received from a potential patient. The patient initially contacted me and asked for an estimate on a particular treatment. I told him that my total fee would be $30,000.00 and I asked him what kind of fees he had already encountered. He sent the following:
 
"Incredible as it may sound, their initial "asking price" was $70,000.00.  That was the first price given to me by Dr. XXXXXX  (the surgical half of the team).  By the time I left his office the price had been revised to ONLY $50,000.00 ($20,000.00 for him and $30,000.00 for the dentist).
 
I then went to visit Dr. YYYYY, the dental half.  He initially told me that his fee, alone, would be $25,000.00.  He gradually worked that number down to $20,000.00.  Finally, he read the oral surgeon's email explaining the details of my visit with him and realized that the oral surgeon had actually set his  price at $30,000.00.  The restorative dentist pretended to a bit upset that his fee had been pre-negotiated!
 
The entire dual consultation seemed quite orchestrated.
 
Your fee seems a lot more in line with what I was expecting.  I'd like to move to the next level and visit with you to confirm the required treatment and finalize pricing."
 
 

There are some people that believe that if something is more expensive, it is better. That is not necessarily true and it certainly has not been my experience in the field of Dental Implants. Over the past 24 years, I have seen some outrageous fees for dental implant procedures both for the surgical phase of placing the implant and the restorative phase of constructing the "teeth". I have never found that high fees equal high quality. What I have found is that there are a number of practitioners who are very conscientious about implant placement and restoration and that regardless as to what their particular fees schedules are, all of them will have successes and failures in this area.
Here is a little primer about what implant fees are based upon.... The cost of manufacturing a dental implant is somewhere between .00 and .00. Dental implants are made of Titanium. Titanium is one of the most common metals on Earth and the procedures for forming it into dental implants are well know and basically universal in their applications. The dental implant companies will sell their implants to the dentist for anywhere from .00 to 0.00. These prices reflect the implant companies advertising costs and other associated costs that they incur in getting the implant from the manufacturer to the dentist. Right now, I want to tell you that all implants are basically the same. The 0.00 implant is no better than the .00 implant. It is just that the 0.00 implant has more advertising dollars behind it and the company selling that implant would love everyone to think it is better...
I'll expand upon this discussion a little more in describing some interesting aspects to the sales and marketing practices of one of the major Dental Implant companies in the world, Nobel Biocare. Let me start by saying that Nobel Biocare (formally known as NobelPharma) is a company that I respect and deal with. I have never had any problems with their product and I do use their products from time to time. NobelPharma was one of the first legitimate dental implant companies. It is based out of Sweden and now world wide and it is directly affiliated with the discoverer of modern dental implantology, Dr. P. I. Branemark. Nobel Biocare started out with one particular type of implant. They said it was the best implant and sold it at a premium. Over the years, they would change the design of their implant slightly calling it new and improved. They would add designs, some of which survived in the market place and some which did not. Nobel Biocare said everyone else's implant was inferior to theirs yet they are the only implant company to have their implant banned from the United states for a period of time (The reason for the ban from the FDA was related to their sterilization procedures). Several years ago, Nobel Biocare bought a company, SterriOss, who makes one of the implants that Nobel Biocare had deemed of inferior design. This increased their control of the market from 20% to 40%. Coincidentally, Nobel Biocare changed their entire marketing structure to now tell dentistry and the public that all of these combined implant designs worked and were superior to anything else being sold by any other company in the dental implant market. I think not! Implants are implants and the scientific literature has yet to distinguish one implant that has any superior qualities to any other implant.
This entire situation is further complicated by dentists who like to say their implant is better than anyone else's. This, of course, is not true. I have used most of the major implant designs from the major implant companies and I have never been able to detect a difference and neither has the true scientific literature. I place dental implants in my area for over 50 dentists. They occasionally ask me to use an implant that is more expensive than the implant that I use (the implants I normally use... The ones that I prefer.... sell for about 5.00 each). That is fine for me as long as they know that I am going to charge the patient for the difference that I pay for the implant. My base fee for implant placement is 50.00 per implant and if I do a lot of work for a patient, I discount that fee significantly. The going rate in Boca Raton where I live is over 00.00 per implant. Some practitioners here charge as much as 00.00 per implant and in some instances, significantly more. My advice is to be aware of what you are paying for and to know exactly what you are getting for that fee.