The cost of dental implants can be a concern for many people, including patients of ours at our Leicester dental clinic. In order to help those patients that want to replace missing teeth understand the full cost of dental implants we’ve written this blog post.
What is included in the cost of a dental implant?
A dental implant has multiple factors which affect how much the final implant costs:
- The time spent for the dental implant dentist to train in the use of dental implants and maintain that education at high-level education.
- The time spent for the dental team to train in the use of implants and then to maintain that high level of training.
- The dental implant fixture itself (the part which you don’t see and is implanted into the bone)
- The dental implant components which then screw onto the implant fixture.
- The final restoration is which fix onto the top of the dental implant (these other parts which you do see and include crowns, bridges and dentures)
- Follow-up appointments to ensure the dental implant has fully integrated and is working as designed.
- The general costs of running a high-quality dental practice.
In order to bring the cost of a dental implant down and to offer the cheapest dental implants it would be necessary to cut back in one of the areas above. Cutting back on these costs would ultimately affect the quality of the treatment that you received, and who wants to do that?
In order to understand this a little more, let’s take a look at each of these areas in turn.
Dental implant training
Many dentists which offer dental implants have specialist training in this area, this would include an MSc, this Masters level training would then generally give that dentist access to the General Dental Council specialist register.
General dentists can also have a special interest in dental implants by undertaking further postgraduate training.
The cost of the dental implant fixture itself
The dental implant fixture is the part which is implanted into your jawbone and the part which you don’t see. It effectively replaces the root of your natural tooth. These implants are manufactured to extremely fine tolerances to within a few thousandths of a millimetre (microns). The implants generally have an internal screw at the top, this internal screw is where the final restoration is attached, these screws are designed to not come undone and are therefore also manufactured to within micron tolerances.
The dental implant components.
The dental implant components are also manufactured to these same micron tolerances as the implant fixtures. The screw is particularly important, if this works loose then the restoration on top of the dental implant may come loose and become damaged.
Everything is designed to fit exceptionally well together and last for many years.
The implant components generally include:
- The fixture itself (already discussed).
- The crown or bridge on top (the part which you see).
- An interconnecting section which connects the fixture to the Crown.
- A screw component which connects everything together.
The final dental implant restoration
For you as the patient this is often considered the most important part as it is the part that you see, however much like an iceberg, much of the cost of a dental implant is hidden in parts you don’t immediately see, specifically in the training, education and other implant components.
The final dental implant will usually have a crown, bridge or denture fixed on top. These restorations must be made also to find tolerances to ensure they fit in with the natural oral environment and don’t compromise the other teeth or the other implant components.
The cost of dental implant after-care appointments
Once you have had the dental implant placed you will want to know that everything is working as it should be. Because the implants are quite complex structures there are unfortunately many situations in which problems could occur, the components are generally exceptionally good with very low failure rates, the biggest risk to any dental implant is failure due to a lack of osseointegration.
Once the implant has been placed and the restoration fitted you need to make sure you look after the dental implant just as though it were your own tooth. This implants can be as susceptible as natural teeth to disease, natural teeth can be affected by periodontitis and implant can be affected by peri-implantitis, a serious infection of the bone surrounding the dental implant.
The general costs of running a high-quality dental practice
With running any business you would expect there to be costs associated, the cost of a dental practice chair and associated equipment could easily be in excess of £30,000, added to this having a good support network of dental healthcare professionals involved with your treatment also adds costs to the final dental implant treatment.
As you can see, the cost of dental implants is made up of multiple components, all adding various costs to the whole process. Missing out any one of the sections or reducing on the quality so as to save money can ultimately end up with a lower quality dental implant which may not last as long nor perform in the way you would expect.