Many dentists agree that when it comes to tooth replacement options, dental implants are the superior choice. And by and large, patients who choose them are happy with the results. So why aren’t they the first choice for most patients? The truth is, many patients default to partial or complete dentures or bridges to replace missing teeth, not because they don’t know that dental implants are an option, but because they assume that they won’t be affordable for them. Is it true that dental implants are the most expensive choice? Check out some facts about the cost of dental implants.
While it may be true that the up-front costs of dental implants are higher than some other tooth replacement options, that fact misses part of the story. Dentures and bridges come with some hidden costs that don’t apply to dental implants.
For example, dentures require you to buy a case to store them in, special cleansers for cleaning them, and adhesive to keep them in place. While these aren’t expensive items, when you consider the cost of buying these items repeatedly over the years, you may be surprised at how much it adds up.
Dentures and bridges can also become damaged or worn out over time. Dental bridges have a lifespan of five to fifteen years, and dentures have a lifespan of around five to ten years. At some point, these devices will need to be replaced. And dentures may need to be adjusted, relined, or repaired before they’re eventually replaced.
In the case of dental bridges, they can also be damaging to the adjacent teeth. This means that while they might cost less up front, they can lead to even more dental work. And therefore, more costs can come down the road.
Dental implants require no special care—you simply brush and floss as you would with your natural teeth. They’re also a permanent solution. They won’t need to be replaced or repaired as long as you take care of them and avoid mouth injuries. And they don’t cause damage to any adjacent natural teeth. Taking all costs into account and spreading them out over the rest of your lifetime, it’s likely that they will be the most cost-effective option.
Opting for a dental implant early on could save you money and restore your smile.
The actual cost of dental implants varies greatly depending on the patient’s health and needs. For example, patients who have lost bone mass in their jaw may need a bone graft, which can add to the cost. On the other hand, patients with healthy bones will avoid this extra surgical cost. This is one reason that dental implants should really be considered first—the longer you’re missing teeth, the more bone mass you’ll lose, and the more expensive dental implants are likely to be.
There’s also a misconception that replacing all of your teeth with dental implants would be prohibitively expensive. However, with techniques like all-on-4 dental implants, it’s not necessary to replace each tooth with a separate dental implant. As few as four implants can anchor an entire upper or lower arch. This makes a full-mouth dental implant tooth replacement far more affordable than many patients assume.
If you need tooth replacement, it’s important to discuss all of your options with your dentist, including dental implants. Don’t rule out dental implants because of perceived cost. You may find out that they are far more affordable than you think.