How Much Are Dental Implants?

dental implants in mouth model

Almost everybody knows that dental implants are the best way to replace your missing teeth. But how much dental implants cost can be a big deterrent to some people. How much are dental implants anyway? The short answer is, it depends. Some factors can reduce how much it costs to get implants, while others may raise your out-of-pocket expenses.

What Are Dental Implants?  

Dental implants are basically artificial tooth roots. They’re made of nearly indestructible, hypoallergenic materials that are then placed into your jawbone, which fuses around the implant and holds it into place. An implant is about the same width and length as a natural tooth root, making it small enough to place between your other teeth to replace the one that’s missing.

The thing about dental implants is that they’re the only permanent tooth replacement that’s non-invasive to other teeth.[1] And they’re the only replacement tooth that mimics the design of an anatomical tooth.

As great as all of these things sound, dental implants cost more than your average treatment. Fortunately, they also outperform them. So even if you’re asking “how much are dental implants,” you might actually wind up saving money by making a slightly larger investment in something that outlasts things like dentures, partials, or bridges.

Why You Would Need Dental Implants? 

Here are just some of the different scenarios where you might need a dental implant:

You…

Dental implants can be used for any variety of missing tooth scenarios. Whether you only need to replace one tooth, a few in a row, or all of the teeth in your arch, implants are proven to make it possible. Plus, you don’t necessarily need as many implants as you have missing teeth. This factor alone can reduce dental implants cost because as few as four implants can support an entire full-arch restoration!

5 Types Of Dental Implants

The type of dental implant that you choose will directly impact the total cost of your treatment. While the average implant is a traditional titanium restoration, it can be helpful to be familiar with the different varieties out there.

1) Endosteal Implants

Endosteal Implants

Most of today’s dental implant treatments is completed with titanium endosteal designs. These are the cylindrical or “screw”-like restorations that set in your bone similar to a tooth root.

2) Subperiosteal Implants

Subperiosteal Implants

This type of implant system uses a bar that rests directly across the top of your jawbone, to which different posts are attached (to support a full-arch or multi-tooth dental prosthesis. Installation is quite more complex and invasive than traditional implant designs.

3) Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants

A mini dental implant is about half the size of a traditional one. While they’re not capable of supporting as much weight as a full implant, mini versions fit well into places where the bone is narrow or there’s not a lot of space between teeth. They can be used for replacing small teeth (like the ones at the bottom front of your smile) or to help secure a removable overdenture. They’re also cheaper.

4) Zygomatic Dental Implants

Let’s say you don’t have enough bone in your mouth to anchor dental implants. What then? A zygomatic implant is designed to be much longer so that it can be angled up toward the cheekbone. Zygomatic implants may be paired with traditional implants to support full-arch prosthetics such as hybrid dentures or an All-on-4.

5) Ceramic Dental Implants

If you want a cosmetic alternative to silver titanium implants, ceramic is one option. These designs are made from tooth-colored materials, in case a portion of the implant ever becomes visible or there is a concern about a shadows behind thin gum tissues. Ceramic is less commonly used, so you might have to ask around before you find an implant dentist who offers them.

Cost Of Dental Implants

If anyone were to ask me, “How much are dental implants?”, it would be nearly impossible for me to give them an exact dollar figure. There are just too many variables that go into play. A dentist will need to sit down, look through their X-rays, and map out exactly what the patient needs.

Implant TypeAverage Cost
Single Tooth Implant$1,500 to $2,900
Dental Implant Labor$1,500 to $2,000
Total Single Implant plus Labor $3,000 to $4,900

All that being said, I can at least give you some averages when it comes to pricing, which again, differs from one area and dental practice to the next.

Dental implants can cost anywhere from $1,500 for a single implant to as high as $50,000 or more for full mouth reconstruction. On average, a single-tooth implant will usually run between $1,500-6,000. That’s including the crown or bridge that goes on top of it since implants are only the “root” portion (the implant by itself might only be $1,000-3,000, but that’s not the only cost you have to think about.)

When you start talking about replacing a few teeth at a time, you’re probably looking at a minimum of $5,000 or $6,000 up to $10,000 for a 3-4 tooth implant dental bridge.

The biggest variable is full mouth implants. There are literally so many designs and options out there, that you could pay as little as $3,500-$7,000 per arch, or upwards to over $30,000.

Are Dental Implants Covered By Insurance?

How much are dental implants if you have insurance coverage? Years ago, dental insurance plans hardly covered anything on implant treatments. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case.

On average, the typical dental insurance policy will cover about 50% of dental implants, as they’re a major treatment. Keep in mind that this does not include your:

The annual maximum is the dollar amount that your insurance policy will pay up to before it exhausts all of your benefits. For a lot of plans, that’s around $1,500 (the same about it’s been since the 1980s.) So, if you need a lot of dental implants, your coverage might only help pay for a couple of them.

Cheapest Way To Get Dental Implants 

What’s the cheapest, most affordable way to get dental implants? Here are your best options:

1) Treatment At A Dental School

You can get some hands-down amazing dentistry performed at a local dental school. Yes, these student doctors are still learning and perfecting their skills, but you won’t be tossed in with someone brand new. They’ll be supervised by an experienced team during the process. And chances are, getting dental implants at a dental school might actually put you with the post-grad specialist students who are already licensed dentists! Those are the students who have already graduated from dental school but return for 2-3 more years to become a specialist in a particular field of oral health (such as periodontics or oral surgery.)

While dental schools might not take your insurance, their fees are extremely low and worthwhile if you are concerned about how much dental implants cost.  

2) Payment Plans/Financing

It’s fairly common for implant patients to finance all or a portion of their reconstructive treatment, depending on whether they have insurance or money set aside. Today’s financing options typically include low-interest and 0% interest financing plans that can easily fit into your budget.

Most dentists work with 3rd party lenders such as CareCredit or similar financing programs. You can apply online or at the dental office you’ll usually get approval within just a few minutes. Depending on the type of plan you enroll in, you usually have several months to pay it off. Financing can also be combined with your insurance if you prefer to go that route.

One of the advantages of financing is that you can go ahead and benefit from having dental implants without having to wait months—or years—to save up the money in advance.  

3) Dental Savings Plans

Dental discount plans are great for families or individuals that are looking to save 10% to 60% on the average cost of dental care. Dental plans are nationwide with over 100,000 dentists in the program, see if you can save with a dentist near you.

4) Use Fewer Implants

Another easy way to save money on dental implants is by getting fewer of them. “How does that work,” you ask? Easy! Implants can be paired together to support multi-tooth restorations.

For example, your dentist could place two implants to attach a 3-4 tooth dental bridge on top of them. Or maybe you only get 4-6 implants for a hybrid or “All-on-4” implant prosthesis. In that scenario, you’re essentially replacing 14 teeth with only four implants total.  

Alternative To Dental Implants 

Alternatives to dental implants will be your traditional types of tooth replacement treatments. Such as:

1) Dentures

AKA “plates”, these removable prosthetics cover your entire arch to replace all of your upper or lower teeth at a time. They rest directly against your gums and are held in place with suction or your lip/cheek muscles.[2]

2) Partials

Removable partial dentures only replace the teeth that are missing, instead of all of them at once. They snap into place around the teeth you still have.

3) Bridges

As the name suggests, bridges span from one tooth to the next to fill in the gap left by a missing tooth. They require reshaping the supporting teeth, essentially performing a crown procedure on each one.[3] (Note: You can also attach bridges to a pair of dental implants!)

One of the things you’ll want to keep in mind is that dental implants tend to outlast all of these various options. So, the return on investment for dental implants cost could wind up saving you money and time over the grand scheme of things.

What To Expect From Dental Implants 

Surprise! Getting dental implants can be fairly pain-free and straightforward in a lot of cases. For those complex situations where grafting, sinus lifts, or sedation are needed, the process does take a bit more time, planning, and adds to dental implants cost overall.

The most important thing to plan for is the time commitment. When an implant is installed into your bone, your body naturally needs at least 3-6 months for new bone to form and fuse itself onto the surface of your implant. This process is called “osseointegration” and it’s what makes implants so successful. Rushing osseointegration is like asking for failure, infection, dental damage, and lost money. Does that mean you’ll need to go without teeth for a few months? Usually not. Most dentists can fit their patients with a temporary prosthesis to wear while their implants integrate, then install the permanent restoration a few months later.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Most dental implant treatments can last an entire lifetime.[4] While the modern implant design has only been around for a matter of a few decades, the data supports that a fully integrated and well-maintained implant should last the rest of your life. The keyword here is “maintained.” That means properly cleaning (including flossing) it to keep the tissues around it as healthy as possible. Peri-implantitis (the implant form of gum disease) is usually the main cause of implant failure.

While the implant itself can last for decades, there’s a chance that your restoration on top of it—such as your crown or hybrid device—will require occasional updates. Always be sure to see your dentist for regular checkups to have your implants monitored, that way they can intervene if an issue is starting to pop up that you could otherwise prevent.

How To Get A Price For Dental Implants

The only way to know exactly how much dental implants cost in your unique circumstances is to physically visit an implant dentist for an exam and treatment plan. They’ll identify your specific needs, how many implants you require, if “extras” (such as grafting or sedation) need to be considered, and work out the math on your dental insurance benefits. How much are dental implants? You could spend anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on where you live and what type of treatment you’re getting. It’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion either, just to know what your options are!