Exorbitant Cost of Dental Implant?

$3500 est. for front tooth extraction+implant. The dentist booked 45 minutes to do this work! The crown will cost an extra $1200. How is this justified? Even allowing for the cost of overhead and material it seems like people and insurance companies are being gouged.

Doctor Answers 7

Dental implants really are the state of the art in tooth replacement

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An estimated cost of $4700 certainly is a lot of money, but this fee really doesn't seem all that high to me
( I practice in the Cleveland Ohio area and fees here are generally lower than say New York, Los Angeles or Chicago ). Front teeth are often more difficult to restore well with implants, and more expensive lab made custom parts (called abutments) may be needed instead of standard sized and angled abutments from the implant manufacturer. Labs also charge dentists more for implant crowns. Dental implants really are the state of the art in tooth replacement, much better than a bridge or denture, and implant companies, labs, oral surgeons and restorative dentists base their prices on this fact. For your own peace of mind, check out some other implant prices in your area. Implant fees within a given area tend to fall within a fairly close range, while your dentists' fee may not be the cheapest, it's probably not way out of line. 

Cleveland Dentist

Fees for Dental Implants

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Unfortunatelly medicine is very expensive.  I'm glad to hear the procedure went quickly and successfuly.   The anterior teeth are the most complicated to repair with dental implants due to the high esthetic demands.  It takes many years of additional training and experience before a dentist can perform these types of procedures predictably. A 3-unit dental bridge used to traditionally replace a  missing tooth would have cost you about as much and not last as long.  Plus you would be having treatment performed on two healthy teeth.  In the long run you are saving money as the implant should last longer than a bridge.

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Dentist

Implants are still a bargain...

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If you were to have a bridge in that area, you'd probably pay close to that fee, however, you'd most likely need to replace the bridge in 12-20 years. With the implant, you haven't damaged the adjacent tooth AND most importantly, it will probably last you a lifetime...if you take care of it.

The price you are quoting is within reason. The prices can vary so much, it's almost difficult for us to quote a fee. If you need an extraction, if you need bone augmentation, if you need a 3D-CAT scan to see the best location for the implant, if you need a surgical splint, if you need tissue grafting or even a second bone graft to make sure the esthetics is there, these all add to the cost. In addition, the lab bills for implant crowns are nearly three times as much as for traditional crowns and the lab components that go into the bone are relatively expensive.

[This doesn't include the fact that malpractice insurance for implant placing dentists is at least double than traditional malpractice insurance.]

Randall LaFrom, DDS
San Jose Dentist

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Fees for dental implants vary

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While fees for surgical and involved cases may seem high, the quoted fee sounds about average.  The materials for the implants are usually much higher than any other materials a dentist or lab must pay, and this cost is passed along to the patient.

While the time spent may seem low, it is usually a sign of great skill and talent, as some dentists take 3 times as long to do the same service (any service).  Perhaps some dentists should slow down.

Surgeries can be difficult and dangerous, so the fees will reflect that.  Simple procedures are cheaper than complex and difficult ones.  Lab fees for implant crowns are normally 4 times normal, and materials for the process is very costly.

I think if you "shop around" you will find the fee is normal.  Some offices charge less for the implant, but inflate the final restoration, so the end result is the same.

Dental Implant Cost

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The fee you were quoted for an implant and crown is appropriate.  It is important to understand that the average overhead cost for any dental practice is in the range of 55-70%.  Dental implants are actually quite costly for clinicians.  It is also important to understand that the fee includes your dentist's expertise, and the many years of school he/she had to attend to be able to place that dental implant properly. 

You may have seen advertisements for implants that cost only $500 (or less) and the reason that this is possible is because the implant fixture itself is likely a "clone" or a copy of a well-researched implant that has been properly tested using the rigorous standards of testing required in the United States.  The clone implant may have been made oversees with sub-standard titanium or in facilities that do not adhere to sterile protocols. 

Currently, there are many issues we as clinicians are facing right now in the dental implant world.  I implore you to read my article, "What you should know about the dental implant industry" to familiarize yourself with some of these issues. 

Michael Gulizio, DMD, MS
Manhattan Dentist

Cost of dental implants

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The front teeth are the most difficult and complex areas of the mouth when it comes to implant replacement. Lots of issues need attention: Bone, soft tissue architecture, aesthetic requirements, and proper implant positioning. It is not unusual for such treatments to approach the cost your indicated. The expertise, necessary time, and materials do add to this cost. I always tell my patients it is a lifetime investment and if well done by expert surgeons and restorative dentists, it will likely last that long.

H. Ryan Kazemi, DMD
Bethesda Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fees for dental implants

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The fee seems pretty steep , however besides "overhead and materials " what you are paying for is knowdledge skill and judgement of your dentist to do the prodedure. Finding out what experience and training he has might give you a clearer answer.

There are a number of reasons that determine why fees are what they are in each dental office . Your dentist has to have his and they should be valid to you where you are happy to pay for them

Laura Torrado, DDS
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.