Are Dental Implants a Good Investment?

Once an adult tooth is lost, it’s gone forever . . . or is it? Dental implants provide a secure, long-lasting tooth replacement option that features a true-to-life design meant to mimic the crown and root structure of a natural tooth. Moreover, dental implant posts can be used to replace one tooth or a full arch of missing dentition. However, before proceeding with a dental implant procedure, mindful patients must consider whether the sizeable investment in time and money involved is worth it.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of dental implants varies drastically and depends on geographic location, the dentist or implant center, the number of implant posts being placed, whether additional procedures like bone grafting need to be performed, and the type of restoration (crown, bridge, denture) needed. The average cost for a single implant post with a porcelain crown restoration can range anywhere between $1000 and $5000. Implant retained full dentures can start at just under $10,000 for one arch and go up to $50,000 for both arches, particularly if you opt for immediate-load dentures.

Another factor to consider is that dental insurance does not generally cover dental implants. Some dental insurance plans will cover parts of the procedure, such as dental sedation or the dental crown.

How Much Time Do Dental Implants Take to Place?

Traditional dental implant placement requires several months and at least two separate procedures to complete. During the first procedure, an oral surgeon or periodontist will surgically insert the implants posts. After this initial step, the posts will need time to fully heal and fuse with the jaw bone, a process that can take 2-6 months. At the second appointment, your family dentist will place the crown, bridge or denture. You will also need to attend at least one follow-up appointment to make sure the restoration fits properly. Should you need any adjunct procedures, like a bone graft, you will need to factor in the time needed for the graft to heal.

What’s My Return on Investment with Dental Implants?

Calculating the return on investment on a dental procedure is difficult because you’re not dealing with concrete numbers. Rather, you’re trying to place a monetary value on intangible things, like quality of life and self-esteem. Figuring out whether dental implants are worth your time and money is up to you, but don’t forget to consider these questions:

  • Do you need long-term replacement teeth? With proper care, dental implant posts will last well over 25 years. Restorations may need to be replaced after 10-15 years (but, again, proper care helps restorations last longer). Older patients, especially those over 85, may need to consider whether a long-term solution is worth the investment.
  • How important is functionality? Dental implant retained crowns, bridges, and dentures will not slip out of place and they restore your ability to speak and chew to near-normal levels. However, if function is not important to you, then you may want to opt for another procedure.
  • Can you handle the investment at this point in time? Take off the rose-colored glasses and take a look at your current finances. While some implant dentists offer in-house and third-party financing, can you afford the monthly payments involved? If you cannot realistically cover the cost of treatment, you may want to wait until you have saved some money or secured a better job before proceeding with treatment. While some implant dentists offer in-house and third-party financing, can you afford the monthly payments involved?

About Shawn Hofkes, DDS

With advanced training in oral and maxillofacial surgery and certification in sedation dentistry, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is qualified to place and restore all types of dental implants from our comfortable, state-of-the-art dentist office in Cerritos, CA. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.