As far as replacing permanent teeth lost to gum disease, tooth decay, or traumatic injury, dental implants offer a host of benefits over traditional prosthetics like bridges and dentures. Dental implants provide better chewing ability and a more natural look and feel. They last longer than other prosthetics (Fun Fact: The very first dental implants ever placed lasted 40 years). Dental implants can even help you maintain strong jawbone density.
The primary drawback of dental implants, though, is cost. Placing and restoring a dental implant involves a higher upfront cost than bridges or dentures. However, as one recent study has shown, the long term cost effectiveness of dental implants outweighs the competition.
The Scope of the Review
The report, published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants in 2013, was comprised of a comprehensive literature review of every English-language study published between November 2000 and November 2010 on the topic of long term costs/cost-effectiveness of dental implants. Researchers acknowledged that drastic differences in the methodologies and goals of different studies presented an obstacle. In total, 14 studies were examined.
The cost of a single crown dental implant (used to replace a single missing tooth) can range anywhere from $1500 (low end) to $5000 (high end) depending on the dentist, where the practice is located, and other case-specific factors. Traditional dental bridges run a nationwide average of $4000-5000. The report underscored what the numbers say: that single tooth dental implants are a cost-effective alternative to dental bridges.
The literature review found that implant-retained dentures had a significantly higher upfront cost (the national average is around $15,000 per arch) than removable full dentures (which can range anywhere from $300 to $2000 for a full set). All the studies found that dental implant retained dentures offered the more cost effective treatment in the long term and that patient satisfaction, improved systemic health, and a reduction in healthcare costs were consistent across all the studies reviewed.
About Shawn Hofkes, DDS
With advanced training in oral and maxillofacial surgery and certification in oral and IV sedation, Shawn Hofkes, DDS is qualified to provide safe wisdom teeth extractions from our 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.