Why Does the Cost of Dental Implants Vary So Much?

It can be frustrating and confusing trying to find out just how much a dental implant is going to cost. Why does the cost vary so much from dentist to dentist, and why after your initial consultation can you be given yet a different price again? We ourselves have seen patients quoted everything from EUR500 to EUR7,500 for a single implant.

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to compare prices directly, dentistry is a complicated business and you need to make sure you are comparing like with like. Many unscrupulous clinicians and agents will try to exploit this complexity in an attempt to make their services seem like better value. It is possible to save a fortune by shopping around, but it pays to be well informed. Here are some of the leading factors that determine the final price of a dental implant.

The Type of Implant

If the price you have been quoted simply looks too low, make sure that it for a normal implant that will act as a titanium root for a full crown, as opposed to a mini-implants. Mini-implants are smaller and are designed to anchor lower dentures. Usually several mini-implants are required to fix dentures in place.

The Brand

There are a large number of brands (over 50) that supply the titanium screws to dentists. Each brand has its unique advantages and price. At the cheaper end there is a brand like Ankylos , which usually has a 5 year materials guarantee. At the more expensive end you have brands such as Nobel Biocare and Straumann, both of which normally come with a 10 year materials guarantee. Most implant specials will offer a range of brands, with the difference in price being as much as 60%. Therefore when comparing prices you need to know exactly which brand is going to be used.

The Cap

The cap, sometimes called the abutment, sits on top of the implant and acts as a base for the crown. It is important to understand if the price you have been quoted includes the cap or not. Otherwise you could end up with an unexpected bill. As with the implant, there are several types of cap, for example titanium and zirconium, and the price varies by as much as 100%. Once again make sure you know what brand and material of cap has been included in the price you have been quoted.

Temporary Crown

Normally an implant is left in place for at least 3 months to let it attach properly to the jaw before the crown is placed. Some clinics offer a temporary crown that can be immediately placed on the implant, giving you the benefit of better smile during the healing process. You should know if the price you have been quoted includes this temporary crown.

Permanent Crown

The crown is the artificial tooth that is screwed or cemented onto each individual implant. Once again there are a huge range of different types of crowns each with their own benefits and prices. Go here to read more about dental crowns.

The Condition of your Jaw Bone

If the bone in your jaw is narrow or soft, then an implant will not have a good foundation for bonding properly with the jaw, and will most likely fail in a short period. This does not mean that you can not get an implant, but it does mean that you will most likely need a bone graft. This is where a piece of bone is removed from a different part of your body and grafted onto your jaw. This can add reasonable expense to the process.

The Condition of your Teeth & Gums

The conditions of your teeth and gums also have an important role in determining the final price you are quoted. Gum disease will need to be treated prior to the implant procedure, and raised teeth have to be accommodated. Normally this can only be discovered after the initial consultation with the dentist.

The Dentist's Fee

The single largest element that affects the overall price of a dental implant is the Dentist's own fee. Basically this is the amount he or she is charging once all their costs have been taken away. The variation in the dentist fee between countries is staggering with differences of up to 1000%.