How Expensive are Dental Implants?
The most common perception shared by just about everyone is that dental implants are EXPENSIVE!!!. Well it is true that the newest technology is sometimes more expensive than older technology.
But the question should be:
“ Are dental implants expensive when compared to older technology?”
Or another question should be:
“Do dental implants provide such superior results to the problem of missing teeth that there is no comparison between the VALUE of the new technology in comparison to the old technology.”
Let me give you a few examples. The first and most frequently lost teeth in an otherwise healthy mouth are the first molars. These are the big, wide teeth in the middle of the back teeth. In order to replace this tooth the dentist can use the old technology which is a three unit bridge. This technology consists of cutting down the teeth behind and in front of the missing tooth into little pegs and making three artificial crowns and which connect them all together to make a solid bridge.
The average charge of this service in Middle Tennessee is $1,500 per crown or $4,500 for the bridge. The newer technology of replacing the tooth with a dental implant consists of placing the implant surgically into the bone and attaching a crown to the implant once it has fully healed. The average charge for a single dental implant in Middle Tennessee is $2,500. Add the cost of the crown, $1,500, and the total for a single dental implant is $4,000. Five hundred dollars less than the three unit bridge.
And it is a much better service because two adjacent teeth do not have to be cut down into little pegs leaving these teeth open to further problems with dental decay around the margins of the crowns that cover the pegs.
Another example is the use of dental implants to anchor cull dentures. Again, most people are familiar with the concept of full dentures thanks to the never ending TV commercials for denture adhesive. Did you ever wonder why there is such a big market for denture adhesives that companies can spend millions of dollars advertising their products on TV? The answer is conventional dentures are very difficult to chew with because they have nothing to anchor them in place. They slip and slide around when eating if the owner can eat with them at all. Most people with upper and lower dentures only wear their upper denture because the lower denture is so uncomfortable. They “wear” the lower denture in their pocket or in the drawer next to the bed.
By survey, 95% of people with dentures do not wear the lower denture. On the other hand the newer technology of anchoring dentures with dental implants allows the denture to be attached to these anchors and the patient is able to eat and function comfortably as when they had natural teeth. They do not have to take their teeth in and out. They are anchored permanently. The average charge of an upper and lower denture in Middle Tennessee is $3,000, $1,500 per denture. The average charge for upper and lower implant anchored dentures in Middle Tennessee is $30,000, $15,000 per denture.
That’s a lot of money for sure.
But the question is, “What is the VALUE of being able to eat whatever you want as if you had your natural teeth again?” “What is the VALUE of not having to take your denture in and out of your mouth constantly to apply the “goop” that tries to hold it in place?” “What is the value of not being embarrassed by others knowing that you have to wear dentures?”
So, while dental implants may be more expensive than other options, I am sure you can agree that they are much more valuable to you.
Dr. Anthony P. Urbanek is a double degree Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Dr. Urbanek received his dental degree from Indiana University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Urbanek is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and has served Williamson and Davidson counties for over 30 years. He currently specializes in treating TMJ/TMD with his non-surgical, patented TMJ splint and is also a specialist in Dental Implants and Wisdom Teeth Removal . Learn more atwww.drurbanek.com
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