Probably the easiest way to go about this is to break the procedure for dental implants down into stages and then to look at the associated costs for each one. Whilst we can provide a guide as to the costs we always recommend that you talk to your own dentist about the individual prices they may charge.
For the purposes of argument we are going to assume that you have already had your teeth extracted, clearly if this has not yet happened you will need to budget for the cost of the extraction.
The cost of dental implants
The process for placing a dental implant to replace a missing tooth is complex because there are so many variables, what will do here is list out the standard protocol and then give you an idea as to the cost.
- Diagnostic and planning.
- Placement of a dental implant.
- Temporarily fitting a new tooth whilst the implant heals.
- Fitting of the dental implant abutment and final dental crown/bridge
Let’s look at each of these.
Diagnostic and planning
The diagnostic and planning stage involves multiple trips to the dental practice plus your teeth will be replicated in plaster of Paris by the dental laboratory. On this plaster replica, known as a model, your dental technician will discuss with your dental surgeon the exact placement of the implant. They may also create a mock up of the tooth replacement so that you can see what it will look like afterwards. This normally only happens for front teeth.
Once the mockup has been created and your team know where the implant will be placed a surgical stents is manufactured. This surgical stents helps your surgeon get the implant in exactly the right place so that the final tooth is in exactly the right place also.
Creating the model, the diagnostics, discussing with the laboratory and surgeon and final creation of the stent normally comes to between £200 and £400, depending on your dentists fees.
Your dentist may also request a CT scan, this scan can produce a 3-D representation of your jaw so that your dental surgeon can calculate the best place to put the dental implant. Many modern scans are digital and integrate with specialist software, using this software your surgeon can rehearse the placement of the dental implant on-screen.
A CT scan can cost from £520.
Placement of the dental implant
Once the diagnostic and planning stages have been agreed the implant itself can be placed. This is normally undertaken at your general dental practice if you are having a few dental implants placed. For more complex cases you may be referred to a specialist dental implant centre.
Some patients prefer to have dental sedation to help them relax during the surgical process, there are various types of sedation which can help from gas and air Inhalation sedation through to intravenous sedation. If you opt to have sedation this could add around £100-£200 to your treatment.
The dental implant is placed by the dental implant surgeon, of course fees vary enormously between dentists but you can expect to pay around £950 for the implant to be placed.
Temporarily fitting a new tooth while the implant heals
Sometimes the gap is left whilst the dental implant site heals over, but occasionally in front teeth we may want to maintain the cosmetic appearance and replace the missing tooth with a temporary crown. This temporary crown would normally be included in the final fee and wouldn’t normally be considered an extra cost.
Fitting of the final dental implant
Once everything is healed the final dental implant can be exposed and have the implant crown placed. When the dental implant is initially placed it is normal for the gum to heal over the top, in fact it is encouraged. This means that in order to have the final crown the implant head needs to be exposed, this is a minor surgical procedure and would normally cost around £100.
Once the implant has been exposed the various components of the implant can be put together, this includes the abutment, abutment screw and final dental crown. Each of these components as an individual cost which would normally be around £900 for a single tooth.
The total cost replacing missing teeth
Let’s look at the final cost:
- Diagnostic stage-approximately £300.
- CT scan-approximately £500.
- Sedation-approximately £100.
- Placement of the dental implants-approximately £950.
- Uncovering of the dental implant-approximately £100.
- Manufacture and fitting of the final dental implant crown-approximately £900.
GRAND TOTAL – £2850
The cost does come down to replace more than one tooth, for example replacing three teeth would require three dental crowns, but would only require placement of two dental implants. You would also only have one scan, one diagnostic stage and one cost for sedation.
How long will this dental implant last?
This is where the really interesting mathematics comes into play. Whilst £2850 may seem like a lot of money the reality is your tooth should last a significant number of years.
If you divide this cost across the years it actually works out at exceptional value, let’s say for argument sake the implant only lasts 10 years. That would bring the cost to £285 per year or 78p per day!
The reality is the implanted last considerably longer than this bringing the overall cost/value ratio down considerably.
What about after care of implants?
Dr Zubair Sacranie from Solihull Dental Implant Centre says:
Your dentist may give you some pain relief after the surgery, or check whether you have them at home to take over the next few days if you need them. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics. Dont smoke, exercise or drive for the rest of the day. Dont rinse the area and only eat soft foods. However, it is important that you keep your mouth clean by brushing but do not poke the implant site. You can use a chlorhexidine mouthwash every day during the first week after surgery (you can get these from supermarkets and chemists).