Dental Implants Cost And Information
[Last Updated: April 2018]
If you're reading this, you need one, or a few, dental implants.
The problem is - You need to know how much dental implants cost so you don't OVER pay.
Keep reading, you've come to the right place.
This is a procedure where a metal fixture is placed into the jawbone (this is usually a screw), and this implant acts as a support or anchor for a new false tooth, or set of teeth.
Quite a straightforward concept, but not a straightforward form of cosmetic dental surgery .
Implants are used to replace teeth when they are badly damaged, and have no hope of survival.
Over time, the implant or screw, fuses with the jaw bone and remains a strong support for the fake teeth (a process known as Osseointegration).
There is the option to have one, or multiple implants in order to support a single tooth or multiple teeth - which will all depend on your individual situation.
‘All-on-4’ implants are a whole set of teeth (lower or upper jaw) that sit on a set of 4 dental implants. They are a great solution to dentures as they are a permanent solution that do not need to be removed and are extremely strong and natural looking.
A very common question asked by patients is: “what is the cost of dental implants?” and "what are my options for dental implants?"
This guide will answer all of your questions regarding tooth implants and the associated costs, and help you in making the right choice when it comes to this expensive procedure.
The 'Quick Navigation' table below will take you to the section, if you click on the link.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the next best thing to having your own natural teeth.
They are artificial roots for teeth made of long lasting materials that are placed firmly into your jaw bone.
They are cylindrical or like tapered posts in shape. Their role is to hold in place your teeth replacements--a dental crown or dental bridge. For this reason, they are made with strong, sturdy, long lasting, non toxic materials that are not prone to corrosion.
Implants are an option for those who have lost one or more teeth due to tooth decay or periodontal disease (gum disease). People who have injured a tooth or have lost teeth due to another reason may need dental implants to fix their replacement teeth.
The best thing is that with dental implants you can enjoy life without worrying your replacement teeth will come loose. They are low maintenance and may last a long time with proper care.
Why Get A Dental Implant?
Not sure if implants are right for you? It's a great idea to speak to your dentist before making any decisions, however dental implants can have many benefits for the right case.
Implants provide many benefits over traditional forms of tooth replacement:
- They Last much longer than bridges or dentures
- An implant will prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth
- They are a great replacement option to removable dentures and bridges.
- No wear and tear on surrounding teeth is caused
- They are aesthetically pleasing and very natural looking
- Allow patient to eat hard foods with confidence
- Patients experience an increase in self confidence
- There are no age restriction for a dental implant (unlike alternative options)
You Should Consider the Following Points:
Is A Dental Implant Right For Me?
The first question that you will need to ask is: "am I a suitable candidate for a dental implant?".
There is a great explanation of implants and the different options within the following video:
We recommend that you ask your dentist or an specialist for their opinion, as each case is different, however in general to be suitable for a dental implant you must:
Most of the time your general dentist will recommend the option of having an implant
Types Of Dental Implants
Most implants today are made from titanium, which is a special metal used very often in surgical applications.
Titanium has the ability to avoid corrosion, is lightweight and is non-magnetic, but the largest benefit is that the human body does not reject titanium as a foreign object.
This means when a dental implant is placed in the bone, the bone grows around the implant, which is a process called Osseointegration.
There are a few different options when it comes to implants, and the most suitable implant for you depends on your individual case:
Mini Dental Implants
A mini dental implants, as the name suggests, are smaller than regular implants.
They are used in certain cases instead of a traditional, larger implants for medical, financial or anatomical reasons.
Most commonly they are used for small teeth, front teeth, pre-molars, teeth in narrow areas or for patients where bone tissue density is low.
Supporting most types of replacement teeth, mini implants are used for dentures, bridges and fixed crowns but as per MDICA (Mini Dental Implant Centers of America) they are also suitable for securing loose and lower arch dentures.
Differences between mini and regular implants:
- Size – The size difference is in the diameter of the screw. Mini dental implants measure less than 3mm in diameter, where regular implants measure 4-5mm in size
- Strength – since mini implants are smaller, they cannot take the chewing force that a traditional implant can take. For this reason, they are not used where molars are being replaced
- Insertion process – the process for embedding a mini dental implant is faster than that of a traditional implant. This also goes for healing time – normal implants take longer to heal due to the size
- Price – the smaller implants are approximately half the price of a standard dental implant. This presents a more affordable option.
The Tooth Implant Procedure
The procedure for a dental implant will be determined by the type of dental implant you are receiving, and the number of replacement teeth required.
In general, the procedure of a single tooth dental implant will follow this scenario:
If a damaged tooth is present, it is removed using tooth extraction surgery. If there is no tooth present, the gum is sliced and folded back to allow the bone to be drilled to receive the implant.
The implant post is placed within your jawbone and generally covered while the bone fuses to the implant, or becomes osseointegrated.
Between 3-9 months later when the implant has been osseointegrated enough, a second operation may be required to uncover the top of the implant. At this stage, the dentist can start constructing your crown or bridge.
What is the Usual Recovery Time for dental implants?
The recovery time depends on a number of factors. These include your medical and dental history, restoration needs, the condition of your jaw bone and the exact methods and materials that will be used.
The typical time for implants is six to 12 weeks. In some cases, it may take longer—anything from two to six months—from the initial dental implant consultation to go home with your new replacement teeth. Each case is different.
If you need bone or gum grafting before the implant surgery, it will take even longer, up to eight month to one year to complete the entire process.
With a single dental implant, you can get back to normal activities quite quickly. The initial healing once the implant is in place take place within a few days, if there are no complications. The bone fusion process may take a few weeks. It is only once the osseointegration is complete that your dentist will load the implant, and fix on the artificial tooth.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Traditional dental bridges supported by adjoining teeth typically last only 5 to 7 years.
Dentists recommend new dentures every 5 to 8 years due to wear and tear, changes in gums and shape inside the mouth.
In contrast, dental implants last much longer. This is because they are made of strong materials such as titanium and its alloys that are less prone to corrosion. So they are also not affected by adjoining teeth.
The life of your dental implants depend on a number of factors including:
If properly affixed and cared for by a dental implant expert, your dental implants may generally last 10 years or longer.
Some dentists may put this figure as high as 25 years, but it is better to go with more conservative estimates. Usually, over 90 percent of the dental implants are likely to be functional after 10 years. Some last longer but others may need replacement.
Common Dental Implant Problems
Occasionally, implants fail to integrate with the bone or, as some people say, they are rejected.
In most instances, they are replaced with another implant, usually of a slightly larger size, and the problem is solved.
There are a few other complications, such as gum infections or breaking the implant, but these complications are very rare and account for less than 5% of all dental implant related problems.
Dental Implants Cost
The cost of implants will vary due to a number of factors. The following issues should be kept in mind when searching for dental implants prices:
The number of dental implants required
Do you need implants to support one tooth, or multiple teeth?
Do you need work to be done before the dental implant procedure can commence?
(i.e. tooth extraction) - Often you'll require tooth extraction, and in some cases, a lack of jawbone will require a bone graft. These extra procedures, of course, cost money!
Are you being quoted for BOTH parts of the implant?
i.e. both the titanium anchor AND the porcelain tooth which is screwed into the anchor?)
The complexity of the individual's situation
Everyone is different, and some patients will require more or less work, such as complex vs simple bone grafting, which will add to the cost.
Considerations That May Affect Costs
The following points should be taken into consideration when determining the cost of a dental implant:
The number of actual implants required
It's important to be aware that you do not require an implant for every missing tooth.
The following rule of thumb can be used as a basis for determining how many implants you require:
Number of implants required:
Number of teeth supported
Do you need any work done before you get a dental implant?
If you have a damaged tooth, consider saving it before getting a dental implant!
Having implants installed is an expensive procedure, so consider the option of saving the tooth before having a dental implant procedure.
Saving a tooth that is deemed ‘dead’ is possible, and often very cost effective when compared to having an implant.
A specialist called an Endodontist deals with root canal treatment and specializes in minor-root surgery, and can often save a tooth that is considered gone. Read more about root canal treatment and costs on this page.
Having a consultation with a root-canal specialist will cost you between $100 – $150 and is a worthwhile investment as root-canal treatment is much less expensive than a dental implant procedure.
The following costs illustrate the difference between saving the tooth via root-canal therapy and a dental implant procedure:
Root Canal Treatment
Tooth extraction + Dental Implant
$2000 - $3000
$5800 - $7300
Make sure you're being quoted for BOTH parts of the dental implant together
A dental implant consists of 2 parts:
- The titanium fixture which is inserted into the jawbone (the anchor)
- The porcelain tooth/crown
It’s important to make sure that when receiving a quote from your specialist, you are being given an accurate price which involves the cost of both the dental implant and the porcelain tooth.
As mentioned earlier, if you are having a tooth at the same time, ensure the costs of this procedure are also covered within the quote.
Typically, in Australia the cost of the the implant fixture will cost anywhere between $2000 – $3000, and the Porcelain tooth/crown will cost anywhere between $3000 – $4000.
The Complexity of the Individuals Situation
Can Affect Costs
Every patient is different and every dental implant procedure is different. Sometimes a patients case may be more complex, and this can add to costs as additional procedures will be required.
Here is a list of the factors that affect the cost of a single dental implant:
- Jawbone thickness – a traditional implant is embedded into the jawbone. If the patients jawbone is not thick or deep enough, the implant will not be strong enough, so a different procedure to fix the implant will have to be used. This could involve bone grafting or a procedure which involves the use of a more complex frame.
- Healing time once the implant inserted – healing times can range from 3 to 9 months, and with longer than normal healing times a patient may be required to have a denture/bridge made up to sit in place over the implant for the interim. This can not be skipped as it allows for natural bone development in place of the implant.
- Rejection of the implant – sometimes the jawbone will reject the implant fail to osseointegrate. If this happens, a larger implant may be required, or the case may be reassessed.
- Where is the porcelain crown being made? – there are thousands of options when it comes to the dental laboratory making the actual crown, each with varying levels of standards and experience. Beware claims that the work is being contracted in a local laboratory, as most of the time these local laboratories pass on the job to mass production centers in other countries (which is more cost effective). Ask your specialist to confirm where the crown is being made.
- Number of implants required – if you need an implant to support multiple teeth, you may need more than one implant.
Prices: How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Having implants installed is an expensive procedure, and you want to make sure you are getting quality work done by a professional.
It’s a very complicated process only to be performed by dentists and specialists with extensive training, and not something you'd want to risk.
One way to save a little money is to ensure you are covered by a reputable private health insurance provider, however is most cases, implants are not covered by dental insurance in Australia as its considered cosmetic dentistry.
There is also a growing popularity in dental tourism, this is where patients travel to countries where the procedure is much more affordable, yet still provided by competent surgeon’s and dentists. Find out more about dental tourism here.
Once you have determined the number of implants you require it becomes easier to get an idea of the costs involved for your individual case.
The following table illustrates the costs of implants in Australia.
Please note that this is simply a general guide for what you can expect. Your quote may vary significantly based on the factors which we covered above:
How Much Are Teeth Implants Per Tooth?
Straightforward single dental implant
$5,000 - $5,500
A more complicated single dental implant
$5,500 - $6,500
'All-on-4' dental implant procedure
$20,000 - $30,000
The above prices include the cost of both parts of the implant (i.e. the anchor + the crown)
The lowest costs we found for dental transplant and crown were $2,850 per tooth, but the service provider did not give costs for the dental visits and surgical procedures. There were a number of services offering significantly higher prices than the average range given above.
Costs Vary On A Number Of Factors
It is important to keep in mind that costs vary significantly depending on a number of factors.
Where you are in Australia: You can expect to pay more for implant procedures in Melbourne or Sydney Australia than in the rest of the country. The costs for the same procedure may be significantly lower in Gold Coast, Queensland.
Number of dental visits and other procedures. Dental implant cost calculations take into account the number of dental visits you need before the procedure is complete. There will be periodic oral exams, removal of tooth or parts where necessary, cost of fixing provisional implant abutments and provisional crowns and final implant abutment and full crown implant. All these costs can vary by location.
Costs of the Titanium implant and the crown. There can be a range of prices on each of these items too.
Additional procedures. If you need additional procedures, then your costs will rise accordingly. For example, if your dentist finds that there is extreme tooth or gum loss on a larger scale, your fees in Australia may be higher.
How many teeth you need fixed with dental implants. Some dental implant experts may offer you discounts for getting multiple teeth fixed. Others do not.
It may be worthwhile to shop around a bit, keeping in mind reviews and service quality.
NOTE: If complications are involved (such as a weak or shallow bone structure requiring bone grafting) the price may increase. The only way to determine this is by having a consultation with your specialist.
Does Having Insurance Minimise The Price You Pay?
Dental implants are not considered a necessary dental procedure, as they are not covered either by Medicare or under general dental coverage insurance.
If you want to cover the cost, you will have to opt for a major dental coverage policy.
If you are planning to obtain major dental cover for expensive dental procedures, you want to do your research and get the insurance plan well ahead of time. Be extra careful in reading the small print before finalising your dental plan. In particular, look at annual limits for ‘extras’ such as dental implants.
Also look at how long you need to have the plan before using it for paying for procedures. Sometimes this waiting period may be as long as 12 months.
What Would A Full Upper Implant Cost?
A full upper implant, also referred to as all-on-4 dental implants or all teeth on 4, refer to using four dental implants to replace your entire set of teeth on the upper jaw.
Sometimes this procedure is also referred to as “same day teeth”. This method uses a permanent dental bridge affixed onto your jaw using the dental implants.
The dental bridge is made of solid false teeth and exterior porcelain crowns. When you need full upper dental implants, the dental bridge is designed to cover the entire upper arch, replacing all upper teeth.
Full upper implants are suitable for people who have severely compromised teeth, as they want to replace, or those who are wearing full upper dentures.
You can expect the full upper implant cost to vary between $13,500 - $23,500.
Don’t forget that your implant dentist will need to see a dental X-ray before deciding whether you are a candidate for full upper implants. You must factors in these costs as well.
Typically though, most dentists give you all inclusive costs.
This video explains some of the reasons for cost difference and some tips regarding prices of all types of oral implants:
Mini Dental Oral Implants – Do They Cost The Same?
Mini implants will cost less than standard implants, mainly because of the size, and the ease of insertion (when compared to normal implants).
Since mini implants are not suitable for every case and are a relatively new area, obtaining accurate costing is difficult without actually being consulted by a specialist regarding your individual case.
In general, they cost approximately half the amount of a standard dental implant.
This means that for a single, straightforward implant, you can expect to pay between $2,500 – $4,000 per implant.
It’s important to note that they are not suitable in many cases in place of a full size implant, and there suitability will be determined by your specialist.
Other Costs Involved
The cost of a procedure from one patient to the next will always be unique as we all have different genetic makeups.
Costs may increase or decrease, depending on your individual circumstance.
You dentist specialist will be able to give you a more accurate price depending on the requirements for your case.
There could be additional costs involved with implants which are listed in the table below on the cost of implants in Australia:
Initial consultation (call your dentist and ask beforehand)
$0 - $100
Tooth extraction (only if required)
$200 - $400
Replacement denture or bridge (Interim while dental implant is being prepared)
$200 - $400
Do You Want To Save Money? – What About Travelling to Thailand For Dental Work?
Dental costs in Australia can be extremely high when compared to the costs in other countries.
This gap has led to the emergence of dental tourism, which is a healthy and thriving industry.
Many Aussies are combining their holidays with a dental procedure in order to access more affordable dental treatment in countries abroad and with reported savings of up to 75% it’s a worthwhile consideration if you are in need for dental implants.
The most popular overseas locations for Aussies getting dental work complete are Thailand or Malaysia, where patients can experience extremely affordable dental implants with equivalent levels of quality care. You'll find similar treatment and service that you would find at home in Australia.
Here are some tips for considerations when looking at Dental tourism:
- Has someone you know had great dental work done overseas? – Referrals are the best way to discover a reputable overseas dental provider – By far the best way to do your research when looking for a dentist out of the country is by speaking to people who have already had a procedure done. Online forums are also a great place to get unbiased opinions. Beware of advertisements and marketing online, as they represent the views of the dental providers themselves and can be highly biased.
- Are you covered? – Most private health funds will not cover you when having surgery done out of the country of cover. Phone your provider for more details and to talk through the options
- Research, research, research – it’s a great idea to do plenty of research on the country you plan to travel to regarding the dental care. Pay special attention to technology available, labor costs, and variations in laboratory and material costs.
- Be aware that negligent dental works will be difficult to chase up –there is the risk that if you receive sub-par work overseas, chasing up the matter will be extremely difficult.
How Much Could You Save By Going Abroad?
Cost of a single dental implant
Cost of 'All-on-4' implants
$1,850 - $2,500
$13,000 - $15,000
$1,999 - $2,500
$13,500 - $16,000
Note: Don’t forget that you will be required to pay in Thai Baht, not dollars, when paying for your dental services in Thailand. Exchange rates and money conversion rates apply.
For more information on dental procedures, prices and general dental tips, visit the page.