A dental implant is a procedure whereby 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
Quite a straightforward concept, but not a straightforward form of cosmetic dental surgery .
Dental 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 dental implants in order to support a single or multiple teeth - which will all depend on your individual situation.
‘All-on-4’ dental 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 dental implants and associated cost, and help you in making the right choice when it comes to this expensive procedure.
The table below will take you to your desired section if you click on the links.
Why Get A Dental Implant?
Not sure if dental implants are right for you? Its a great idea to speak to your dentist before making any decisions, however dental implants can have many benefits for the right case.
Dental 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
- Dental implants 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)
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?". Procedures
Procedures such as teeth whitening may sometimes be a 'one size fits all',
- Have a reasonable amount of dense bone tissue in your jaw
- Be free from a condition known as periodontal disease (which is a form of gum disease)
- Be a non-smoker (you'll have to give up smoking during the healing process at the very least)
Types Of Dental Implants
Most dental 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 dental implants, and the most suitable implant for you depends on your individual case:
These implants are placed within the bone and are typically shaped like a screw or cylinder. This type of implant is the most popular option however the bone must have enough depth and width for it to be successful.
These dental implants are placed on top of the bone, but underneath the gum line. They consist of a metal frame, and are a great alternative if the patient does not have deep enough bone.
Consisting of a metal pin or a U-shaped frame, this implant passes through the jawbone and the gum tissue, into the mouth.
There is a great explanation of dental implants and the different options within the following video:
Mini Dental Implants
A mini dental implants, as the name suggests, are small dental implants.
They are used in certain cases instead of a traditional, larger dental 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 dental 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 dental implants and dental implants:
- Size – The size difference is in the diameter of the screw. Mini dental implants measure less than 3mm in diameter, where dental implants measure 4-5mm in size
- Strength – since mini dental 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 dental 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 Dental Implants 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.
Common Dental Implant Problems
Occasionally dental 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 dental implants will vary due to a number of factors. The following issues should be kept in mind when searching for dental implants prices:
- #1 - The number of dental implants required – Do you need implants to support one tooth, or multiple teeth?
- #2 - 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!
- #3 - 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?)
- #4 - The complexity of the individuals 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 dental implants required
Its 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 dental implants you require:
Number of dental implants
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!
Dental implants are expensive procedures, 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 Endodentist 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 (saving the tooth)
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
As humans we are all 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
patientsjawbone 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 dental implants required – if you need an implant to support multiple teeth, you may need more than one implant.
Prices Of Dental Implants - How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants are an expensive procedure, and hunting around for cheap dental implants is not recommended: 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, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance in Australia as its considered cosmetic dentistry.
There is also a growing popularity in dental tourism, whereby 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 dental implants you require (see table above) it becomes easier to get an idea of the costs involved for your individual case.
The following table illustrates the costs of dental 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:
Straightforward single dental implant
$5000 - $5500
A more complicated single dental implant
$5500 - $6500
'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)
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.
This video explains some of the reasons for cost difference and some tips regarding prices of dental implants:
Mini Dental Implants – Do They Cost The Same?
Mini dental implants will cost less than standard dental implants, mainly because of the size of the implant, and the ease of insertion (when compared to normal dental implants).
Since mini dental 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, the 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 dental 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 dental implants which are listed in the table below on the cost of dental implants:
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
Dental Tourism Options – Dental Implants Thailand
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 dental tourism locations for Aussies involves taking a trip to Thailand or Malaysia, where patients can experience extremely affordable dental care with equivalent levels of quality care,
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.
Dental Implants Thailand Cost
Cost of a single dental implant
Cost of 'All-on-4' dental implants
$1850 - $2500
$13000 - $15000
$1999 - $2500
$13500 - $16000
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.