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One of the first things that go through your mind while thinking about permanent teeth replacement is the cost involved. We help you understand how these costs are broken down and what to expect while choosing different options.

Dental treatment is expensive — this is almost a universal fact, and even though the absolute amounts may differ widely from country to country, the financial strain of dental treatment leads patients all over the world to consider their options carefully.

There are three options that are put forward to patients when speaking about permanent teeth replacement. They all have their strengths and weaknesses but here our main focus will be the relative financial costs involved in these procedures.

Cost of Dental Implant Procedure

The latest, most advanced and by the far the best option for permanent tooth replacement are dental implants in the vast majority of cases. They are also, unsurprisingly, the most expensive of the three procedures being considered.

If you have decided to go in for a dental implant, the cost will factor in pre-surgical imaging, the surgical procedure to place the implant, and the prosthesis that fits on the implant afterward. Let us start with the dental implants themselves.

The pre-surgical imaging procedure may require just a simple dental x-ray on the chair [1] or a much more expensive CBCT [2] for complex cases requiring multiple implants.

A number of different kinds of implants are available from many different kinds of companies [3]. As a non-dentist, it is next to impossible for you to understand the advantages, disadvantages, and situations where different kinds of implants are to be chosen. Leave this decision to your dentist, but inquire about the company manufacturing the dental implants if you so choose.

Nobel and Biohorizon are two of the most acclaimed companies in the world but there are some other very respected names as well. The cost between these companies can vary quite a lot without any compromises in quality. Prices of dental implants are available online for anyone to view, as per the company.

Now comes the surgical procedure. The cost of this will vary according to the complexity of the dental implant procedure and the experience of the dental implantologist. It is wise to choose a dentist who has specialized in dental implants and has extensive experience in their use to give yourself the best chance of success [4].

In many cases, some amount of additional bone grafting procedure or ancillary procedures like a sinus lift will have to performed to ensure there is adequate space and support for the dental implants [5]. This will again increase the cost of the surgical procedure since it requires the use of expensive materials and highly specialized tools.

The last part is the dental prosthesis. Your dentist will be able to offer you a per unit cost of the prosthesis with some options. An all-ceramic option will be more expensive as compared to a porcelain-fused to metal option. For the back teeth where esthetics are not a huge concern, choosing the porcelain fused to metal option is a perfectly acceptable choice that will help bring the costs down [6]. 

Cost of Dental Crowns and Bridges

A dental bridge is a tooth-supported prosthesis that can be used to replace missing teeth in a wide variety of situations. A crown (or cap), on the other hand, refers to a single unit prosthesis that helps protect a tooth [7]. They are both non-implant permanent tooth replacement options.

The costs involved depend on two basic factors. The first is the kind of material being used to make the bridge since all-ceramic bridges tend to be much more expensive than the ones that have some metal in them.

As mentioned earlier, however, it is not like the metal-containing options are bad — the all-ceramic options are simply much better. The cost between these two may not matter if it’s a small bridge where only a few teeth have to be replaced, but can add up very quickly as the number of teeth involved increases [8].

The second consideration of the cost involved is whether the supporting teeth need to be root canal treated or not. Both crowns and bridges require the supporting teeth to be reduced in height in a process called tooth preparation. If this causes pain and sensitivity in the supporting teeth, as it may when the reduction is significant, a root canal will have to be performed — bringing the costs up [9,10].

One should also, of course, consider the real, long-term, cost of sacrificing healthy teeth to support a bridge. Your natural teeth are invaluable. 

Conclusion

While the exact costs involved in procedures for permanent tooth replacement can vary, breaking down the various procedures can help you identify areas where some reasonable adjustments can be made. A dental implant is going to more expensive than a bridge or a crown but the costs are decreasing rapidly as more and more people attain dental implantology skills and more companies start to manufacture these implants around the world.   

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