Why on Earth Do Implants Cost So Much?

comparing the price of dental implantsDental implants are the top-of-the-line when it comes to natural and functional replacements for missing teeth, but that excellence can come with a hefty price tag. Replacing missing teeth can have a positive effect on your health, appearance, and self-confidence for years to come, so we think it’s a worthwhile investment no matter what, but here’s a breakdown of the costs.

So why are implants so expensive? For one thing, comparing pricing for dental implants isn’t like comparing pricing for a new car. Dental implants are not simply objects, they’re also service in the form of dental treatment. Looking at dental implant pricing is more like shopping around for a custom deck for your backyard. The cost is going to depend on the time commitment and skill of the carpenter, the materials chosen and the condition of the location where the deck needs to be built.

Let’s Start With the Materials

While the dental implant itself may look like a bolt or a screw, it is not something you could pick up at your neighborhood hardware store. Dental implants are made from titanium alloy. This durable kind of metal is biocompatible and bonds with bone (in a process called “osseointegration”). This is what helps the implant anchor securely in your jawbone, just like a natural tooth’s root would. The exact formulations of titanium alloy used in dental implants today are the result of years of clinical studies and trials. Some types are more expensive than others (just like different types of wood would affect the cost of timber for your backyard deck).

The second part of an implant is the crown. This is the part that looks like an actual tooth at is visible above your gumline. These crowns just like regular dental crowns used to treat decayed or broken teeth. They are made from special kinds of ceramic or porcelain that are made to look and feel like your natural teeth.

Time and Skill

Luckily, as the popularity of dental implants has risen, so have the numbers of dentists who have become trained in dental implant placement. Many dentists already have years of experience placing dental implants to create long-lasting smiles. But compared with other procedures, dental implant treatment isn’t the quickest. Most of the time, the procedure takes a few appointments to complete, usually with healing time required between appointments. The cost of dental implants includes the time commitment of the dentist and the dental staff. Just like for your backyard deck, you have to expect to pay the craftsperson and any assistants for their time.

Placement Location

The ease with which dental implants are placed depends on your specific oral condition. The treatment planning process will involve x-rays and scans to give the dentist a precise idea of what’s where in your mouth. For example, some people who have been missing a tooth for a long time have started to lose thickness in their jaw. When this happens, bone grafting may be required to build the bone back up before an implant is placed. Think of it like this: a deck on a steep hill would need more support than a deck on a flat lawn, and that extra support costs a little more in time and materials.

No worthwhile investment in your health should ever be considered too expensive. And no other tooth replacement option compares to the durability, usability, and comfort of dental implants. They’re the only treatment that can truly make you feel like you have your teeth back!

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What You Need to Know About Professional Teeth Whitening

woman with beautiful professionally whitened smileThe color of their teeth is one of the top things people say they would like to change about their smile. Thankfully, teeth whitening is fairly simple treatment, but there are so many options for teeth whitening you may find yourself with a few questions. We think the most common and the most important question we hear is this: Why should I have my dentist whiten my teeth instead of using those drugstore whitening kits?

Dentists have access to better, more effective teeth whitening technologies. Strips and gels from the drugstore can make a difference, but the whitening agents they contain aren’t as strong as the ones at the dental office. Stronger solutions can and should only be used under the supervision of a dentist, which is why you’ll have to come to us if you want access to more effective whitening solutions.

Drugstore kits usually require you to apply them over the course of several days or weeks to see a difference, but a dentist can whiten your teeth in the course of a single visit. This is because dentists can use special technologies, such as special lights that accelerate the whitening process.

With in-office whitening, you can also choose the shade you want you teeth to be whitened to and your dentist will use their experience and expertise to get as close to that shade as possible. With drugstore tooth whitening kits, the shade you’ll end up with is anyone’s guess.

Perhaps the most important reason to have your dentist whiten you teeth actually has to your oral health and comfort. Teeth whitening is not recommended for people with gum disease or worn enamel. Also, some whitening agents are known to cause irritation or sensitivity in the teeth and gums. Your dentist can help prevent this from happening and can help you if any irritation and sensitivity does occur.

In-office professional teeth whitening is more expensive than at-home options, but what you get for your money is better technology, dentist supervisions and usually better results.

Interested in whitening but still haven’t decided to do it? Consider scheduling your whitening before a special event, especially one at which you know you might be photographed a lot, such as the holidays, graduation, or a wedding. Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic procedure for brides-to-be. Who wants a white dress with a yellow smile? But be sure to leave a few weeks between your teeth whitening and your wedding just in case you experience some of the side effects mentioned above.