Dental implants are becoming popular around the world because they look and feel like natural teeth. They also last many years and do not affect neighboring teeth, unlike bridges that do. However, there is one thing that deters most people from receiving dental implants. A single implant can cost as much as £1,200 in the UK and a whole set can exceed £40,000, which is way above most people can fork out.
The reason dental implants are so costly is that receiving them requires a major surgery with a full surgical team at disposal and several months of follow-up. Also, the implants themselves cost quite a lot. However, there is no reason to be discouraged as they are becoming increasingly available. In fact, some dental clinics are already providing them at a cheaper rate. There are basically two reasons for this:
- Mass production: The growing popularity of dental implants means that they are being produced in larger quantities and thus cost less per unit. Think of Henry Ford’s mass produced Model T cars.
- Competition among clinics: There is a growing competition among dental clinics to provide dental implants, which is bringing down the cost. Think of demand versus supply. When there are more service providers, the price will automatically come down.
There are two types of dental implants available and which type you will receive really depends upon the height of your jawbones and the condition of your gums.
The first (and older) type is known as subperiosteal implant and is the more expensive of the two. It consists of a metal frame that is fixed on the jawbone, with one or more titanium posts (screws) attached to it. The posts are then covered with prosthetic crowns. You should receive this type of implant if your jawbones are very low (i.e. are not high enough) and gums are not in good condition.
The second (and the newer) type of dental implant is known as endosteal implant and it is less expensive than the above. It consists of one or more titanium posts (screws) fixed directly in your jawbone. The posts are then covered with prosthetic crowns. You should receive this type of implant if your jawbones are of normal or good height and gums are in good condition.
Regardless of the type of implants you will need, affordable dental implants are becoming a reality and it won’t be that far into the future when they will completely replace bridges and dentures.