All of us are aware of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. Regularly flossing the teeth, brushing the teeth twice a day, and visiting the dentist every six months can certainly lower the risk of tooth decay and various dental problems. Unfortunately, many fail to follow these basic guidelines. As a result, they develop tooth problems. To add to that, they might visit the dentist at a stage where the damage is so extensive that nothing can be done to save the tooth. Under such circumstances, when the tooth cannot be saved by dental fillings or root canal treatment, the affected tooth has to be extracted. The next step that one needs to consider is getting a dental implant. Though dental implants are expensive, they can last a lifetime. Besides these implants, there is also the option of dental bridges. The following sections provide information regarding the options and cost of tooth replacement.
Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants is one of the best options, when it comes to tooth replacement. In case of a dental implant, a screw is fitted into the jawbone, which is followed by the placement of a prosthesis on top of the screw. The prosthesis acts as the tooth. This procedure requires a lot of skill. The cost of a single dental implant ranges between USD 1500 and USD 5000. The cost could vary, depending on the type of materials used for making the prosthesis. Also, the cost might depend on the location of the clinic and the qualifications of the dentist. If the bone is not in a good condition, and a pre-implant surgical correction is required, the cost is likely to increase. Since dental implants are expensive, it's advisable to check with your insurance company to find out if they will cover the implant cost.
Cost of Dental Bridge
In case of a missing front tooth, one has the option of getting a dental bridge. A bridge is a prosthesis that uses the support of adjacent teeth. The two adjacent teeth (abutment teeth) need to be contoured, which involves the removal of a portion of the enamel. This will create space for the placement of a crown over these teeth. Thereafter, the dentist takes the impressions of the teeth, which are then used for making the dental bridge, pontic (false tooth that takes the place of the missing tooth), and crowns. A temporary bridge will be used by the patient to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the bridge is being made. The crowns that are placed on the abutment teeth provide support to the pontic tooth. The cost of a dental bridge for a single tooth ranges between USD 700 and USD 1500. The cost would vary, depending on the type of material (metal or ceramic) used to fabricate the bridge. At times, an acrylic or porcelain metal bridge may be used, with porcelain facing over the areas that are visible. The pure ceramic bridge will cost more. Since a pure ceramic bridge is preferred for missing front teeth, cost of front teeth replacement is often higher than the cost of replacing missing molars.
Post and Core
In this treatment option, the root of the missing teeth needs to be intact even if the crown is missing. In this case, the missing tooth structure is replaced before making a new dental crown. The core can be made from dental amalgam (metal filling material) or dental composite (tooth bonding). If more than half of the tooth structure is missing, a post is needed to anchor the core to the tooth. The cost for a post and core treatment for a single tooth will range between USD 300 and USD 500, which is lesser as compared to a bridge or implant. However, there are many factors that need to be considered when going in for a post and core. For examples, the cost would increase if one has to undergo root canal treatment. Also, a post and core is a relatively delicate option, so if you are reckless with your prosthesis, you will invariably land back in the dental chair for repair work, which will again add to the overall cost of tooth replacement.
On a concluding note, a dental implant costs more than other options. However, it could last for a longer duration, provided you get the procedure done by an experienced dentist/periodontist. So, ask your dentist about the options available, so that you can make an informed decision. Opt for a prosthesis that suits your requirements and budget the best.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a dentist.