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Dental implant
Old 12-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #1
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Dental implant

My dentist just informed me that I split a tooth in half and need an implant. The same tooth had an Onlay and a root canal procedure done less than two years ago.

He is referring me to a dental surgeon for the extraction, bone graft and eventual implant. I plan to get a quote from the provider but was wondering of what the cost would be based on your experience. Is there any other alternatives to an implant?
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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sorry to hear that your tooth broke. The onlay was placed to try to prevent that from happening. There are alternatives to an implant. Depending on the condition of the teeth on each side of the broken tooth, you could place a bridge. If the two teeth have large fillings on them it might make sense to have a bridge instead of an implant. If the teeth have no fillings or small fillings it would be better to do the implant. If you have other missing teeth as well, there are removable appliances that are less expensive but not as good as a fixed bridge or implant. The cost could be in the 4 to 5 thousand range. good luck.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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You're definitely looking at several thousand dollars, maybe more (it varies a lot around the country), and probably several months until it's complete, but you'll be much happier with the result than with any sort of workaround.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:31 PM   #4
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Not sure about alternatives. But when I had an implant that costed me about $4500 over the course of about a year's time from start to finish.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:35 PM   #5
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My dental implant cost $3449 total. $435 was for bone graft and tooth removal/cleanup, $14 was for related prescriptions (antibiotics, pain), $1800 was for the implant surgery, and $1200 was for the crown. This was a pretty good deal, probably due to my location. In more expensive parts of the country I have heard of implants costing as much as $10K each.

My dentist presented me with choices, including pulling the tooth and doing nothing, having a bridge put in, and getting an implant. He discussed the pluses and minuses of each approach, gave me estimates of cost for each, and I chose the implant.

All in all, it took almost nine months to complete it because we had to wait at various stages for my bone to grow around the implant, before proceeding. I hated waiting, and the cost, but still I am so glad I had it done. The implant tooth is stronger than any of my natural teeth, and it feels like it has always been there.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:36 PM   #6
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As a result of bad habits in my misspent youth I have both bridge work and implants in my mouth. My take is that the end result of the implant is superior, but the cost is greater as is the total treatment time.

With bridge work you need to get crowns on the adjacent teeth to mount the bridge on. This may end up costing ~$3K but you'll be out and done with an intact mouth within a few weeks. With implants (particularly when bone grafts are involved) you may need to heal for 6 months or more after the extraction before the placement of the implant - then let that heal for more months before the artificial tooth is finally attached. Both my wife and I have had implants in the last 5 years and both of ended up taking at least 18 months from extraction to once again having a complete set of teeth.

And yes, as another post claimed, out of pocket cost was $4 - 5K (dental insurance covered extraction but not the implant).

Still with all that I significantly prefer the implant. It is indistinguishable from a real tooth, doesn't require reduction/crowning of adjacent teeth, allows normal flossing and will probably outlast me. If you can tolerate the cost and delay I'd say go for it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:49 PM   #7
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Good advice.

As alluded to extraction can be on option. A dentist talked me into an onlay, for a wisdom tooth (I didn't say he was a good denist). I left his practice and had many issues with the onlay over time, new dentist asked why "I kept saving the thing?". Responded "I don't know doesn't make much sense", nice dental surgon removed the wisdom tooth.


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Old 12-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #8
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I just googled "aetna vital savings implant" and the second link (docchecker) indicated that there are providers that do implants that take this discount program (which costs $75/yr).

For the small stuff, the vital savings customer pays about half the average price. For bigger jobs, they pay maybe 80% of the average cost. But shoot, I'd be happy with just average cost, considering how much variation there is dentist to dentist...with my luck I'd end-up on the top of the price bell curve.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your input. Since I live in a high COL area I'm expecting my out of pocket bill to be around 5K (keeping my fingers crossed). My dentist told me to expect the process to take about 12 months after extraction.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for all your input. Since I live in a high COL area I'm expecting my out of pocket bill to be around 5K (keeping my fingers crossed). My dentist told me to expect the process to take about 12 months after extraction.
See if your dentist can give you a rough estimate of the cost. Mine estimated $4K, so that was pretty close. My dentist has an oral surgeon that he was working with for all of his implant patients, so he knew the prices.

Call your insurance company if you think part of it may be covered, just to verify that since many policies simply do not cover it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:27 PM   #11
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See if your dentist can give you a rough estimate of the cost. Mine estimated $4K, so that was pretty close. My dentist has an oral surgeon that he was working with for all of his implant patients, so he knew the prices.

Call your insurance company if you think part of it may be covered, just to verify that since many policies simply do not cover it.
Unlike medical procedures, dentists should be able to give you a priced-out "treatment plan" before they even start poking in your mouth. Frankly, with a procedure like this one, I wouldn't put my "regular dentist" at the top of the list by default. There would be some shopping around for both quality and price.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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I had a dental implant and crown placed in 2005. It was a lower molar with no restorations which was also the case with the teeth on either side. I think the cost was around $3000.00 but I did not need any bone grafting. All X-rays of the tooth showed no problems but I kept getting a little abcess in the gum below the tooth (would heal with antibiotics then return). My dentist finally referred me to an oral surgeon who felt there must be a hairline crack. It was extracted and sure enough had several cracks. I love my implant...it is just like a natural tooth.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:32 PM   #13
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Unlike medical procedures, dentists should be able to give you a priced-out "treatment plan" before they even start poking in your mouth. Frankly, with a procedure like this one, I wouldn't put my "regular dentist" at the top of the list by default. There would be some shopping around for both quality and price.
The surgeon will be doing the extraction and bone graft and my dentist will install the tooth so I plan to get an estimate from both.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:33 PM   #14
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Unlike medical procedures, dentists should be able to give you a priced-out "treatment plan" before they even start poking in your mouth. Frankly, with a procedure like this one, I wouldn't put my "regular dentist" at the top of the list by default. There would be some shopping around for both quality and price.
All my dentist actually did himself was to declare my natural tooth a basket case, and put the crown on at the end. The rest was done by an excellent oral surgeon recommended by my dentist. But you're right; it's important to check out the oral surgeon and make sure the referral is a good one.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:45 PM   #15
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Some information in this earlier thread:

Dental implant and dental coverage

Since my dentist suggested I may need an implant back in August, I don't have the inflammation/tenderness any more.

I haven't seen him since, because I'm no longer on my employer plan and I haven't enrolled in any other dental plan.

But I may see him again or switch. Like I said, he quoted $5500 for a dental implant treatment plan, to take place over several months.

Most of the individual dental plans cap benefits to $500 for mostly routine care to $1250 at the most and those run about $700-800 a year in premiums so really of questionable value./

However, I've seen ads and even postcards from other dentists advertising as low as $1800, "All Procedures Included. (Fixture, Custom Abutment, Implant Crown)"

I Googled the practice and they get pretty high ratings on Yelp and the dentists all seem to have gone to good schools.

I get the sense that this procedure is elective, that it's something they recommend to older customers. Doesn't seem urgent if as my dentist proposed doing it over several months. Apparently you need to recover from various stages of the procedure.

I believe my dentist said you can put a crown on it without the implant but that would not be a long term treatment, that as I aged, I would need the implant sooner or later. But again, it seems more elective.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:11 PM   #16
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I posted in another thread on this, but I have 4 dental implants. They ran about $4,500 each. All are molars and I can't tell any difference between them and my real teeth. I have a history of decay under crowns and bridges (it's very hard to detect even with X-ray till it's too late) and I have one remaining bridge. If a tooth under that goes, I'm going for 2 more implants. My last 2 implants were necessary because this happened with another bridge. The oral surgeon, a DDS/MD/rock star told me that you can't replace just the tooth holding up the bridge and put in a new bridge because natural teeth move a little and bridges are rigid, so anchoring one to the other would be bad for the bridge. So, I ended up replacing the bad tooth with one implant and filling in the gap with another.


Anyway, I love my implants. I'm never getting a crown or a bridge again.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:22 PM   #17
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I don't think this has been asked: Is there a Dental college in your area. Don't know how it would world with implants.

BIL said he used to recruit potential "patients" when he was at dental school. Another former co-w*rker w saved thousands by being a subject for a student when he was in school. She needed a lot of dental work; she even was part of his States dental boards exam.

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Old 12-30-2014, 07:22 PM   #18
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I don't think this has been asked: Is there a Dental college in your area. Don't know how it would world with implants.

BIL said he used to recruit potential "patients" when he was at dental school. Another former co-w*rker w saved thousands by being a subject for a student when he was in school. She needed a lot of dental work; she even was part of his States dental boards exam.

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For an implant that involves bone grafting I wouldn't trust a dental school student with no experience. We are familiar with the surgeon I was referred to as he had performed numerous extractions for few family members over the years but this would be the first time we would use him for an implant.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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Called the surgeon's office today to schedule an appointment and the first available date is January 30 for a consultation and X-rays. And this is only because I was an existing patient (I had an extraction about 15 years ago).

Now I know why people stated that the process takes 12-18 months for an implant.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:12 PM   #20
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I recently had an upper molar extraction, bone graft and implant done in Mexico. Cost was $950 USD. The treatment plan calls for me to return next winter for the abutment/crown and price for that will be $450. Total cost $1400.
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