If you have one or more teeth missing, your dentist may recommend dental implants.
Unlike other tooth replacement options that only replace the tooth above the jaw, an implant replaces the entire tooth down to the root. After an implant is placed in the jaw, new bone will grow around it. This helps to keep it firmly in place.
Dental implants aren't suitable for everyone. Your dentist will let you know if you're a candidate for implant treatment during your consultation. They'll also tell you everything you need to know about what the procedure involves, including a breakdown of the costs, so you can decide whether it's right for you.
What affects implant costs?
The cost of implants can depend on a number of factors. These may include:
- the number of teeth you need to replace and implants required
- the quality of the implants and what they're made from
- the complexity of your individual case
- whether bone grafting or other procedures are involved
- the location of the clinic and experience of the dentist
Can I get implants cheaper abroad?
Like many dental and health treatments, implants can be found at cheaper prices overseas, particularly in developing countries. However, local health authorities such as the Australian Dental Association (ADA) advise against having dental treatments abroad.
This is due to the higher risk of dentists being insufficiently qualified or experienced, safety precautions not being adequately followed and implants being of inferior quality. These can all contribute to a higher risk of complications, which may require additional treatments and expense to correct.
What are the risks of implants?
Tooth implants have a high rate of success when the treatment is carried out by a qualified professional. However, as with any procedure, there is still a minor risk of complications. These can include infections, damage to teeth, nerves or blood vessels and sinus problems if implants are placed in the upper jaw.
The cost of treating these rare complications may sometimes be covered by your insurance.
What are the alternatives to implants?
Depending on how many teeth you want to replace, your dentist will also explain what other options are available. These may include a dental bridge to replace one or several teeth in a row or dentures to replace a few teeth or all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw.
Bridges and dentures are cheaper than implants up-front, but they don't help to support your jaw and may need to be replaced after a number of years. With good care, a tooth implant can last a lifetime.
Are implant treatments covered by insurance?
As dental implants can be expensive, the treatment isn't usually covered by insurance plans. You should check with your health fund provider or talk to your dentist to find out if you can claim for all or part of your treatment and associated costs.
Are payment plans available?
Flexible payment plans help to make treatments more affordable by spreading the out-of-pocket cost across a number of monthly payments.
At Swish Dental, we offer payment plans to help you manage the cost of tooth implants and other treatments from $500 to $8,000.
 Healthdirect. Dental implants [Online] 2017 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant
 Australian Dental Association. Risks of Dental Tourism [Online] 2017 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/News-Media/News-and-Release/Media-Releases/Australia%E2%80%99s-dentists-issue-warning-about-dental-t/20170629-Risks-of-Dental-Tourism.pdf.aspx
 Bupa UK. Replacing missing teeth [Online] 2016 [Accessed August 2018] Available from: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/directory/t/teeth-replacing