If you have missing teeth, you may have considered your tooth replacement options which include dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures. Dental implants provide a realistic permanent solution to missing teeth that is stable, durable and indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Unfortunately, many people are apprehensive about getting dental implants due to the cost. However, getting dental implants may be more affordable than you think.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent alternative to dentures and dental bridges for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant consists of a biocompatible titanium post that is placed into your jawbone using guided surgery.
Once your dental implant has bonded with your jawbone, your dentist attaches an abutment and a dental crown to the implant for a fully-functioning and natural-looking tooth.
Dental implants can also be used to support a bridge or full arch of artificial teeth if more than one or two teeth need to be replaced.
What is the Average Cost of a Dental Implant?
The dental implant cost is not standardized across Australia, which means that dentists can charge varying amounts for the same procedure depending on the experience and location. However, there are a few other factors that impact the dental implant cost including:
- The Number of Teeth to be Replaced
The dental implant cost is typically priced per tooth, so the most affordable standard dental implant option is a single dental implant. However, if you need to replace more than two teeth, an implant-supported bridge offers a cost-effective way to get dental implants.
- The Cost of Extraction
Teeth that have become loose due to trauma or deep decay need to be removed before the implant can be embedded. The cost of extraction will increase the overall dental implant cost.
- The Type of Dental Implant
There are various types of dental implants suited to different replacement needs.
Single implants are suitable for replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth spaced far apart.
An All-on-4 implant-supported bridge uses two implants placed either side of the gap created by your missing teeth to hold a bridge.
At Available Dental Care, we also offer overdentures that use mini implants to support a full or partial denture using fixtures positioned on the denture frame. Overdentures are more affordable than standard dental implants but more durable and secure than other tooth replacement options.
- Any Additional Surgeries Needed
To create a stable foundation for the implant, the titanium screw needs to be embedded into your jawbone. Your jaw must be assessed for health and strength. After your initial evaluation, your dentist may suggest a bone graft or sinus lift to improve the density of your jawbone.
Are Dental Implants Covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not cover any type of dental procedure, including dental implants unless it is deemed vital for the overall health of the patient and not getting dental implants could jeopardise your health.
However, if you are a concession card holder under the Children’s Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) or Veterans Affairs Dental Scheme, you may be eligible for up to $1,000 in dental coverage, which can cover part of the cost of a dental implant procedure. Check with your local Medicare office for details.
Can I Claim Dental Implants on Private Insurance?
Claiming a dental implant procedure on your private health insurance depends on the level of coverage you have. For most people with basic coverage, simple procedures such as cleanings, exams, and fillings are covered under your policy, but restorative treatments such as dental implant surgery may not be covered.
Dental implants are considered to be Major Dental treatments and require a higher level of coverage. Talk to your health insurance provider about which procedures are covered by your policy. Remember that if you choose to upgrade your policy to cover dental implants, there may be a waiting period during which time you cannot make a claim.
If your private health insurance does cover the dental implant cost, we have HICAPS available at our dental practice so that you can make a claim immediately.
Although dental implants have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement options, the stability and durability of the materials mean they can last for up to 25 years if cared for and maintained properly. It also means they will not need repairs and replacement as often as dentures or bridges so they can save you money long-term.
If you are interested in learning more about how dental implants can restore your smile and self-confidence, call Available Dental Care on (02) 4062 8763 to book a consultation.