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Dental Implants

Evaluating Your Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

By Cynthia Bollinger and Dr. Kathelene Williams-Turk

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Economic aspects: Comparing the Cost of Implants to Fixed Bridgework

Consider this scenario: if you lose a single tooth, the two most common methods of tooth replacement are a tooth supported bridge or an implant supported crown. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that bridges last an average of 10 years. Clinical studies indicate that implants are over 95% successful for 20+ years. Therefore, a conservative cost breakdown over 20-25 years may look like the chart below.

Dental implant options.

Even with partial insurance reimbursement, the cost of a tooth supported bridge is more expensive long term. The total cost over 20-25 years or more could be significantly higher than shown above. And with an implant supported crown, the adjacent teeth are not compromised so that additional treatment is not necessary. Consider too, the concept of amortization — the process of decreasing or accounting for the cost over the period of time they are likely to last.

Implants may seem more expensive initially. But for patients who are candidates, not only are they a better treatment choice, they will last longer, possibly a lifetime, thereby making them the ideal choice and most cost effective option long term. As we shall see in part two when we guide you through the marketing hype, well planned implants most often require a team approach in assessing whether they're right for you. Placing implants and attaching crowns to them require precision procedures and techniques.

Benefits of Dental Implant Treatment

  1. Enhanced quality of life
  2. Integrity of the facial structures is preserved
  3. The smile is restored as close as possible to its natural state
  4. Long term health of adjacent teeth is not compromised
  5. Replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth
  6. Increased stability
  7. Improved health due to improved nutrition and proper digestion
  8. Renewed self-confidence
  9. Improved appearance
  10. Improved ability to taste foods
  11. Increased convenience of hygiene and maintenance


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