When it comes to dentistry, there is a lot to consider. One of the most popular topics of the conversation centers on dental implants as an option for replacing missing teeth. Recent studies show that dental implants can be an effective and cost-efficient solution for missing teeth.
Time to Consider Dental Implants?
Although implants have been a standard treatment of choice for many years, they tend to be underutilized in the United States. It may be time to consider them as an option for replacing missing teeth. According to research by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, half of Americans who start missing a tooth never replace it. The average replacement maturity age is 45 years old.
According to a survey by DentalPlans.com, about 52 percent of patients are interested in implants for dental enhancement, although only 20 percent have had dental implants before. More than three-quarters (77 percent) said they would consider having dental implants if they lost teeth or had other teeth problems such as gaps or crowding. Only a tiny percentage of respondents (34 percent) have not considered implants yet. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said they would consider implants if their missing teeth were severe or if their existing dentures did not fit well.
The survey also found that most people are concerned with the cost of dental implants. It is understandable since the average cost of a single implant–according to the National Institutes of Health–is more than $21,000. Also, many dentists charge as much as $10,000 for implant placement, although there are discounts for lower-income patients and those covered by insurance. DentalPlan.com points out that an individual would have to make at least $10,000 per year to cover one implant.
In some cases, the cost is even higher. According to Dr. Richard Juhasz, president of the Academy of Implant Dentistry and chairman of the Central Ohio Implant Center, if you were going to replace all your teeth with implants, you would need more than $350,000 to cover all the necessary treatments.
So why do people abandon their dental health plans? According to a 2005 survey by DentalPlans .com, many people cited “maintenance costs” as one of their primary concerns about dental implants. Although many people are now covered by dental insurance, they are finding out that their dental insurance will only cover a portion of the cost. One of the most cited reasons was that they did not want to pay more money for the cost of dental implants than they had paid for their original teeth. Many dentists charge around $400 per tooth to place a dental implant; therefore, it can cost tens of thousands for a complete set.
Other patients said dental implants were not part of their medical coverage – even though many think they already have coverage through their medical plan or subsequent “supplemental” plans.
With the cost of dental treatment soaring, it is not surprising that many people are still not taking advantage of implants. As such, it is time for people to consider dental implants for replacement teeth. With the number of people who have never had dental implants, replacing lost teeth has the potential to be a lucrative and rewarding business practice.