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Question DetailsAsked on 10/5/2011

I've gotten three estimates for dental implants. Some charged, some were free. But I'm left confused. Life changing and costly. Help

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7 Answers

Voted Best Answer

I am familiar witht he ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers across the country, in particluar, the one in Overland Park, KS. They are a "one stop" implant center. The doctors there are at the top of their field, and an advantage is that you have all of the specialists that will be working with you in the same place. That would have to make communication easier between doctors. They usually offer seminars for patients and I think, offer free consultations, which is always worthwhile.

If you chose to go the other way, some Prosthodontists will place and restore the implants themselves. In other cases, an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist will place the implant and a Prosthodontist or General Dentist restores it. Fees can vary quite a bit from office to office and with the different options for restorative materials. Some offer free consultations, for others, they charge a fee that might be applied to any future treatment in some cases.

The first step is to schedule a few consultations with different providers, which it sounds like you've already done.

The most important factors when deciding which practitioner to work with:
.1. You should feel comfortable asking your doctor any questions so that you have a good understanding of the procedure itself, healing time and long-terem outcome, and possible complications. Write down a list of questions and take them with you to the consultation.

2. Ask about the experience of the practitioner. How many similiar procedures have they completed? Have they had any major complications with any cases? Ask to see photos if possible.

3..Figure out if it works out better for your schedule, to go to a "one stop" provider or to separate providers for the placement and the restoration of the implants.

4. Follow your instincts. If you feel rushed, didn't get direct answers to your questions, didn't communicate well or had any other negative feelings, this probably isn't the doctor for you.

5. Consider insurance coverage and financing options. If your dental plan covers implants and it is important to you to use a preferred provider, you will want to check your list. Many times, insurance does not cover implants, or at least not all of the steps. You may want to inquire about payment and financing options.

I hope this at least helps you feel a little less confused and a little more directed. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further help.
Beth L. Gehring,DDS, PC
816 NW Vesper
Blue Springs, Mo 64015

Answered 9 years ago by DocBeth


Could you elaborate, please? We'd love to help, but we'll need a little more information about what you'd like help with.

Answered 9 years ago by Cas


In Philadelphia, where my practice is, dental implants cost approximately $2000 each. If you live in a less urban environment in another part of the country, I would expect that the cost would be a bit less ($1500- $1700). That does not include the crown, or other restoration, that goes on top of the implant 3-4 months later. Think of the dental implant as a new artifical tooth root that is implanted in the jaw where the previous tooth was lost (hence the name). Occaisionally, other proceedures need to be done prior to implant placement to augment the bone. These are almost always charged for separately. These types of bone grafts and sinus lifts cost between $650- $2600 here. Again they will probably be less in other part of the country.

I would be extremely wary of any dental treatment offered 'free'. Dental implants are complex and costly for the doctor to do. Offers for free sound very suspicious to me. Be careful!

Here are some examples from my practice: We did an upper and lower full mouth reconstruction not long ago, in which we replaced nearly every tooth in a patient's mouth with individual implants and crowns. Cost: $80,000. We did an upper overdenture, supported by four imlants. Cost: $10,800. When we replace a single tooth with and implant and a crown the cost is $3900.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Stern

Answered 9 years ago by Dr Thomas Stern


Clarification to my question/statement: The estimates were free, the costs for actual services obviously were not. My concern is: should I use the services of an one-stop-shop or; start with a General Dentist, be referred to a Prosthodontist, then referred to a Dental Surgeon, different locations, different appointments. I am in need of full lower denture replacement. My first dentures were at age 15, I'm now 70. The one-stop-shop was $18k, the three (3) specialists total was $25k, and the third was about $16k, fo just two (2) implants, but had a horrible bedside manner. I'm favoring the one-stop-shop, a Dental Implant Center but it was mentioned in several blogs as an Implant Mill, suggesting you're just a number and may experience questionable follow-up care or even called by some former patients as butchery. So what would a normal, rational person choose?

Answered 9 years ago by JGuy


Dr. Stern ,

I 100% agree with you. I accidentally hit the thumbs down and apparently, once done, it cannot be undone. Sorry!

👍👍 Monica, retired RDH

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9510170


Have you ever considered dental tourism? There are many dentists in Mexico who are as good or better than your local dentist, but who charge half as much or less. You just need to be careful go to the right ones. In Canada dental tourism is huge and there are companies that professionally screen dentists in Mexico so that Canadians can get excellent dental care without having to sell their car to pay for it.

Answered 5 years ago by JenC


I strongly recommend to find a highly qualified general dentist in your area to start, finish and supervise the process. A "one-stop-shop" can mean many things. It does not have to be an "implant mill". There are extremely skilled general dentists that perform all stages of treatment, starting from diagnostics, treatment planning to preparation, surgery, supervision of the healing process and then appropriate restorations. There are very few of them but I would suggest to look for anyone with very high levels of post-graduate edication. AGD - Academy of General dentistry is one source to look for a dental professional in your area- Fellows and Masters that perfom these types of start-to-finish treatments are a great way to have one person be in charge of the whole treatment and it is a great benefit, increasing your treatment's success rate. In the end it might even cost you less than going to a bunch of specialists. Just make sure they do thourough diagnostics, and do not do advertise express or discount dentistry. You wouldn't want an express or discount cardio surgeon for yourself, would you? Go for quality and care- it will not be cheap, ever, but it always is worth it in the end.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_91364631


Just one word of advice for anyone considering dental implants. I was totally surprised after the implants were done that an implant is simply the screw put into the mouth to later hold a replacement "tooth". When my dentist gave me his pitch for implants, the price was quated and I was under the impression that the implant I was paying for was a complete service. it was only later after learning he had used plastic caps and I started reading about implants that I discovered there is the screw that is the implant and then the crown that serves as replacement tooth is anchored onto the screw as the final step. Ideally your dentist should determine what you need done and refer you to the approptiate specialist. When the implant is done, you should go back to your regular dentist for the restoration of the tooth with the crown. Although the American Dental Association states that it is ok for any licensed dentist to do dental implants, the ADA is an association looking out for the dentists's interests and many dentists with little or no training with implants have started doing them to generate income. Research and learn about dental implants online and then make an informed decision.

Answered 5 years ago by stephen714

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