If you want long lasting results that look natural, dental implants may be your best bet for replacing any missing teeth.
In the past, there has always been a problem with the high costs associated with implants, as a single replacement can cost over a thousand dollars.
However, there are a few ways that you can work around the system to be able to find cheap dental implants.
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1) Be busy as a bee
If you want the best quote, you need to be active as a bee. What do I mean ?
You wouldn’t only look at one car or house, so why only go to one dentist? Go and consult as many dentists as possible.
Ask to each dentist for a breakdown of how much your implants would cost for your specific case. Make sure their list includes: consultations, imaging (CT scans or x-rays), modelling, anaesthesia, materials (post, abutment, crown) and the surgery itself. You should also ask for the cost of any additional procedures like sinus lifts or bone grafts.
Remember that dentists aren’t the only ones who can do dental implants, so you might also want to get quotes from other professionals like oral surgeons and periodontists.
Remember the more you visit, the more chances you get cheaper quotes.
If you are looking for affordable dental implants, one way to do so is to go to a newer dental practice – they are probably willing to charge less to build their reputation and get some clients to start with.
No matter what, however, make sure that you are getting the best treatment you can afford.
2) The secret is in the location
Where you live might also be a big indicator of how much you will pay for implants.
If you are willing to go a bit further outside of your area, you might have better luck and cheaper rates.
Why ? Dentists that live in big cities tend to cost more because they have higher overhead and living costs than those in more rural areas.
So check out small towns first, where you probably will get the cheaper prices but realize you might not have as much selection there.
3) Be adventurous
Want to feel like indiana jones ?
Another option could be travelling abroad to get low cost dental implants.
Called “Dental Tourism” this practice is becoming more common as dental prices soar. Many people will venture to Costa Rica, Hungary, Mexico and many other destinations to get half prices implants.
Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines offer discount dental implants that are hard to resist if we compare their prices with those in USA.
With an average of $700 per implant, India is probably the top country that proposes the cheapest dental implants. That could help you save a lot of money.
In fact, these countries are pretty specialized in dental tourism so don’t worry, their dental skills are equivalent to what we could get in the USA, as many dentists in these countries often go to the USA to get trained…. Of course, I strongly recommend you to check their credentials beforehand.
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If your case isn’t as severe, this could be a great choice, especially if you can get one day or same day implants (titanium post, abutment and crown being placed at the same time ) and some vacations as well.
Remember that there may be some difficulties and you will need to be careful if you plan on going abroad. Think of the language issue, the accomodation and flight ticket cost and of course the inconvenience if you need to go back to your dentist in case of an implant complication.
Anyway, do your research thoroughly and weigh the pros and cons and remember if something doesn’t feel right when you get there, feel no shame in just walking away. Your health is much more important….
4) Use the social media effect
If you still haven’t found a way to afford dental implants, then you might still have hope with the many internet tools that popped up these recent years.
You can fundraise the money for implants on your own – especially if you have a good story !
Websites like Indiegogo.com or GoFundMe.com and many more help you to raise money for personal health care and don’t take an overwhelming large percentage of it.
All you have to do is set up a page, write (or record of video of) an honest explanation of your situation, and then send the link to family and friends who can then help you to spread the word.
You should explain why you need new teeth, how it will change your life, and explain where the money will go.( crucial, people need to knwo what you will do with their money so be as detailed as possible…and honest of course)
Some people won’t feel comfortable asking for money, but it is a way if you have no other options.
You shouldn’t pressure people to donate the money of course.
And remember that you should return the favour down the line if someone asks for money!
5) Charitable associations
Dental societies and other charitable organizations have offered free or discount care in the past, especially for low income patients or those who have been the victim of accidents, domestic abuse, or other special circumstances.
There are also programs for those living with disabilities as well as for women and children. It could be really worth a look.
You can look for these programs on the American Dental Association website.
6) Trust a dental student
Another option that many like to explore is the chance to take part in a dental implant program or clinic that is held at a dentistry school.
These programs are designed to help recent dental school grads gain the hands-on experience they need to work on their own. In exchange, you get inexpensive dental implants. Sweet deal, isn’t it?
The programs are under the supervision of experienced professionals who will step in if something goes wrong. Sometimes a school with have special qualifications, so you will have to do your research.
Many programs serve low-income residents or have a long waiting list. Regardless, the wait might be worth it (if you can) to save thousands of dollars.
Typically the experience will be extremely safe and the results will be high quality because there is a ton of oversight. Each step of the diagnosis, treatment, and surgery is monitored by several high level students and their professors.
If the thought of having a student work on your teeth isn’t appealing, it can at least be worth it to go in for a second opinion (as you will get more than one in one stop!).
7) Be a VIP member of a Discount Dental Plan
Still rare, but not unheard of, discount dental plans have members that pay yearly or month fees and then they will receive a discount on their dental care.
Usually these discounts range from 10%-60%.
You will only be allowed to consult specific dentists, so it can be a bit limiting. But the impressive list of dental experts keeps growing everyday as they understand the advantages of being part of this network for their business.
Generally, it can take hundreds or thousands of dollars off of your implant procedure, so it might be worth it to check out.
If you want to know more about dental plans, check here.
8) A long journey begins with a small step
I know the cost can be pretty overwhelming. We are talking about thousands of dollars. That is a lot of money.
But you can make this easier by financing your dental work through companies like Care Credit.
Of course, to enroll in a financing plan, keep in mind you will need a good credit score and there are some fees and interest that build up but you won’t need to wait to get your implants.
This will require you to make monthly payments that are much easier on your bank account.
If we think of the benefits: with a better smile, better self confidence, your life will be ten times easier too.
9) Check what your Insurance Covers
Your dental insurance likely won’t cover implants because they consider this procedure to be a cosmetic one.
However, some plans will carry this policy and others may change.
If they do cover it, they likely won’t cover all of it. In fact, many will only cover up to the cost of the other alternatives, like bridges or dentures. ( that is better than nothing)
As a rule of thumb, insurance companies usually only cover surgeries that restores functions, ease pain, or any conditions that truly affect your health. If, for whatever reason, implant surgery is the only option you can choose, then it might be covered.
So check with your insurance company. Or probably consider switching to a better one if possible.
10) Cheaper solutions are still possible
There are quite a few alternatives to implants that are cheaper, including bridges and partial dentures.
If you have teeth that are still viable for abutment to support the bridge crown, that might be the way to go.
While they don’t last as long as implants, they do last 15 years when cared for.
Bridges are also a good choice because they are permanent, which means you don’t have to take them out for cleaning.
However, over time the bone that supports the artificial teeth will eventually atrophy, due to a lack of stimulation, which will cause the failure of the crown and bridge.