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Dental Implants – Why so expensive and why does it take so long

Here at Premier Medical Financing, we get several inquiries per month for financing for dental implants. When patients get the quote, they usually start hyperventilating. For the most part, dental insurance doesn’t cover much. You get your semi-annual teeth cleanings and x-rays and carriers will pitch in on some more involved procedures but there is a max on what they pay. The patient has to cough up the rest. It is bad enough that the procedure costs an arm and a leg but why does it take so long?

It seems a little ridiculous on the surface. After all, the Mayans were doing dental implants with jade, carved stone, and seashell parts. Tackling the question of why it costs and why it takes so long is fairly straight forward. The process involves multiple procedures that each require time to heal. Often, the dental implant is replacing a badly decayed tooth that a root canal is not going to fix. If the tooth is already gone for whatever reason, the patient misses out on this step of the process. However, many people need to have the tooth or teeth extracted. This can cost upwards of $500 per tooth. Add sedation and that number increases quickly.

Once the tooth has been extracted, the vacated area needs time to heal. How long that needs depends the evaluation of the dentist’s observation. This could up to 6 months. In the meantime, the patient is fitted with a “flipper.” This device bears a resemblance to an orthodontic retainer which fills in the gap where your tooth or teeth were. Guess what? They don’t give the flipper away.

dental implant financing

From there, the next step is to have the titanium screw implemented. How the titanium came to be a part of this process was a result of serendipity. During a routine procedure in the 1950s, an orthopedist struggled removing titanium from a bone. The two had fused together in a process now referred to as osseointegration. This process gave birth to the modern dental implant procedure we know today.

Once the screw has been implemented, it now needs time to heal. This could be 6 weeks or 3 months depending on the recommendation of the dentist. After this period of time has lapsed, you will visit the dentist to have the implant set.

dental implant financing

Three significant dental procedures (extraction, titanium placement, and implant) with a flipper, multiple visits to the dentist office for progress reports and consultations can make for a long drawn out process that can be quite costly. However, the success rate is very high and it is a life changing procedure for many people. Well worth the effort.

Premier Medical Financing is a peer to peer lending resource providing financing for elective medical procedures of which dental implants is one. If you would like to get started with an application, please click here.