Molar implant cost: budgeting and investing in your smile

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Losing a tooth is never a pleasant experience for anyone. If this is the case for you, getting a molar implant can help a lot. When you decide that you need an implant, the molar implant cost will be one of the factors affecting your decision.

Well, the truth is the typical cost of molar implants can vary depending on several factors. First and foremost, the initial cost per tooth might be higher than other types of dental implants. It can also change based on your personal needs. Such situations are among the factors that will affect the molar tooth implant price.

In this article, we’ll explore the average costs along with more factors that can affect the cost of a molar implant so you know what to expect when budgeting for this type of dental work.

How much does a molar implant cost?

If you’re missing only your first or second molar, you may want to learn about a single implant cost. Well, single-tooth implants prices vary according to the type of implant procedure first of all. For example, single subperiosteal implants price range from $2500 to $3000, while endosteal implants cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per implant. Of course, you can also choose different materials such as zirconia and titanium. You might pay around $2000 for titanium implants and $3000 or more for zirconia implants.

Here are the factors affecting molar implant cost

As we mentioned before, the cost of molar implants varies depending on several situations. Factors that can affect the cost of molar implants include:

  • number of implants
  • implant type
  • necessary preparatory procedures
  • oral surgeon’s experience
  • dental insurances
  • geographic location
  • additional fees

Apart from these factors, we should mention that while the cost of a molar implant may be higher than a normal dental implant, but the size of the molar won’t be affecting the cost. Dental implant specialists will decide at your consultation appointment whether you need any preparatory procedures. Then they will add the additional costs to the total implant cost. You can also decide on how many and which type of implant you need during these appointments. Speaking of which, if you prefer a specialist dentist who is well experienced in implants, it can cost more as they may charge higher fees for their expertise. Finally, if these operations will take place in a country different from where you live, this will, of course, have an impact on the cost variation.

How many molar implants do you need?

Well, the number of molar implants depends on the specific needs of each patient. If you need more than one molar, it’s possible you either lost multiple molars, or the surrounding natural teeth are in poor condition or are likely to deteriorate in the future. And since you use your molars for chewing and biting down things, the position of missing teeth can also play a role. So, you may need more than one implant to restore their functionality. A single tooth dental implant can cost you around $1,500 to $6,000 per implant. But to get a better idea of how many implants you’ll need and how much it might cost you for a personalized treatment plan, it’s a good idea to consult a dental professional at several dental offices.

What type have you decided on?

To decide which type of molar implant you should choose, you need to consider a few things. First of all, you need to know whether you have enough bone density or not. Let’s say you have a strong jaw bone to support the implant, then you can go for endosteal implants. They will be placed directly in your jaw bone. But if you have a bone problem going on, no worries, because, you can always fix it with bone grafting. Other than that, you can simply choose subperiosteal implants. With this type of implant, your bone density won’t be so important as they are placed on top of the jaw bone.

Another thing to consider is material options. Various material options such as titanium or zirconia are available for the implant post. They both have their own advantages. Titanium ones are stronger and more durable with a high success rate. But, if you are allergic to metal or sensitive to temperature, it might not be very comfortable. Instead, you can choose zirconia, which is actually ceramic. Since they are less conductive than metal implants, they won’t be causing any sensitivity or allergies. Besides, they offer you a more natural cosmetic look than titanium ones. You can consider these factors when choosing the type of molar implant. Of course, your dentist will also give you some advice so that you can decide together.

Do you need any pre-operations before getting implants?

As you know, not all pre-operations are obligatory. Patients who need these kinds of additional procedures usually don’t meet the necessary dental health standards. In other words, they might not have enough bone density or have some conditions such as gum diseases and other oral health issues. If you have similar complaints, you need to get them fixed before the implants.

First of all, you might have a decayed tooth. And it is not possible to get a molar implant without getting rid of that. So your dentist will need to perform a root extraction. Another one of these operations is bone grafting. If your jaw bone does not provide sufficient support for an implant, a dental specialist will add bone material to the area. Similarly, your upper jaw bone also may not be strong enough. Well, then you’ll need a sinus lift. With this pre-operation, a bone graft will be added to the area. It is an ideal operation to support implants in the molar or premolar area. In order for the implants to properly heal, you also need to get rid of oral diseases if you have any. For example, depending on the severity of your gum disease, you may need to have deep cleaning, root planing, or other periodontal treatments.

Do you rather have an expert dentist?

You will definitely see the benefits of finding a specialist dentist when it comes to molar implants or implant operations in general. Because, they will be able to review your individual needs, recommend proper treatment plans, and perform procedures with precision. It is your right to ask for special attention and proper care throughout the whole dental implant process, from the first consultation to the final restoration. The thing about a specialist dentist is that they may charge higher fees for such services though. But imagine the comfort long-term dental implant success brings to your life. That said, it also depends on how you take proper care of your implants. After all, we say it is worth investing in such benefits.

Keep in mind these additional costs

When paying for molar implants, you may have to pay for a few more things, not just the implant itself. This is because the implant procedure has various requirements that go beyond basic implant placement. These requirements are things like special equipment, expertise, and materials needed for a successful implant. So additional fees may include your consultation and examination, scans and tests, bone grafting if needed, and sedation or anesthesia for your comfort. All of these factors add to the overall cost of molar implants.

Consultation & examination

You may have to pay extra costs for the consultation and examination you need before having a molar implant. This process may sound a little pointless, but we assure you it’s not. Think of this as creating a road map for your implant journey. The cost of a dental implant consultation can range from around $75 to $250 or more. Also, dental exams, which can cost between $75 and $250, will basically be no different than regular check-ups. Your dentist will take a close look at your mouth, including your gums, teeth, and jaw bone. After this examination, if it’s necessary, they may send you to an X-ray or request a few tests.

Scans & tests

Additional costs may come up also because of the necessary screening and testing. These tests may include X-rays or CT scans to find out the current state of your oral health. If you have pre-existing conditions, it’s important to identify them because a solid foundation is needed for your new implant. For this, X-rays can cost between $25 and $200 per image, depending on the type of X-ray and the dental office. Another commonly used scan in implant dentistry is the Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan. This provides detailed 3D images of your jaw bone and allows dental surgeon to make a dental plan before the treatment so the implant placement is decent. The cost of a CBCT scan can range from $250 to $600, depending on the location and the facility.

Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is the first step in solving a decayed or damaged tooth problem. Average costs for this procedure are between $75 and $300, but if a surgical procedure is needed then the average price range from $150 to $650. If you prefer to be sedated or you want local anesthesia, keep in mind that this decision affects your tooth extraction price.

Bone grafting

By getting this procedure done, your natural bone can be preserved so it provides support for the implant. It can cost anywhere from $200 to $3500. These additional procedures are not always necessary, but when you need it, you have to pay the price for good implant results.

Sedation & anesthesia

Thanks to sedation and anesthesia in dentistry, you can comfortably and safely lie on your patient chair during dental implant procedures. The level you will receive varies depending on your situation and the dental treatments involved. The cost of oral sedation can range from $200 to $500 while nitrous oxide a.k.a laughing gas is usually calculated per hour and can range from $50 to $100. The total cost depends on the length of the dental implant procedure. And if you are going to have a complex implant treatment, IV sedation is a good option for you, with costs ranging from $500 to $1,500 or more.

Easier payment methods: insurance and financing options

Paying for molar implant procedures should not be a painful experience. Fortunately, costs become affordable with easier payment options such as health insurance and financing options. Some insurance companies offer dental plans that also cover molar implants. However, if you don’t have insurance, there are still financing options to consider. Many dental clinics offer affordable care through flexible payment plans that allow you to spread the cost over time. With these options available, you can focus on recovery without worrying about the financial burden.

Does insurance cover molar implants?

This depends on your medical and dental insurance coverage. Some dental insurance plans may cover some of the dental implant costs, while others may not cover at all. In this case, your personal situation is taken into account. For example, insurance may cover implant costs if you were born after an injury or with a dental problem. And sometimes the insurance only makes a partial payment and you have to pay the rest of the cost. You should consult to your dental insurance company to determine coverage limits and out-of-pocket expenses you may have to pay.

What are the available financing options?

Several financing options are also available to help make molar implant treatment more accessible and affordable. To begin with, you can talk to your dental center and create a payment plan. This allows you to spread the cost of treatment over several months or even years, making it more manageable. With low-interest payment plans, you can easily pay for your treatment without paying high fees or interest. Another option is to consider third-party financing, such as CareCredit or LendingClub, which offer loans specifically for healthcare expenses. These programs are also an attractive option with flexible payment terms and low-interest rates. Last but not least, if you have the opportunity to pay in cash or in advance, dental offices can also give you discounts or make special offers.

References:

Ra G, Wo Q. Bone regeneration in dentistry: an overview. Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents. 2021;35(1 Suppl. 1):37-46. Accessed May 11, 2023.

Cosgrove D. Sedation in dentistry. Aust Dent J. 1976 Apr;21(2):128-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.1976.tb02835.x. PMID: 791218.

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