Dental Implants are one of the largest growing segments of dental restorations in the world today for a number of reasons. A dental implant doesn’t just restore your functionality but aesthetically can be a significant upgrade from other options available. For a patient, being able to eat the foods they want and having the perfect smile has led many to seek out dental implants. Because the cost of a single dental implant is significantly higher than other restorative options many patients naturally seek out what they consider the best bargain. The only problem is that sometimes what may seem like a bargain can end up costing you much more down the road.
Selecting a dentist solely based on a cheap dental implant price might be the first indication that you are making a bad choice. This obviously doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek out a reasonable price for your dental service but keep in mind there are a number of questions to ask yourself to ensure that your getting the best quality service and product that will last you a lifetime. Below is a chart showing the average cost of a single implant including the implant post, abutment and crown. If you are seeking out price comparisons for a dental implant and you come across a price that is literally a ¼ of the cost of every other office you have visited there are some crucial questions that you should inquire to ensure that you aren’t receiving a product that won’t stand the test of time.
One of the main reasons some institutions are able to offer implants at deeply discounted rates is their decision to use what is termed as knockoff or cloned dental implants. We will discuss what the term entails, how it may affect you’re the long term success of your implant procedure and how this low cost dental implant may be more expensive for you in the end.
Low-priced dental implant products
For a dentist to provide you with a “cheap dental implant” and maintain a profitable operation, it generally means they are more likely to buy their dental implant products from a manufacturer who produces “cheap” or low-priced products.
For the implant manufacturer to supply low-cost products, they too must cut their manufacturing costs. This entails that the product is usually not stressed tested and fit to the same specificity that a higher quality implant is. The premier labs manufacturing implants spend countless hours to ensure that your implant will fit together perfectly and can undergo the repetitive pressure from chewing that will occur over the course of 20+ years of eating. If the low-cost dental implant cannot withstand natural chewing pressure, your inexpensive teeth (crown, full-mouth bridgework or denture) that is attached to your dental implants will eventually come loose.
A loose dental implant crown can lead to not just time spent going back and forth to the dentist for correction and tightening but potentially to a critical failure of the implant altogether.
Low-priced dental laboratories
The teeth (crowns) that will be attached to your dental implants are also manufactured by a dental laboratory. Like cheaply manufactured dental implants, a low-priced dental laboratory may also be used by a dentist to keep costs down.
A low-priced dental laboratory may not be capable of giving you the natural-looking smile you desire. This is often due to the low-grade skillset of the discounted dental laboratory.
Inexpensive labs often use cheaper materials to reduce costs which lead to structural defects as well as aesthetic defects. Having a new crown that doesn’t truly match all the other teeth surrounding it isn’t going to give you the confidence to smile like you were hoping for and if you end up having to replace it down the line because of those structural or aesthetic issues will cost you more money in the long term.
Global dental tourism
Traveling internationally for inexpensive dental implant services is another popular option that can seem appealing at face value but may be more expensive to you in the end. This is often referred to as “global dental tourism.”
Many individuals are attracted to this because they believe it will save them money. Countries like Mexico or Costa Rica can often offer lower-priced dental implant services because of their reduced labor costs. Be careful is your considering this route!
Lower labor cost isn’t the only reason fees tend to be less through these dental tourism services. Often times, these countries use a cheap dental implant that U.S. dentists may be unable to service if something malfunctions and a dental implant part needs to be replaced.
If you do encounter an issue with a dental implant performed in a foreign country and the implant has issues more than likely you will have two options. The first is that you might be forced to travel back to that country, at your expense. If you choose not to, and the part can’t be replaced, the entire dental implant may need to be removed and replaced, requiring additional surgeries and cost.
You may also discover that the doctor assigned to care for you through a dental tourism service is in-training. Low-cost training labor is another way to keep the cost of treatment down and offer you cheap pricing.
But high-quality implant dentistry requires significant training and experience. Receiving dental implant services from an unskilled clinician in another country could be quite costly over time.
If you are considering making an investment in one or more dental implants consider these factors strongly before making your final decision. Dental implants are made to last a lifetime if done correctly and done under the right circumstances. Insist that your dentist use a premium implant system that is well researched and studied for your case. If they refuse to do so, this may be your first warning sign that you may be getting yourself into a potentially problematic situation.
The bottom line is that when you are considering spending a significant amount of time and money for a dental implant make sure your getting both a top quality implant but also a reputable dentist that you will trust to deliver you a smile that will truly last a lifetime.
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