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Ceramic Dental Implants Cost

How Much Do Ceramic Implants Cost?

Ceramic dental implants cost anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 for a single implant, which may or may not include the abutment. With a zirconia implant abutment, ceramic implant costs typically range anywhere from $4,000 to $5,500.  Typically, the ceramic implant will be placed by a biological dentist, a periodontist or an oral surgeon, along with the implant abutment, and the final crown will be placed by the restoring dentist, which may or may not be the same biological dentist who surgically placed the implant. Often, dentists who specialize in the placement and restoration of zirconia dental implants will also place the crown and will charge a total fee that includes the ceramic implant body, the ceramic abutment, and the final porcelain/ceramic crown for anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000.

Ceramic implant costs will depend on various factors, such as the ones below:

  • Geographic Location (areas like NYC and California will cost more, and areas like Kentucky will cost less)
  • Experience of a biological dentist with expertise in placing zirconia implants (the most important factor determining clinical success!)
  • The clinical difficulty of the surgery or case ( Examples: patients that are immunocompromised, are slow to heal, have had implant failures in the past, have been on bisphosphonates, require additional grafting due to bone loss, or esthetic (cosmetic) cases that need near-perfect results)

Generally speaking, dentists with less experience tend to charge less, and dentists with more experience tend to charge more.

What affects the cost of ceramic dental implants most?

#1 Cost Determination: The experience and expertise of the dentist – a highly ceramic implant trained and experienced biological dentist.

Biological dentists who have experience with all brands of zirconia implants (Ceraroot, SDS, Zeramex, Z-Systems, Straumann Pure, Nobel Pearl) and that have surgically placed AND restored hundreds of zirconia dental implants tend to have higher costs as they have more expertise to deliver the most optimal results for patients. Generally, patients tend to want the best clinicians when investing in ceramic dental implants and want to select the clinician who can most deliver successful implant results.  It’s very important that the dentist of choice have experience specific to zirconia dental implant surgeries and restoring ceramic implants, not just placing zirconia implants and not just restoring zirconia implants. Typically, choosing periodontists and oral surgeons to perform zirconia implants will be a less optimal experience for the patient as they have to work and coordinate with two clinicians, and the cost will be more expensive, paying two different dentists. Patients who can find a biological dentist like Dr. May, who can both perform the ceramic implant placement surgery and restore the ceramic implant, will typically have a better experience dealing with one clinician who is responsible for the success of the implant process from start to finish and will only be paying a single provider instead of two. If a patient sees an oral surgeon or periodontist who focuses primarily on titanium implants and has enough knowledge to place the one-off zirconia dental implant, they are getting a surgically experienced dentist but one who may not be as experienced with zirconia implants specifically, as opposed to a biological dentist who focuses 100% on surgically placing and restoring zirconia implants. At the end of the day, paying an extra $1000 for an expert in ceramic dental implants is entirely worth it to patients if they know they are getting the highest level of expertise and experience from a dedicated ceramic implant dentist.

Questions that patients can ask to determine whether a clinician has sufficient experience for them to feel comfortable include;

  • Has Dr. Ceramic Implant Dentist placed at least 10 zirconia implants in their career? At least 50 zirconia implants in their career? Has the dentist placed 500 zirconia implants in their career?  (the more implants, the more experience with zirconia implants)
  • Has the dentist used Ceraroot, SDS, Z-Systems, Zeramax, Straumann Pure, Nobel Pearl, and Tav? (the more systems,  the more experience with zirconia implants)
  • Has the dentist restored the zirconia implants they placed? How many zirconia implants has the dentist restored?
  • Is the dentist placing zirconia implants also placing titanium implants? What percentage of all the implants that the dentist places are zirconia? (The higher the percentage, the more likely they are experienced with zirconia implants)

Why are highly trained ceramic implant dentists hard to find?

There are FAR fewer dentists who have trained and placed zirconia implants relative to dentists that place titanium implants. Zirconia dental implants represent less than 5% of the current dental implant market in the USA by number of implants placed annually, based on estimates from one of the top ceramic implant brands.

    • Less than 0.25% of dentists who place titanium implants have placed zirconia implants. This does not mean expertise; this means some experience placing ceramic implants and potentially restoring them.
      • Zirconia Implant Some Experience: Out of 1,000 implant-placing dentists (most of whom place metal implants), proportionally, only 1% of dentists have some experience or some training with zirconia implants.
      • Zirconia Implant Expert: Per 10,000 implant-placing dentists, the likelihood is potentially 2-3 dentists  in the country would be considered “zirconia dental implant experts” that would possess both the surgery and restorative mastery specific to ceramic implants
        • There are likely fewer than five dental implant specialists like Dr. May in the country that specialize only in zirconia dental implants, full mouth zirconia dental implants, complex cases and highly esthetic and cosmetic results such as front tooth implants, and full mouth reconstruction

How does location affect ceramic dental implant costs?

Metro cities like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles tend to have a lot more competition for zirconia implants due to higher demand than more rural and less metropolitan areas of the US. Generally, higher competition drives ceramic implant costs down. However, due to the higher cost of living and higher costs of practicing dentistry and medicine, costs in metropolitan areas tend to be higher as well. For instance, in New York City, a dentist may easily charge upwards of $8,500 for a zirconia implant, abutment, and crown. In South Dakota, a dentist may only charge $5,500 for a ceramic dental implant, abutment and crown. Location is just one component of determining cost, but that does not directly affect the patient’s clinical outcome, unlike clinical ceramic implant experience and expertise which does directly affect patient outcomes. 

Zirconia implant Costs vs. Titanium Implant Costs

Zirconia dental implants are typically only 10%-20% more expensive than titanium implants.

A few factors cause the zirconia implant cost premium effect:

  • The raw material cost, or purchase price, of zirconia implants is typically at least double (2x) to 1000% (10x) more than a titanium dental implant for a dentist to purchase, including the abutment cost
  • Restoratively the zirconia implant can be restored by a specialist who has restored hundreds of zirconia implant cases. Otherwise, the patient is at increased risk of compromised clinical results (failure or breakage)

All implant cost comparisons consist of the three dental implant and restorative components:

  1. The implant itself (the portion that goes into the jaw bone)
  2. The implant abutment (the portion that connects the implant in the jaw bone to the crown and sticks out of the gum tissue)
  3. The implant-supported final crown goes on top of the abutment and looks like a tooth.

Titanium Dental Implant Costs

  1. A titanium implant from a dentist who does NOT restore the implant like a periodontist or an oral surgeon ($2,500-$3,500)
  2. The restorative dentist, usually the general dentist, charges for an abutment. The abutment could be a stock abutment ($250-$350) or a custom abutment ($750-$1,200)
  3. The restorative dentist will also need to charge the patient for the final crown that goes on top of the implant and abutment ($1,000-$2,500)

Total Titanium Implant Cost Range = $3,750 – $7,200*

Zirconia Dental Implant Costs

  1. A zirconia implant from a dentist who does NOT restore the implant like a periodontist or an oral surgeon ($3,000-$4,500)
  2. The biological dentist specializing in zirconia implants charges for an abutment. The abutment is always customized and prepped by the dentist ($500-$1500)
  3. The biological restorative dentist (or same zirconia implant expert who placed the implant) will also need to charge the patient for the final crown that goes on top of the implant and abutment ($1,500-$2,500)

Total Zirconia Implant Cost Range = $5,000 – $8,500*

*The cost ranges will depend on the experience and expertise of the chosen dentist. If you’re choosing to have the zirconia dental implant surgery and restoration completed by one of the top zirconia dental experts in the country, you can expect to pay towards the higher cost of the range. If you choose to take your chances on someone who hasn’t had much experience with zirconia dental implants and potentially using patients as guinea pigs to gain experience (the dentist will not disclose unless they are very ethical, and in that case the lower range price maybe a fair proposition for higher risk with the practitioner) then you will pay towards the lower cost of the range. The same applies to whether you are seeing a dentist on Park Avenue in NYC or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills in LA in California rather than another location. However, whether you travel to Albuquerque or Montana, the lower cost of the ranges is typically the lowest possible cost unless you travel to Mexico and take your chances with unregulated medical tourism outside the country.