I would say the cost can vary a lot and it really depends on the materials that are being used, and even the brand. Because certain brands are more well-researched and it depends on what you want.
It doesn’t mean that the brands that are less researched are not good. It depends on what personality type you are as well. Do you want something that is new, as in, it might have new technology, or do you want something that has been used for the past 20 years with a lot of research papers to support it?
The well-researched ones are often more pricey because the cost is higher and more investment has gone into it, so I would say that those are actually more expensive. The other thing is also that certain companies would make the implant slightly stronger because they have materials that are stronger.
For example, the normal implants are actually just made of titanium but there are certain brands that include other materials, say like zirconium, and then they fuse it together with titanium. Independent studies have shown that they are actually stronger than the average implant.
So a normal implant, say, has a tensile strength and compressive strength of 5 but when you add zirconium inside, it becomes maybe like 6 or 7. The advantage of the strength, of course, is very obvious, you want the strongest implant ever because you don’t want to crack it.
And the other interesting aspect of strength is that as you have more strength, the implant can go skinnier. As the implant goes skinnier, it actually looks better because it doesn’t show through your bone so much.
The thing about doing aesthetic implants is that there’s more work to be done in order for it to look natural, so you’re paying for that as well. Anybody can stick an implant in, but how do you make it look pretty, how do you make it fit into your face.
So all that planning actually increases the cost because sometimes we have to do gum grafting or soft tissue grafting to make the gums look natural.
So the cost can really vary depending on the implant system, depending on the work put in to make it look nice -- because if it’s the implant behind the teeth, then if it doesn’t look so nice it’s actually okay -- the amount of work to make it look nice and even the amount of bone that needs to be prepared so that the implant can be put in.
So sometimes when people say “my implant costs $10,000”, that’s maybe because the implant costs $5,000 but the other $5,000 was actually spent preparing the site which means using gum grafts to make it look more natural.