Economics of Dental Implants
Implant dentistry is well within the scope and capabilities of the general dental practitioner. Not only can implant dentistry be profitable but this well‐established approach to dental care is often a superior treatment option where a prosthesis is needed by a patient. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth  and significant numbers of Americans would benefit from dental implant treatment [2, 3]. It was estimated back in 2001 that 300 000 to 428 000 endosseous dental implants were placed annually in the U.S., and this statistic was projected to grow at ≈12% annually . In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA)  has stated that five million dental implants are placed each year by dentists in the U.S.
Establishing and building an implant practice does require thought and planning. However, three things can contribute to future success:
- Staff training
- Gaining experience and expertise through continuing education
It is recommended and important to establish a set of procedures that you will offer to patients. After the proper training, the practice should begin to diagnose and create treatment plans for these procedures.
The first phase of implementing dental implant treatment into the general practice starts with diagnosis. As you train your staff and treatment plans are presented, you will start to achieve some case acceptance.
The second phase of implementing dental implant treatment into general practice is execution while gaining expertise and confidence. Your case acceptance will increase with your growing expertise, experience, and confidence.
The third and final phase of implementing dental implant treatment into general practice is when patients come to your office seeking implant therapy. Many times, you may already have placed and restored an implant on these patients, and they have returned for additional implants to be placed. This cycle may take two to three years to accomplish.
Implant dentistry is the standard of care in many situations and the general dentist should not hesitate to provide this much‐needed service if they are comfortable and confident in doing so.
The Dental Implant Practice
Every dental practice is different and there is no “one‐size‐fits‐all” when it comes to running that practice or establishing one that performs dental implants. It goes without saying, practices vary in terms of the number of dentists, staffing, patients, and myriad other factors that contribute to its success, financial and otherwise.
The comments made here are based on a successful multi‐location group of one of the author’s practices in Texas. Office rent, utilities, staffing costs and other overheads will vary with the location and, likewise, laboratory costs and other overhead items will be dependent on the practice, its facilities and location. The cost breakdowns discussed here are specific to this group of practices.
Many of the costs cited below may be specific to laboratory and other fees current in Texas. Further, the group practice also owns CT scanners, together with a large central laboratory, where many items such as osteotomy guides and other facets of treatment are fabricated. These facets of the practice do have a major bearing on the costs of the implant dentistry treatment provided within the author’s practices.
The costs of implant kits and associated armamentarium given here are those for 2020 and may change over next few years, depending on the overall economy and that pertaining to dentistry as a profession.
A general practitioner has a set of procedures that are performed daily. One of these procedures is the single‐tooth crown. It has already been stated (Chapter 6