Dental Implants

Parent Q&A

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  • After both my dentist and endodontist recommended that an old, failed tooth with a failed root-canal be extracted, i agreed. They recommended me to an oral surgeon they work with who performed the extraction. Now the extraction site has healed, and the next steps are coming up. I need to get a handle on the cost. The dentists refer me to their staff to talk about the costs. But the staff doesn't tell me the complete story. Do the following charges seem reasonable for good dentists and dental surgeons in the area?

    Extraction plus consult:........................................ $920 (paid)

    Office visit to check extraction site and 3-D xray -. $500 (paid)


    Abutment.and crown............................................$2300



    Hi I am not a dentist, but I have worked in the field for a very long time. 

      If the extraction included "socket preservation" or bone graft then I would agree with the $920.00  Teeth that have been previously treated with root canal therapy require a skilled dentist to perform the extraction because the teeth are often brittle and can break into many pieces.  So the consultation, extraction and bone graft could very well cost that much.  The 3D x-ray is a standard price.  The implant body, abutment and crown vary in price depending on the material.  Also,  the site or tooth number makes a difference in which materials would be best.  Is it a front tooth?  The only concern or point of negotiation I see would be the cost of the implant body itself.   Speak with your dentists office manager,  ask questions about options.  Labs used, types of materials, brands of implants, etc. all make a difference. 

    Hope this helps.  

    I had a single tooth implant two years ago and the total was more like $8000.00.  It's not cheap, but the prices you list are lower than what I paid.

    I think I ended up with more than 7k. It seems almost cheap based upon what I experienced. I am though shocked you are not in such pain that you can still check BPN. When I hda to have that happen, I was pretty much over an unbearable pain barrel....

    I had several dental implants done in the past few years. The cost was about the same as what you are presenting. I’d say it’s pretty average for the Bay Area. You can always find a cheaper doctor but honestly, with something as serious (in the realm of dental work) as implants I would go to a good skilled doctor and just deal with the high cost. 
    If you have dental insurance that covers a little bit you could maximize the benefit by doing some of the work this year and the final crown next year in January. 
    Good luck — I certainly know what it’s like. Been there several times. :( 

    Sadly, that does seem right. As the office manager at my dentist's office says, I have an expensive mouth. I am awaiting my second implant cone. And I have a third tooth that needs to be extracted. The oral surgeon said he's seen a big uptick in extractions since the pandemic. We are all stressed out. And more so with our dental bills! This year we got smart and I am double insured, but last year I only had the terrible UC Dental Dental coverage, so had to pay ~$4,000 out of pocket. Best of luck to you! If the tooth is not in an obvious place, you can always wait to have the implant cone made -- as long as you have the implant placed, there is no rush. Or, you could even decide not to do the implant at all.

    Sounds similar to my recent extraction/implant (2021). Here's a breakdown of mine:

    Extraction plus consult:........................................ $916

    Office visit to check extraction site and 3-D xray -. $309


    Crown/tooth replacement............................................$2,820


    Berkeley-Orinda Oral Surgery for the extraction/implant and Dr. Blaine Honda for crown. Very happy with results. I don't think this is an area where I'd take a chance on cut-rate service. Good luck!

  • Dental implant for root resorption

    (7 replies)

    I found out recently that the root of one of my molars has a resorption (i.e., a rare condition where the tooth is not growing properly and a hole is developing as a result). I’ve talked to a few specialists and the agreement is that I will need an implant once it becomes painful and/or spreads to the bone. I’m also told that either a periodontist or an oral surgeon can place the implant. Looking for recommendations on who should do the procedures, as well as any other pros, cons, advice, and commiseration re: dental implants and tooth resorption! Thanks in advance. 


    I also had this about a year ago (root resorption in a back molar that required tooth removal and an implant), and had the implant done in Walnut Creek (where I live). Mine was quite advanced (I'd been pregnant and so had not received x-rays at my last cleanings), and I had no choice but to remove the tooth immediately, although I was told that it's really best to remove the tooth right away regardless, since the more progressed the resorption becomes, the more difficult the extraction becomes, and the chance of the implant failing also increases due to bone loss. I was happy with the care I received, so glad to recommend for a consult, if that's helpful to you. Or, I'd you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Although I'm just a sample size of one, my impression is that this is a pretty rare condition.

    Good luck, and sorry this happened to you. It was an unpleasant surprise for me, since it was completely painless and I had no idea!

    Best wishes,
    Devon D

    I highly recommend Dr. Mobati at Berkeley-Orinda Oral Surgery. My first implant--and hopefully last I am a huge dental wimp so I was very apprehensive. The procedure was painless (really) and I took Ibuprofin once or twice afterwards. I know my experience may not be typical, but the extraction was painless with little side effects and placing the implant was likewise painless. The two appointments were months apart. Now I  have to find a dentist to make the actual tooth since my dentist retired during all of this!  The only thing painful was the cost. Yikes!

    Sorry for your situation! After postponing x-rays for a few years, my latest indicated a resorption problem that needed to be addressed. I was not experiencing pain and probably would not have noticed until it became an emergency. I preferred to be pro-active. After an exam and 3D imaging, the root canal specialists were not able to confidently advise that a root canal would do the trick, so in mid-October I proceeded to Berkeley-Orinda Oral Surgery for tooth extraction in preparation for implant. The extraction was not nearly as bad as I expected, with substantial local anesthetic and gas to calm nerves. I was able to recover quickly, with only 2 days of tylenol. The stitches come out on their own after a week to 10 days.The clinic was clean and calm and everyone observed safety precautions to the extent possible. I recommend Dr. Mobati. I'm in the healing period prior to implant, so I can't speak to the rest of the procedure, but I can say that the most painful part is not having dental insurance! The entire procedure will be $3,500+. And it's still weird to have a hole where a tooth used to be, makes me more grateful to be wearing a mask! Good luck!

    My husband had this in the front of this mouth.  He worked with an oral surgeon named Dr. Pasquinelli in SF. I'm sure each case is different.  I'm thinking that you should get a consult ASAP and may not want to wait until pain or bone problems.  The better shape that your bone is in, the easier it will be to get an implant.   My husband required a bone graft and that's what ended up requiring several surgeries, waiting for the graft to "take", etc. in order to be able to even get an implant. 

    I have worked with Walnut Creek Prosthodontics for three separate implants over the past several years as well as one about 18 years ago. All are still fine and work well. The procedure is multifaceted and can take up to a year due to several months healing between the stages. The doctors are well-trained and do an excellent job in all respects as they pride themselves on being perfectionists. I have had both molars and front teeth replaced with implants and they all have been successful with no negative side effects. If I needed another one I would use this same practice with no hesitation. Their number is 925-934-5526.

    I didn't have quite the same issue, but needed a replacement dental implant because the first one I got didn't stick and the bone around it was deteriorating. It's a tooth in the front of my. mouth, so I wanted it to look good! I went to Kirk Pasquinelli in SF for a bone graft/implant.The process took more than a year. He's considered the best - he trains other periodontists. But he's also very pricey, doesn't take insurance, and tries to upsell. I went to him for years after the implant, though, and he really took good care of me! Now I see Ryan Horn in Berkeley - he's done some gum grafting for me. He has great chairside manner, takes my insurance, and doesn't upset. But I don't have implant experience w/ him.

    Thank you all for the support and recommendations!! 

  • Teeth Bone Loss Treatment

    (2 replies)

    Hello BPN! It turns out I have been losing the bone under my upper front tooth. My dentist referred me to a periodontist. The periodontist recommended to pull out my healthy front tooth, take bone material from back teeth, add to the front and implant a new tooth in the supplanted bone - a treatment that will take about a year. Has anyone heard or used other possible treatments that would not pull my health tooth out? Do you have any provider recommendations? Thanks so much!!

    I don't have specific info on this - I apologize for that. BUT I have had a implant on a front tooth due to a childhood accident (had a root canal and a cap I used to have to replace every decade until the last bit of the original tooth fell out, leaving nothing for a cap to cover, hence the need for an implant).  I am SO glad you are asking for additional opinions. I would absolutely recommended you first try EVERYTHING before getting rid of an original tooth - unless it is absolutely rotted.  Here is what I found out...

    1. as soon as they remove your tooth to start the implant process, your gum on top of that tooth will pull up - because the implant process takes like 6+ months and there is nothing for the gum to adhere to. So although you'll have temps, your gum won't be able to stick to it (I apologize for the non-technical language) and withdrawal. As it is in the front it left me with an odd gummy look. So my choice was to have an extra big front implant (as I had all this new space on top where the gum used to be) or have the top part of the implant painted pink to match my gum line which is what I did - but trust me you can see that there is something a little odd about my tooth, the eye catches it.  I was so sad they didn't warn me of this complication but in truth I didn't have any other options - except a bridge but because it was a front tooth, I didn't want a bridge and that would have caused the same gum pull-back.

    2. In my case, my dentist recommended I get a veneer on my perfectly good other front tooth - telling me that when they make the implant they will make the veneer and I will have perfectly matching teeth.  I stupidly agreed and found out that the process of making veneers is of course different than implants so they never match, have slightly different colors, shapes and I am now stuck with the upkeep on both teeth - my veneer cracked after 7 years and I had to replace it a couple of years ago, and while I was on a trip. Now I am always worried about when it will crack next.

    This was a dentist I had gone to for a long time and trusted. I have now learned to NEVER get rid of a tooth that is working, particularly a front tooth. I suppose a different one wouldn't have been nearly as traumatic. But it should be a last ditch solution when nothing else works and it is a health crisis. If I were you I would try any and every thing, even alternative things about the bone loss - I don't know what they may be. But for example, is it really that bad? can one just live with the bone loss? As surely most of us in our 50s have it. What else can one do about it? do you do preventative things like daily oil-pulling (weird I know but very effective in keeping your mouth healthier - have no idea about bone loss but if mouth is healthier than it might help a little) or ANYTHING to put it off - who knows, maybe in another 5 to 10 years you will have more alternatives.

    For your dentist, it's just another day at the office. But for you, you'll live with their recommendations for the rest of your life, so don't rush into it. Of course I don't know your whole situation, I just through I'd give you my 2 cents from my experience.

    I really like my periodontist Keith Chertok in Berkeley. 

  • Upper front dental implants

    (4 replies)

    I need to have a central upper tooth pulled and replaced by an implant. This is a challenging case because the neighboring tooth is also an implant. I've been told that it's very difficult to place back to back implants in the front of the mouth and achieve nice looking results.  If you happen to have an implant in this area of the mouth and are happy with it aestetically and functionally – could you please recommend your doctor(s)? I need someone very experienced and very skilled. Willing to travel to San Francisco. Thank you!

    I had a broken front tooth and got veneers front and center. I did have two done at once, because the dentist told me it would be difficult to do just one and have it match the other.  I'm very happy with them.  My dentist is Claude Sidi, in SF at 450 Sutter, Suite 1819, phone 415 391 9748. If you see him for a consult, I'm sure he will be honest and realistic with you about what he could do for you.   

    My implant (eye tooth in front of mouth) was done by Kirk Pasquinelli in SF - he's top notch and teaches a lot of area periodontists about new techniques. But he's very pricey & doesn't take insurance (though they'll help you bill for reimbursements, I think). If you are very concerned and have the funds, I highly recommend.

    If you would like to have another opinion on your implant questions I can highly recommend Dr. Curtis Barmby in Walnut Creek at 925-934-5526. My wife and I have been going to him for over 25 years with all our dental problems including crowns. bridges and implants. He is very knowledgeable and a real perfectionist in his practice. When I was recently faced with the possibility of another implant he suggested several alternatives. However, I chose the implant as the others he fit for me had been doing very well.

    I had 3 broken front teeth and had Tom Jow, DDS replace them.  He did a fantastic job with these front teeth caps. I couldn't recommend him highly enough.

    After 15 years, the middle of the 3 broke and he advised me to replace all three as it would have been hard to match the color to the other 2.  So I would concur with the prior poster about replacing all of them at once for the best crown color match.

    Tom Jow, DDS, 450 Sutter St, Suite 2525, SF   (415) 392-5300

  • Dental implant

    (1 reply)

    I have had a problem with a crown staying on a tooth and my dentist recommende I have  the tooth pulled and get a dental implant. I have only had one cavity in all my life and never any problem like this so I am a bit concerned. My questions- have you had a dental implant? Did  it work out as planned? Do you recommend your oral surgeon and decision? The oral surgeon I was referred to is Dr. McDonald in pinole.

    Full disclosure: I have practiced as a dental hygienist for over 30 years. I have seen several patients who have dental implants (and work in an office where the DDS does implants). The majority of patients I see usually say the experience was not as bad as they thought it was going to be. It usually takes several months for the entire process since the bone needs to integrate around the implant but sometimes immediate placement can be done upon extraction of the tooth. Your dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist will let you know what is best for your case.
    I have seen a couple of implants of Dr McDonald's and there were no complications as far as I can remember. I had Dr McDonald extract my daughter's wisdom teeth and was very happy with the results. She had no issues and was not super drowsy when she left the office.
    Good luck with your situation.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Need 2 dental implants

July 2012

I need two dental implants and my dentist recommended Dr. Adel Khalil. If anyone has used him for implants can you please give me any feedback...positive or not. I am also open to suggestions of other dentist who did a good job and were resonably priced as my insurance does not cover implants:( Thanks very much

Just now recovering from implant surgery done today, I only have good things to say about Dr. Khalil. Mine was one with some complications (condition I had going into it), and I felt in very good hands. The procedure went well, and am recovering. The Dr. called me this afternoon to check in and answer questions. My dentist, who I trust greatly, had recommended him. Dr. Khalil holds an MD as well as DDS degree. I hope your procedure goes well and you heal quickly, Anon

Dental Implant - Clear Choice or other rec?

Jan 2011

Can anyone recommend a great dentist for a dental implant? I've read some older posts on BPN, but would like more current info. I am about to have a consultation with Clear Choice Dental in Oakland. I am missing a top front incisor tooth (#7 I think). Can anyone offer any recommendations or share their related experience? dentally wary

Hi there, I had a very good experience getting an implant (front tooth) about 2 years ago. The oral surgeon I used was Dr. Pia Lodburg, 2999 Regent Street, Ste.403, 510- 843-6341. She actually pulled the dead tooth and did the implant. Dr. Seymour Kurtz, 1313 Gilman Street, Ste.8, 510-526-7548 built a flipper (for when the implant was healing) and the crown. It's not uncommon to have to go to two separate people for this kind of work - the key is to make sure they're coordinated. Dr. Lodburg and Dr. Kurtz have done implants together before and work well together. While it's definitely not the most fun process (it can take up to 6 months for the implant/crown process to be completed), I found both of these doctors very respectful and honest about the process. I liked them both and would go back to them for other serious work if necessary. Good luck! Lili

I didn't see the original posting so I don't know if this is responsive. I have had implant surgery. I am congenitally missing two front teeth and struggled with Marilyn bridges for ~ 20 years (they would fail and have to be replaced). The last time one of my bridges failed, the state of implant technology had improved to the extent that implants were small enough to replace my bridges (I have a very small jaw - the small spaces required the new micro-implants) so I opted for implants. I also opted to have Dr. Pia Lodberg (oral surgeon) put in the implants and to have Dr. Seymour Kurtz (dentist) create and install the crowns. I would highly recommend both of them as they are very experience with implants and very professional. I did not find the implant surgery to be too painful and healed quickly. As soon as I finished the entire process, I was flooded with a sense of relief. I was not conscious of the background level of anxiety I had previous carried related to the uncertainty about when my Marilyn bridges would fail.

FWIW, I really respect my previous dentist for admitting that he did not feel comfortable working on dental implants for front teeth because the aesthetics are so important. Happy with my implants

Highly skilled dentist for Implant

Feb 2008

I would like to ask recommendations regarding the implant of my molar. The lower molar (#18) cracked, and an endodontist told me that root canal cannot fix the problem and the tooth needs to be extracted. I would like to ask for recommendations for dentists (prosthodontists) who are specialized in dental implant. I saw that Dr. Maggie Chao is a prosthodontist. Is there anybody who did implant from her lately? I don't have dental insurance, so I am considering an option to sue UCSF School of dentistry as well, if they are as good as other specialists. I would like to ask any information about extraction/implant surgery practice at UCSF. Thank you for your help! anon

I had an quite positive experience with a recent implant done by Janice Lee, MD, DDS at UCSF School of Dentistry Oral and Maxofacial Surgery clinic (415-476-3242). Because they are a teaching clinic and have residents in training, they may offer reduced fees for services performed by residents and supervised by faculty. I know in their general dental clinics they have separate clinics for faculty practice and student. I always have used the faculty practice because my insurance covers it. I understand the student clinics, open to the public, cost about 50% less. UCSF has been the top ranked US dental school for over a decade. David

I didn't see the original post, but periodontist Kirk Pasquinelli in SF is your guy. He's an amazing surgeon, and in my opinion, the best in the Bay Area. He did two implants for my front two teeth, where there was little room and the implants had to be very precise. He also did a bone and gum graft at the same time, and I felt no pain afterwards. I didn't even have to fill the pain killer prescription. But the amazing thing is that he performed a miracle where others said I had no chance of implants. His number is 415.781.7147. Check him out on too. Got my front two teeth again

I am an active professional in the dental field and in my opinion, John Kwan is the only doctor to see for an implant. He is a wonderful periodontist which means he knows about the gum and bone into which your implant will be placed, key to it's success. His office is on Telegraph and Alcatraz..510-547-1300. Our office works with him and we share patients so I have seen his work over and over he is a great guy!! andrea

Tooth implant problems & alternatives?

Nov 2007

Hi, I have a front tooth that has had two root canals jobs (the tooth walls are thin now) and the crown glued back in place too many times to count. Several dentists have suggested an replacement with an implanted false tooth. I have heard from my mother in law that implants occasionally are rejected by the gums and create worse problems, has any one experienced an implant recently and know something about this. Are there alternatives in material or treatment? Any suggestions from knowledgeable consumers of dental services would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance for your help on this. Anonymous

I think I must be the queen of ''mouth/teeth issues''...Though I have never had an implant,here is what my former DDS (who was also an acupuncturist) told me (and others have as well). According to the Chinese Acupuncture system, an implant (as well as root canal) interrupts the meridians (energy pathways) that run thru the jaw. Interrupting that flow can be a trigger to various health problems. It seems a reasonable solution to your problem is to get a bridge. A bridge is a false tooth that fills the space and is attached to the two teeth on either side with crowns. Bridges are strong,look like your teeth and if you don't chomp on walnut shells, last a long long time. I've had a bridge on an upper tooth that I lost probably 20 years ago. It's still fine. I just got another bridge for 4 teeth I had to have pulled (I have periodontal disease). It looks better than my original teeth did and is very comfortable. Not cheap though!!! but I imagine an implant isn't either. Good luck. anon

My dentist said: Implants are the best alternative to missing teeth. Yes, there is a risk for implants to get rejected by the body but this is not a common occurence. Once the implant is integrated, it lasts for a long time. The second option for replacing a missing tooth is a bridge which is not ideal as more teeth have to be cut to hold the face tooth.

How was your dental implant?

Oct 2007

There is some information in the archives about dental implants but it is from 2003. I'm hoping for updated information. Has anyone had an implant? How was it? How much is it? Do you have a recommendation for a good doctor? Thank you, Molly

I recommend Dr. Scott Keith, who is a board certified specialist focusing on dental implant surgery and restoration of teeth in Walnut Creek. He has extensive educational background and experience in placing implants (4 years of dental school at UCSF plus 3 years of residency at Baylor Medical and 2 years of surgical fellowship at Harvard University) and also lectures internally to other specialists on dental implants. His patients come from all over the world for dental implants.

My understanding is that implant surgery is a definitive procedure and cannot be reversed once the implants are put in so I recommend seeking advice from a board certified specialist who has done a significant number of implants (ideally over 500).

My mother recently was treated by Dr. Keith and had a very pleasant experience and was highly satisfied with her dental implants in 3 of her back teeth.

Very satisfied patient

Bridge or Dental implants?

December 2003

I need advice about dental implants. How long do they last and how do they compare to bridges? My insurance will cover 50% of the bridge but nothing on the implant. I am concerned that the bridge would require shaving down the two surrounding teeth. Wouldn't that result in the eventual loss of those teeth as well? Can anyone recommend a good dental implant dentist--should he or she be a board certified specialist in implants? Thanks for any help you can give me. Cindy

I will be having implant surgery on Jan. 20. The reason I am having it, as opposed to a bridge, is because of the factor you mention - the bridge would put wear and tear on the two teeth on either side. I clench my teeth a lot. A bridge for me could result in the eventual loss of the two teeth on both sides. A good question to ask your denist and any specialists - if this were your mouth what would you do and why. My surgery will be with Dr. John Kwan (510 547 1300). I have had one meeting with him and was very, very impressed with his interactions with me. If you want me to tell you about my experience with the implant operation - please just send me an email after Jan 20th and I will let you know. I don't know how long implants last compared to bridges, but I know they do last longer. Best of luck to you. margo

October 2003

My partner has been offered the choice between a bridge and dental implant. We are leaning towards the implant, even though it's not covered by insurance (bah!)because it seems better for the health of her teeth. Has anyone had this sort of thing done? Anything we should know about it? Is it long, painful? What's the healing time like? Since the tooth was removed about two weeks ago we have some time to decide, but something needs to be done by January. Thanks Samantha

I recently had a dental implant done and it was the easiest most painless dental work I've ever experienced. The extraction of the permanent molar was a lot worse. In fact, I can't wait for the day when dental implants will be the procedure of choice instead of root canals and bridges. The dental surgeon that performed the implant had probably a lot to do with how smoothly it went. I saw Dr. Krey of Bloom, Berger and Krey in Berkeley. They are EXCELLENT. After four months of letting the implant set, I visited my dentist (Dr. Nakahara at Nakarahara, Grisantie and Sie - also SUPERIOR dental service) about two days ago, to get the implant location prepared and fitted for a replacement tooth and crown. Again, all really painless and easy. I would go for an implant again if the situation arose again. A bridge is far too inconvenient to manage and the possibility of compromising surrounding teeth, if a very strict regimen of cleaning below the bridge is not followed, is very high (in my opinion). Please email me if you want to discuss further. Edna

Samantha - I am in the same dilemma, and looking for a dentist I can trust to carry out the work. There's an advice board that I've found useful about this question (deciding between bridge and implant) at:

There are contributions from various cosmetic dentists as well as many patients, and your question comes up again and again - so you may find some relevant discussion. One person there said that implants are rocket science, bridges a thing of the past. I tend to think that bridges are less scary, and perhaps less likely to fail. If the teeth next door to the gap are heavily filled a bridge may be best, as one of the disadvantages of a bridge is that you need to prepare the adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Yet some people who have implants love them. One thing a dentist said to me is that there is not much option left if an implant fails, whereas with a bridge you can always go to an implant later. The technology is constantly improving. I just wish that I could grow a third brand new set of teeth! Or that the stem cell people would get going on teeth...oh well. Good luck, and I hope you make a good decision. Hope this helps - there's a lot of discussion on this topic on that message board. Janice

I have a few close friends who are dentists and dental sub-specialists; they all say, unanimously, that they wouldn't have an upper implant done (gives rise to a host of greater complications--abcesses, infections to the brain, etc.)--but that they would, in the hands of someone very competent, have a lower implant done. They recommend going over to UCSF Dental school, as private clinic patients, and having your implant work done. As well, lower implants can give rise to jaw damage. Goo
More inclined to having a bridge, at this point

I had an implant done about 8 years ago. It wasn't covered by insurance, but I chose to have it done anyway, for several reasons: (1) the tooth is very visible--one of my top front teeth (#9, for dental buffs)--and having one ''fake'' tooth instead of 3 (which is what you'd get with a bridge) is more natural looking and easier to hide; (2) my dad happens to have a bridge in the same location, and it looks terrible, has given him problems (which I believe are related to the difference between implants and bridges); (3) having a bridge done involves grinding down 2 perfectly fine other teeth (one on each side of the gap) to anchor the bridge, and I just don't think that's a good idea; (4) a good time to do it is when you're young and healthy and have very dense bone; (5) here's the biggie--I was young and single, had a good job, and knew I could afford to do it.

Here's what I went through, to the best of my recollection. I had the root of the old tooth extracted. Waited for that to heal (can't remember how long, but at least a period of a few months). Had surgery to put the titanium stud (to anchor the implant) in my jawbone. This was definitely the worst step-- much more involved than I thought it would be (I think I had as many as 20 stitches, yes, all in my mouth--yuck). Waited for the incision to heal, bone to regrow around the stud, then had minor surgery to attach socket to stud (to poke through gum so crown could be attached)... I think this was at least 6 mos. later. A couple of months after that, the crown was attached (after many, many visits to the dental lab to make sure the crown looked just like my other teeth). All told, it took over a year from start to finish.

My advice... shop around for absolutely the best and most honest dentists you can find, who do lots of these procedures. Not everyone has the right bone for implants... I have a friend with failed implants, and it's expensive and aggravating. The worst step was having the stud put in--the rest is relatively minor. I would say it's kind of on a par with having your wisdom teeth removed. Try to get your painkillers before the surgery, so you can take them as soon as necessary after surgery (instead of waiting, drooling, and throbbing in a pharmacy like I did). One thing, though, is that you have to take scrupulous care of the gum around the tooth forever afterward (but you'd have to do the same with the bridge, and it'd be more difficult/more annoying); this is not a place where you want to encourage gingivitis.

I'm really, really glad that I chose to do the implant over the bridge. It looks great, and it was worth every penny. Kristine

I got a dental implant to replace my front tooth about seven years ago and have been almost completely satisfied. I chose the implant because I would have had to ruin the two neighboring teeth to attach the bridge and I didn't like the idea of going from one damaged tooth to three. The process is long but relatively painless, though you will get very used to getting shots of Novacaine. I had to use a retainer with a tooth on it since my missing tooth was so visible. That was the most annoying part of the process, made much worse when I lost the thing while my dentist was on vacation and had to go a week with no front tooth. I seem to remember all the phases of waiting for the bone to grow, etc taking about a year or more. I am happy with the result and would definitely recommend it. The only downside is that your gum pulls away from the implant so your gum line looks kind of odd and that your implant color will not change with your other teeth. Mine have changed slightly and so the implant now does not match perfectly. I could get this fixed but don't quite need to yet. But I can eat anything and not worry about the implant at all. Good luck! Sally

I would highly recommend getting an implant vs a bridge. I am almost finished with the process and this is after 2 1/2 years! In my case, I had some significant bone damage on my front tooth and it took 2 bone grafts to build up the area so that I can get the implant placed. This was an unusal situation. I believe that most implants take about 6 months to a year. The reason I chose this over a bridge is the atrophy that will result from the lack of root structure in the area. I former co-worker had a bridge on her front tooth and it was very apparent that she had some distortion going on in her mouth. Plus I was not so fond of ruining two perfectly healthy teeth when fitting the bridge. Did I complain about the length of time this took?...yes! Did I hate having to give up crunchy foods for 2 plus years?...yes! Am I sad that I can never bite into an apple again?...somewhat! Did I hate having to wear a flipper and be toothless in public?...YES! But..was it all worth it in the end?...YES! YES! YES! please feel free to contact me via email if you want additional info good luck! Amy

Cost of dental implants

Feb 2003

I have recently been quoted a price of about $2400 for dental implant surgery for a single tooth. This is just for the implant surgery itself and doesn't include the cost of the implant- supported crown, or the temporary tooth, or x-rays etc.( Of course none of this is covered by my insurance.) Has anyone who has had experience with implants tell me if this is a reasonable amount? Thanks!

I had dental implant surgery on my lower right molar about four years ago and it cost me $2,000. So I do believe the price you have been quoted is probably true to form. The Periodontist I went to was able to pass some of the fees along to insurance based on some bone problems that he discovered in my jaw. Unfortunately, the balance was charged to me. However, the office was able to put me on a payment plan and I made my payments on a monthly basis to their office. It was very reasonable. I would be happy to give you his name and number if you would like to give him a visit. They are very sympathatic about the fact that this NECCESSARY surgery is tragically not covered by insurance. By the way, my first implant failed, (probably because they discovered that I grind my teeth at night) and this Periodontist replaced the fist implant a year later at no charge to me or my health plan! He is absolutly wonderful! Julie

Hi, I paid $2,000 for my dental implant. Yes, this does not include the crown and such. Expensive but oh so worth it. Dr. Kwan on Telegraph -- wonderful dentist. Lisa

It sounds like $2,400 for the cost of one implant placement is on the higher end but keep in mind that most insurance companies don't cover dental implants. You may want to get a consultation from another specialist to compare treatment options. I would recommend Dr. Scott Keith, who is specialized in dental implants and served on faculty at Harvard before establishing his practice in SF and Walnut Creek. The phone number is (415) 776- 4040 to reach either office. Lori