Evaluating the health economic implications and cost-effectiveness of dental implants: a literature review

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2013 Mar-Apr;28(2):343-56. doi: 10.11607/jomi.2921.


Purpose: To review the available literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of dental implant-supported or -retained prostheses versus tooth-supported fixed partial denture restorations or mucosa-borne conventional complete or partial dentures.

Materials and methods: A systematic literature review of the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted, restricted to studies published in English between November 2000 and November 2010. The searches returned a total of 381 unique hits, and a total of 14 studies on the long-term costs or cost-effectiveness of dental implants were included in the final review. A true systemic review was complicated by the heterogeneity of the conducted studies.

Results: For single-tooth replacement, dental implants were generally either cost saving or cost-effective in comparison with tooth replacement using traditional fixed dental prostheses. For patients with mandibular edentulism, dental implants were associated with higher initial costs in comparison with conventional mucosa-borne dentures. However, the consensus among most studies was that, over the long term, dental implants represent a cost-effective treatment option. Additionally, patient acceptance, satisfaction, and willingness to pay for dental implants were high, particularly in elderly edentulous patients. A trend toward improved overall health and decreased health care costs was also reported.

Conclusions: For single-tooth replacement, a single implant was a cost-effective treatment option in comparison with a traditional three-unit fixed dental prosthesis. For the replacement of multiple teeth, dental implants (fixed or removable prostheses) were associated with higher initial costs but better improvements in oral health-related quality of life compared with other treatment options.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dental Implants / economics
  • Dental Implants, Single-Tooth / economics
  • Dental Prosthesis, Implant-Supported / economics*
  • Denture, Overlay / economics*
  • Denture, Partial, Fixed / economics*
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth, Edentulous / psychology
  • Mouth, Edentulous / rehabilitation
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life


  • Dental Implants