Dental implants are becoming as commonplace as dentures and bridges, with some added benefits.  Implants are implanted into your jaw and actually fuse to the bone, which prevents bone loss.  They are easy to care for and look natural.  However, dental implants are significantly more expensive than a bridge and most types of insurance do not cover the procedure.  Do not get discouraged, though, because you may be able to get the procedure done safely for a much cheaper price.   

You could be a teaching tool!

A great dentist doesn't become a great dentist by reading text books and practicing on dolls.  A huge part of a dentist's education involves hands-on practice on real patients while in dental school.  If you are willing to be used as a teaching tool, you might be able to get your dental implant(s) at a huge discount!

There will be some requirements.

You can't just walk into a dental school and order up a dental implant.  It is likely that the dental school will have a screening process, which could involve a fee.  This screening process will determine whether or not you are a good candidate to receive the procedure from their facility.  Most schools are looking for people who fit a certain description to meet their needs.  You will likely need to be healthy, have good bone remaining in your jaw and have an overall healthy mouth.  They may also be looking to work on only specific teeth.  If you don't meet their criteria, the dental school might refer you to a higher level dental school who could use you. 

The benefits of using a dental school for your implants.

The goal of a dental school is to teach the procedure.  Since you are helping them, and they are helping you, the cost of your dental implants will be less than if you just got the procedure done in an office setting.  This benefit alone is reason enough for some people to choose this option.

Since the students are learning by practicing on you, they will not be experts.  However, they will be supervised by professionals in the dental field.  All work that is done on you will be monitored and double checked, which doesn't typically occur when you get the work done in the office.

Dental implants take time.

The process of receiving dental implants is a long one, regardless of where you go.  The appointments may be lengthy, there is a recovery period between each step of the process, and it takes multiple appointments to finish.  When you are working with students, this process may be even more drawn out. 

Remember, with this option you are being used as a teaching tool.  The student working on you will likely be cautious and slower moving than an experienced dentist.  The supervisor will also be watching and instructing the student, which will add time.  If the work isn't perfect, the student may have to correct it and do it again, which adds time but also ensures a great finished product!

For more information, check out dentists such as Carpenter Dental, Charles M. Carpenter DMD, and Chas M. Carpenter DMD.