Missing teeth can often cause speech impediments and discomfort while eating. Dentures are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth. Dentists use materials that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. False teeth are also a great way to enhance your smile and retain oral function.
According to Statista, almost 41 million people in the United States have dentures. Investing in your teeth is an excellent commitment to make.
Denture prices vary, and there are many ways to pay for complete dentures. Factors such as location, materials, and type of dentures can affect total costs. Thankfully there are many ways to supplement the costs of dentures.
So, how much do dentures cost? This post will discuss how much dentures cost, types of conventional dentures, dental insurance, and how to care for your dentures.
What are dentures?
Dentures are prosthetic devices custom-made to fit your mouth. Dentures are fixed or removable teeth, also known as "false teeth," created to address missing teeth. They replace all or remaining teeth that may be missing.
Full dentures create a beautiful entire smile and support and retain facial muscles and structure. Dentures can also make daily habits such as engaging with your peers more enjoyable since they can boost your confidence.
Dentures are sturdy and made out of antimicrobial composite materials. Modern technology has improved tremendously. Today's dentures closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth. They're made out of durable, long-lasting materials and are molded to fit inside your mouth comfortably.
Who needs dentures?
Everyone's goal is to retain their natural teeth. However, often due to physical trauma, genetics, and age, it's normal for dental patients to need complete dentures if they have missing teeth.
People lose their teeth due to age, harmful lifestyle habits such as smoking, drug usage, excessive alcohol consumption, diseases, and certain medications.
According to WebMD, some of the most significant factors for tooth loss are poor dental care, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, gum disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Many patients may also have missing teeth due to sports injuries, car accidents, or periodontal disease. Patients may need dentures on their upper or lower jaw.
Candidates with many missing teeth are most in need of dentures. Visiting your dental office will help you determine the cost of dentures and if they're right for you. Your dentist may recommend dentures or dental implants, depending on your situation.
Types of Dentures
There are six common types of dentures, and they all have different costs associated with them. There are removable dentures, fixed dentures, partial dentures, implant-retained dentures, and immediate dentures.
Below is more information on each type of denture.
Traditional 'full' dentures
Traditional dentures, also known as full dentures, are designed for people missing all of their teeth. These are a set of dentures that 'pop in' and 'out' of the mouth. These dentures allow you to speak, eat, and smile confidently. They also support your facial structure and help prevent that 'sunken in' appearance.
Traditional dentures are removable and need to be cleaned daily. These are usually the most affordable dentures.
Some patients opt for a partial denture. Unlike complete dentures, a partial denture is made for those with remaining teeth that they want to keep. There are two types of partial dentures listed below.
Removable partial dentures
A removable prosthesis can be taken out and put back in. These dentures attach to the remaining natural teeth with special attachments. They can be removed and cleaned as well.
Fixed partial dentures
Fixed partial dentures are non-removable appliances. Unfortunately, removable dentures can fall out at times when a person is eating. Some patients rather not stress about that and opt for a partial denture that is permanently fixed. Wearing removable dentures can be stressful when eating certain foods, such as burgers or sticky foods. This is why many patients prefer permanent dentures.
A snap-on denture is an implant-supported denture that the patient can take on and off. Titanium posts are placed in the mouth as sturdy anchor points for the dentures. Snap-on dentures provide an extra measure of security than basic dentures. The patient can feel confident and secure that the dentures won't fall out in the middle of a conversation or when eating a meal.
Full mouth dental implants
Full mouth dental implants replace missing teeth on the upper or lower jaw. Instead of getting individual implants, an arch of teeth is secure with four to six implant posts per jaw to fix existing teeth. All-on-4 or All-on-6 dental implants also restore missing teeth.
These types of implants are more cost-effective and have a faster recovery time. However, compared to traditional dentures, they are considered premium dentures since they are fixed inside the mouth. You can't take off these dentures once the implant specialist places them. These dentures cost the most of all types of dentures.
Same-day dentures, also known as immediate dentures, are for those who want their dentures as soon as possible. This procedure removes possible tooth extractions and places the dentures on the same day. Patients walk out wearing dentures after a few hours. These are often used if a patient has had tooth extractions that need to heal. Same-day dentures may also be temporary teeth until your permanent dentures are ready.
How much do dentures cost?
So, how much do dentures cost? Several factors affect the cost of dentures. The price starts to stack up if you need teeth extracted, the type of denture material matters, denture design, and anesthesia.
Low-cost and higher-end dentures have their pros and cons. Here are some of the ballpark costs of dentures.
Typical denture costs:
- Basic low cost dentures | $500 - $1,000
- Mid-range dentures | $1,000 - $3,000
- Premium dentures | $4,000 - $8,000
- Dental implants (All-on-4) | $15,000 and above
Affordable dentures are usually made out of cheaper materials. They may not look as natural as high-quality dentures and they won't last as long.
Factors that affect the cost of dentures
Having multiple teeth extracted for dentures can also add up the total cost. Especially if certain teeth require surgical extraction. Surgical extractions are a more expensive and complex procedure.
The materials used for dentures also determine the price. If you want your full denture set to look more natural, it'll be more expensive. Dentures are commonly made out of acrylic resin, nylon, porcelain, plastic, or metal. If you go with fixed dentures or snap-in dentures, the cost of additional hardware will affect the price.
Porcelain dentures are more expensive but they're also the most durable and simulate the look of natural teeth effectively.
You may need general or local anesthesia for necessary dental procedures. You'll likely need a local anesthetic if you're getting snap-in dentures or full mouth dental implants. Your insurance may cover a portion of this.
You may need a deep cleaning before getting your dentures. This will help ensure that bacteria doesn't get into your remaining teeth and gums once you're given your conventional dentures or permanent (fixed dentures). Thankfully, most dental insurance plans cover two cleanings per year so you may save on out-of-pocket costs.
X-rays and CT scans
X-rays and CT scans also add to the dentures cost. Most insurances cover x-rays but not all cover CT scans. CT scans help the oral specialist see the nerves and teeth placement in more detail.
Where you live can also affect the cost of dentures. Expect higher prices in metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Dental procedures range in price across different states. Prices tend to be more affordable in suburban areas and smaller cities.
Type of dentures
Implant retained dentures will cost more than removable dentures. Surgically fixed dentures require more materials and provide similar stability to natural teeth.
Ways to pay for dentures
While your dental insurance may cover a modest to generous portion of the cost of dentures, you'll likely be responsible for substantial out-of-pocket expenses. Here are some ways that you can supplement denture costs.
CareCredit is a healthcare financing service that enables patients to pay for medical and dental expenses. It's an option for expenses not covered by dental insurance. As long as you make the minimum monthly payments and pay the full amount within a certain time frame, you won't be charged interest.
You're given a personal credit card that you can use at most dental offices. A perk is that you can also build your credit while you pay for your dental care.
Affordable dental care is available through a dental school. They're a popular option for many patients looking to save money. A dental student provides patient care at a reduced cost under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
Aspiring dental students have an opportunity to learn a new procedure and provide these services at a lower cost. Rest assured that every step is monitored by a professor so you're in good hands.
Expect procedures to take longer than they would in a dentist's office since the student is learning. A dental procedure that normally takes two hours may take three or four at a dental school. To find a dental school near you, visit the American Dental Association website for a list of schools near you. Most schools are located in larger cities.
A dental savings plan can help you supplement the dentures cost. Discounted dental savings plans allow you to save money and give you access to a network of dentists. Members can get discounts on dental procedures and services. Check with your dentist's office first to ensure they accept your plan.
Some dental offices may also offer in-office payment plans.
If you don't have dental insurance through your employer, getting your own insurance can help you save on the overall cost. Dentures worth $5,000 or more may be partially covered by an insurance dental plan.
Delta Dental is a popular provider of affordable dental plans. It doesn't matter which provider you go with, most have budget-friendly monthly payments and low office visit copays. Acquiring your own insurance can help you save on the cost of dentures.
Government programs and grants
There are various government programs that may help with dentures cost. Some programs provide grants or discounts for senior citizens, low-income households, and disabled people. Research organizations in your area that offer denture grants. By applying, you may be able to get free dental care assistance. There are even free dental implant programs. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of dentures.
There are also community health centers and clinical trials that can offer subsidized dental services.
How to care for your dentures
Now that you have your dentures, you'll need to care for them. The tips below apply mostly to removable dentures. If you have fixed dentures, ask your dentist how to care for your new permanent teeth.
You'll want to remove and clean your dentures daily to keep your mouth healthy. This will also help keep dentures white and free of stains. Dental professionals recommend that you take your dentures out at night to also let your gums breathe and promote healthy gum tissue.
Soak dentures in solution
Soak your dentures in a cleaning solution overnight. This will help keep them moist and comfortable. It'll also help the dentures keep their shape. Ask your dentist for recommendations on what solutions to use and how to store your dentures properly. Your dentist may be able to give you a sample solution. You can also buy solution tablets that dissolve in water and are specifically made to clean dental hardware.
Use a denture brush
Invest in a good denture brush. A soft-bristled denture brush can clean hard-to-reach places on dentures. They come in a different shape than regular toothbrushes and are ergonomic. You can easily find a brush you like on Amazon or at Walmart.
Stay away from abrasive cleaning materials and bleaching products. Bleach can change the color of dentures and ruin the material they're made out of. Stiff brushes and harsh cleansers can ruin your basic dentures. You'll also want to avoid whitening toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide can damage your dentures. You'll also want to avoid using hot or boiling water to retain shape. Schedule regular dental checkups to keep your oral health in good condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does dental insurance cover dentures?
Dental insurance may cover 30% to 50% of costs depending on your plan. Most traditional dental insurance policies consider dentures a major procedure that is necessary. Dentures are necessary for oral health and proper eating function.
You'll have to pay for out-of-pocket costs that the insurance doesn't cover. Your dental office will outline how much you need to pay and cover the insurance company. Many affordable dental plans online with budget-friendly monthly payments and low deductibles. Explore and compare plants online.
How much do dentures cost without insurance?
Without insurance, lower to mid-range dentures cost $600 to $2,000. High-end fixed dentures can cost over $10,000. As mentioned before, many factors influence costs, such as location, tooth extractions, materials used, and oral health.
What are the alternatives to dentures?
If you aren't missing many teeth, you may be a good candidate for dental implants or a bridge. Dental implants are used to replace one tooth at a time. A bridge can also be an alternative if you're missing a few teeth in the same area. A dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth that is held in place by crowns, teeth, or dental implants. There are also overdentures which are held in place with special dental glue and remaining teeth. Ask your dentists about alternatives if you're not interested in dentures.
Are individual dental implants more expensive?
Individual implants are more expensive if you need to replace multiple missing teeth. If you're missing a full mouth of teeth you're better off going with All-on-4 dental implants or complete dentures. Those are designed to replace a full lower and upper arch of teeth.
The recovery time for individual implants also takes longer since you'd be inserting more titanium posts into your mouth. It takes time for the bone and gum to fully heal.
To prevent needing dentures later in life, practice good oral hygiene. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. An antibacterial mouthwash will also help keep your teeth and gums clean. You'll also want to avoid harmful oral habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, and eating sugary foods. You'll also want to schedule routine dental cleanings to fight cavities and gingivitis. Doing your part can help you avoid dentures and dental problems down the line.
However, even for those who practice excellent oral health care, it's natural for people to lose their teeth with age and need dentures eventually. Thankfully, there are many price tiers and types of dentures to suit your needs. There are several ways to cover the cost of dentures so you can feel confident about your smile. Taking care of your dentures will ensure they also last for a long time.