What are Dentures?
Dentures, sometimes called false teeth, are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth. For patients with missing teeth, wearing dentures can make speaking and eating easier.
If you also have jawbone loss, dentures or partials can significantly impact your appearance and improve confidence. They substantially reduce facial wrinkles and make you appear younger.
Dentures are made of a composite material that resists bacteria and breakage. The framework may be made of acrylic, resin, or a mixture of resin-based material with metal attachments.
False teeth are usually made of porcelain or ceramic (glass-like), which closely resemble natural tooth enamel.
Dentures are 'false teeth' that replace some or all missing teeth in a patient's mouth. They are natural-looking, durable, and come in many different forms.
Types of Dentures
Forty-one million Americans wore dentures in 2020.
Common types of dentures include:
- Full dentures — also called complete or conventional dentures, a full set of dentures is best for patients missing all of their teeth.
- Partial dentures (removable) — best for patients who have some remaining teeth or for those who prefer a removable option. A removable partial denture attaches to the natural teeth with devices called precision attachments.
- Partial dentures (fixed) — best for patients missing some teeth and those who prefer a non-removable option
- Implant -retained dentures (snap-in) — another type of complete dentures, snap-in dentures are best for patients who are missing all of their teeth and need added retention. Dental implants provide an anchorage for the teeth to connect to when they are in the mouth.
- Immediate dentures — best for patients who want their teeth extracted and dentures installed the same day.
How Much Do Dentures Cost Without Insurance?
Without insurance, a low-cost denture costs between $300 and $500 or $600 to $1,000 for a complete set.
The total cost of dentures also depends on:
- The type of prosthesis needed
- The cost of possible tooth extractions
- The cost of immediate dentures until the permanent dentures are ready for wear
- The cost of follow-up appointments for adjustments as needed
Affordable dentures are usually cold cured. They are temporary solutions because of the lower-quality materials used. These dentures are also typically not as natural-looking as higher-quality, more expensive dentures.
For mid-priced dentures, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,500 per denture or about $1,000 to $3,000 for a complete set.
For the highest quality dentures or dentures that require extractions and customization, expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 per denture or about $4,000 to $8,000 for a complete set.
How Much Do Dentures Cost With Insurance?
Most dental insurers consider dentures a major procedure and will cover 50 percent of the cost. You will pay the remaining balance out-of-pocket.
Those with dental insurance can expect to pay between $250 and $2,000 per denture or $500 to $4,000 for a complete set.
For patients with dental insurance, the dental clinic will provide an appropriate dental walk-out statement and discuss any out-of-pocket costs.
Without insurance, dentures cost between $300 (low-cost dentures) and $8,000 (highest quality dentures with customization). Some insurance plans cover up to 50% of the cost.
How Much Do Dentures Cost With Medicaid or Medicare?
The cost of dentures with Medicaid or Medicare depends on where the patient is located.
Medicaid is federally administered, but each state has its own version, with specific coverages and guidelines.
Even if it isn’t covered, patients may get help through grants for dentures and other resources.
Factors That Affect Denture Costs
Here are some factors that can influence the cost of dentures:
- How many teeth need to be replaced — complete dentures cost more than partial dentures.
- Where your dentist is located — dentists located in busy cities typically cost more than those in suburban areas.
- The type of denture and how it is secured — surgically implanted dentures cost more than regular dentures.
- The type of denture material used — porcelain dentures cost more because they are natural-looking, durable, and last the longest.
Other Ways to Pay for Dentures
Other popular ways to pay for dentures include:
Discount Dental Plan
Also called dental savings plans, discount dental plans are an affordable, flexible alternative to traditional dental insurance.
Discount dental plans give you access to a network of dentists who provide discounted rates to plan members.
With a dental savings plan, you can expect to pay just $625 for a full upper denture.
Patients considering a discount dental plan for dentures should consult with their dental office about which discount plans they accept.
Some dental practices offer financing options for dentures, including payment plans or credit cards. An in-house payment plan allows you to pay off your bills in increments.
Some offices offer financing through a medical credit card like CareCredit, which you can use to cover treatment costs.
Dental schools offer reduced-cost dental care, including dentures. The procedures are performed by dentists in training.
Many government programs offer grants for dentures for seniors, disabled, low-income households, and other disadvantaged people.
Some examples of dental grants and government-funded programs include The Give Back a Smile program and the Dental Lifeline Network.
Give Back a Smile helps domestic abuse victims.
The Dental Lifeline Network offers assistance to low-income patients with permanent disabilities, people aged 65 or older, and those with underlying illnesses.
Donated Dental Services (DDS)
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program where dentists volunteer to provide dental care for free to eligible applicants.
Discount dental plans, government programs like Medicare, and Donated Dental Services (DDS) are great ways to receive low-cost dentures. You can also visit accredited dental schools to receive treatment from 'dentists in training' (up to 70% off).