Dentures are false teeth that replace missing teeth. They can be complete or partial. Complete dentures replace an entire set of teeth and fit across your upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures replace one or a few teeth.
Wearing dentures may feel uncomfortable at first. Speaking and eating may feel different. It is essential to be careful when wearing dentures, as they may make it more challenging for you to feel hot liquids and foods. Additionally, you may not notice if you bite into a bone.
At first, your dentist may want to see you periodically to ensure the dentures fit. Over time, your mouth will change, and it may be necessary to have your dentures adjusted or replaced. Your dentist will handle these adjustments.
If your dentures shift too much in your mouth, dental adhesive may help. In some circumstances, your dentist may advise that you switch to dental implants. Dental implants are permanent and replace the roots of teeth.
Keep your dentures clean and practice good oral health. Avoid food that can cause stains, swollen gums, or bad breath.
Be sure to brush your dentures daily with a specialized care product. Remove your dentures from your mouth at night and place them in water or a denture-cleansing liquid.
Some dentists and dental offices will offer basic dentures where production is outsourced to a dental lab. At the lab, dental technicians will create the denture according to the specifications from your dentist.
Sometimes dental labs use the lowest cost materials to meet the dentist's price. Then, the dentist will mark up the dentures' price to cover the fees of taking the impression, administering the dentures, and any post denture care they may provide.
The average price of dentures differs significantly, depending on the production process and the materials used. On average, the price of full dentures is around $1,800 for a traditional set. However, prices vary from dentist to dentist.
Low-cost dentures cost anywhere between $300 and $500 per plate.
A complete set of low-cost lower and upper dentures cost between $600 to $1,000. They are typically cold-cured and produced with lower-quality materials, leading to an artificial look. Sometimes a cheap denture is not as well fitting because of the poor materials that can cause the denture to distort in shape.
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Dentures typically last between five and seven years. Cheap dentures are likely to last on the lower scale, so around five years.
Dentures wear down and stain with age (as natural teeth do). Additionally, your mouth is always changing. To ensure that your dentures fit correctly, they will require adjustments now and then.
It is best to visit your dentist annually for a denture check-up. Be sure to notify your dentist if you experience any irritation, no matter how minor it seems. Your comfort and health are essential.
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The main pro of affordable dentures is the cost. Many people would otherwise struggle to pay for higher-priced dentures.
Unfortunately, cheap dentures come with plenty of cons. They are prone to breakage, cracking, and provide limited gum color. This makes them appear less natural and more like false teeth.
Low-quality basic dentures commonly have shrinkage issues. They often shrink more than 0.1%, and this adversely affects the fit and bite functionality.
In most cases, once dentures are produced, there is little room for adjustments because this would increase the labs' costs. As a result, many patients wear ill-fitted dentures that create discomfort and unhappiness.
Many of these patients end up purchasing new dentures within a few months to a year. This is due to the unbearable discomfort. In some cases, medical conditions can develop like inflamed gum tissue or digestive issues (since eating is affected with poorly made dentures).
Dental plans cover the cost of dentures. They are considered a major procedure. It is generally covered at 50 percent of the cost, with the customer paying the balance.
Standard deductibles and copays still apply, so the cost to the patient is always a significant amount.
Due to the annual maximum coverage limit, timing is essential. If you receive dentures in a year when you have had treatment for other procedures, your coverage may end up being significantly less than 50 percent.
It is also essential to know that most insurance plans have a waiting timeframe for new patients. However, some do not. Also, be aware that some dental plans have frequency limitations of how many pairs of dentures they will cover within a specific period if you need a replacement.
This waiting period typically applies to non-emergency treatments and procedures, including dentures. The waiting period usually ranges from anywhere from a few to 12 months, but it can be as long as two years.
There are various ways to get cheap, high-quality dentures, including:
The Bureau of Primary Health Care is a service of the Health Resources and Services Administration. The organization supports federally-funded community health centers across the United States that provide free or affordable health services, including dental care.
Dental schools can be an excellent source of quality and reduced-cost dental treatment. Most dental schools have clinics that enable students to obtain experience treating patients at reduced costs. Experienced and licensed dentists closely monitor the students during treatment.
Post-graduate and faculty clinics are also found at most schools.
Your state or local health department may connect you to programs in your area offering free or reduced-cost dental care. Speak with your local or state health department to learn about their financial assistance programs. Browse your local telephone book to find the number to call.
The United Way may be able to connect you with free or reduced-cost dental services in your area. Check the United Way website for more information.
The National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) sometimes requires volunteers with specific dental, oral, and craniofacial conditions to participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are otherwise known as research studies.
Researchers may offer study participants free or affordable dental treatment for the specific condition they are studying. Learn if there are any NIDCR clinical trials that you might fit by visiting ClinicalTrials.gov.
Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Types of dentures, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279192/
Dentures, MedlinePlus, November 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/dentures.html
Where can I find low-cost dental care?, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, September 2017, https://www.hhs.gov/answers/health-insurance-reform/where-can-i-find-low-cost-dental-care/index.html
Dental services, Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dental-services