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Dentures are false teeth that replace missing natural teeth. If you’re looking to save money, dentures can be made from lower-cost materials.
However, the cheaper dentures are, the more likely they are to come with some serious disadvantages, including:
These issues could make cheap dentures much less cost-effective in the long run since they may repeatedly need to be repaired or replaced.
Dentures can be either removable or fixed (supported by dental implants). The cheapest dentures available will be of the removable type since removable dentures don’t require the additional cost of implants.
Unlike higher-quality removable dentures, the cheapest dentures will offer minimal or no customization. They may require a dental adhesive to stay in place since they won’t exactly conform to the contours of your mouth.
Once you have your dentures, your dentist will see you periodically to ensure they fit. Over time, your mouth will change, and your bone levels may decrease. Your dentist will adjust or replace your dentures to account for this, but they may advise you to switch to fixed dentures supported by dental implants for long-term success.
Dental implants are permanent and replace the roots of teeth. Dentures can "snap" into implants, resulting in a better fit. If you’ve lost bone tissue, new bone can be grafted into place to provide support for implants. Partial dentures may only need one implant, while full dentures can be placed with the support of four implants per jaw (all-on-4).
If you aren’t a good candidate for surgery, you may need to stick with removable dentures. Remember that, with cheap materials, you may have to replace your dentures more often. High-quality removable dentures will be more expensive, but they’ll also last longer.
Cheap dentures, also called removable economy dentures, are a one-size-fits-all solution. They won’t be as comfortable as dentures customized to fit your mouth. They may make talking and eating difficult and/or cause discomfort.
These dentures may also not fit as well because the low-quality materials used can shrink over time and become distorted in shape. This lack of customization and durability is what makes these dentures more affordable.
The one obvious advantage of cheap dentures over higher-quality, more expensive ones is the price. But this may not be much of an advantage when looking at your medium-to-long-term needs.
Low-cost dentures may cost less upfront, but because they’re made of less durable materials, they’re likely to break and need multiple repairs or replacement, making the initial low price a bit deceptive since these dentures can be more expensive over time.
High-quality dentures made from more expensive materials can last years without needing to be replaced. This can make that higher upfront cost worth it in the medium-to-long run.
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 and cracking and may not be as cosmetic due to limited tooth and gum options. This makes them appear less natural and more like false teeth.
Low-quality basic dentures commonly have shrinkage issues as well. Even well-made dentures may shrink less than 0.1%, but this level of shrinkage is unlikely to pose any major problems. On the other hand, economy dentures often shrink more than 0.1%, adversely affecting the fit and bite functionality.
In most cases, once low-cost dentures are produced, there is little room for adjustments because this would increase the lab costs. As a result, many people wear ill-fitted dentures that cause discomfort and affect day-to-day function such as eating and talking.
In some cases, these low-cost dentures can contribute to medical problems like inflamed gum tissue or digestive issues (since eating can negatively be impacted by poorly made dentures). These issues may lead people to purchase replacement dentures within a few months.
The price of dentures can vary 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. Partial dentures will tend to cost less. 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 may cost between $600 and $1,000.
Although dentures can last many years, dentures made from cheaper materials may not last as long. They may need to be replaced after less than a year. However, many factors impact how long your dentures will last, including how well you care for them.
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.
Many dental plans cover at least part of the cost of dentures, though you will have to contact your insurance company for details about your specific plan. Standard deductibles and copays still apply, so the cost you pay may still be significant.
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 minimal.
Some dental plans also limit how many pairs of dentures they will cover within a specific period. This may be anywhere from a few months to 5 years.
If you need frequent denture replacements, your insurance may not provide coverage for every pair. This is another factor to consider when considering low-cost dentures.
There are various ways to get higher-quality dentures at more affordable prices, 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.
Dental savings plans provide discounts on preventative and restorative dental work, including dentures. These programs work like a club membership. You’ll pay an annual fee and receive discounts on dental services throughout the membership course.
After you sign up, you’ll have access to a network of dentists, orthodontists, dental specialists, and oral surgeons in your area who offer reduced rates on various procedures. What procedures are covered depends on the plan you choose.
In addition, discount dental plans do not require you to fill out time-consuming paperwork or claims. There are also no pre-existing condition restrictions.
DentalPlans.com is an excellent option.
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