Updated on February 7, 2024
7 min read

Full Dentures

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Should I Get Full Dentures or Dental Implants?

Getting full dentures or implants will depend on your dentist’s recommendation. Most dentists will agree that implants most closely mimic natural teeth.

However, many people may not be eligible for dental implants because of bone loss, health conditions, or finances. The average cost of a full arch implant-supported denture is significantly more expensive than a removable full set of dentures.

If you are missing all your teeth in one or both arches, it may be best to get a full denture as a stepping stone to dental implants. Some people prefer a full denture to get used to a new prosthetic before investing in implants. 

What are Full Dentures?

Dentures are removable prosthetics that replace missing teeth. Dentists recommend full dentures when all of a person’s teeth are missing.

Removable full dentures pictured on clean table

Full dentures are usually made of porcelain and acrylic. They help restore the function and appearance of natural teeth, including:

  • Chewing
  • Speaking
  • Smiling

How Much Do Full Dentures Cost?

Dentures can range in cost depending on the materials and type chosen. An economy denture will be much cheaper than a premium denture because of the lower quality of the materials.

An economy denture can cost $300 to $500 for one arch and up to $1,000 for a complete set. Premium dentures average $2,000 to $4,000 per denture or $4,000 to $8,000 for a full set.

Does Insurance Cover Dentures?

Many insurance plans will cover a portion of dentures, so the patient pays the remaining balance. Insurance plans will vary. Therefore, it is essential to discuss any out-of-pocket costs before treatment.

Typically, people with dental insurance can expect to pay between $250 to $2,000 per denture or $500 to $4,000 for a complete set.

How Long Do Full Dentures Last?

Full dentures can last many years. However, the American Dental Association recommends changing them every 5 to 7 years.

For dentures to last as long as possible, you must clean and store them properly. Doing this can also minimize the risk of contracting oral conditions, like fungal infections. 

Other ways to improve the longevity of your dentures include:

  • Schedule routine dental visits
  • Avoid dropping them
  • Rinse your dentures with warm water after eating and drinking
  • Clean your mouth after removing your dentures
  • Soak your dentures overnight with denture cleaner
  • Avoid using abrasive products on your dentures 
  • Don’t leave dentures out in the sun, as they can warp
  • Keep your dentures away from pets

Premium vs. Economy Dentures

You can choose between two kinds of full dentures, including:

1. Premium

Premium dentures are made from the highest quality materials. These materials offer some flexibility to adapt to your mouth’s movements. They are also:

  • Customized to fit the contours of your mouth accurately
  • More comfortable to wear
  • Stronger and longer-lasting
  • More natural-looking

Premium dentures are designed by a dentist and made by a specialized technician in a dental laboratory. Since a premium denture fits better, it requires fewer follow-ups than other types.

removable denture NewMouth

2. Economy

Economy dentures are affordable for people looking for a quick, cost-effective replacement for teeth. Their materials are not as durable as premium dentures.

They are generic and are not always the best fit from the start, making them uncomfortable. They may require several patient visits for relines and adjustments to achieve a comfortable fit.

Economy dentures are not the best option since they usually require more time and money due to their poor fit. They are also more likely to break or sustain damage.

Pros and Cons of Full Dentures

There are several benefits of getting a full denture. A full set of dentures can restore someone’s confidence and ability to eat comfortably.

Some advantages of dentures include:

  • Restores eating and chewing comfortably
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence
  • Maintains a fuller, more youthful appearance
  • Allows for proper speaking
  • Cost-effective teeth replacement (compared to implants)  

Like any treatment, there are some downsides too. While a denture is a great option for many people, it also can cause problems over time. 

Disadvantages to consider when choosing a denture include:

  • Requires maintenance like relines and repairs
  • Lower arch denture retention declines over time
  • Can slip out of place when speaking or eating

Will Dentures Make Me Look Different?

Dentures will help restore your appearance. Missing teeth can cause a sunken or aged appearance, and dentures will support the muscles under your lips and cheeks.

However, a denture cannot completely replace lost volume from tooth loss and bone resorption. Some people will report a slight change in appearance, but with a well-made denture, most are happy with a relatively youthful look. 

According to Dr. Khushbu Aggarwal, one of NewMouth’s in-house dentists, “it is important to give your dentist feedback while they are making your dentures. For example, you can share old photographs of your smile to help your dentist pick the mold of your new teeth. Or, you can bring your spouse or friend to your try-in visit for a second opinion.”

Will Full Dentures Change How I Eat and Speak?

Full dentures may temporarily change how you eat and speak during the adjustment period. Functioning with your new dentures can feel awkward at first, just like getting a new pair of shoes.

Many people report it is more difficult to sense the taste and temperature of foods and drinks. This is because the denture’s acrylic base sits against the palate.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself get used to your dentures:

  • Chew in small bites on both sides of your mouth
  • Begin with softer foods while you adjust to your dentures
  • Practice speaking with your dentures

How Long Does it Take to Make Full Dentures?

Depending on the dental laboratory, a denture can take several weeks to fabricate. It also usually takes multiple visits to get a denture to fit correctly before being processed.

Sometimes people need their remaining teeth extracted. In this case, the dentist may give them an immediate denture until their gums heal. Only then will they get their permanent dentures

If your teeth have been extracted recently, you can expect a full recovery between 6 weeks and 6 months.

Below are the steps completed at each appointment for full dentures:

1. Consultation

Your dentist will discuss the process and fees during this consultation. They will ensure you’re a good candidate for full dentures by examining your mouth. If you can’t receive full dentures, they will suggest alternative options.

2. Impressions

Once your dentist confirms you’re suited for full dentures, they will take impressions of your mouth. This involves a traditional putty impression or advanced scanning technology.

Once your dentist has molds of your mouth, they will send it to a dental lab to create wax build-ups, which will give you an idea of what your dentures will look like.

3. Wax Try-In

Once the wax build-up is created, your dentist will check its fit and function. In addition, they will check your bite and the alignment of the prosthetic teeth. You will also choose the shade, size, and shape of your prosthetic teeth during this appointment.

4. Final Processing

At this point, your dentures are still in wax, but you can evaluate the teeth, bite, and overall feel. Your dentists can make adjustments at this stage until you’re satisfied with the appliance. Then, it is sent back to the dental lab for final processing.

5. Final Fitting

Once your denture is processed, it is fitted and adjusted as needed. You may need to return for further adjustments if there are any sore spots during the next few weeks.

Partial Dentures vs. Full Dentures

Dentures can be either partial or full. Both are personalized and can replace a few teeth or an entire set.

removable partial denture lower jaw
  • Dentists recommend a partial denture for people who still have a few healthy natural teeth. The natural teeth support the partial denture’s structure.
  • Dentists recommend a full denture for people who are missing all of their natural teeth or require extraction of their remaining teeth. It sits on the gums and periodically requires a reline as the gums shrink over time.


Full dentures are removable prosthetics for people who are missing all of their teeth. They restore the look and function of natural teeth, but they can take some time to get used to.

You can get premium or economy dentures. Premium full dentures are more expensive but more durable and natural-looking. They also fit the contours of your mouth better.

Economy dentures are more affordable but may be slightly uncomfortable to wear at first. You may need to see your dentist for a few adjustments, which can increase the overall cost of the dentures.

It can take several weeks to months to get full dentures. This depends on your oral health, the dental clinic, and the dental lab.

Last updated on February 7, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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