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If your dentist has recommended dentures (false teeth), you’re not alone. More than 40 million Americans use dentures.1 They’re a common treatment for people who’ve had their teeth removed.
Permanent, or fixed dentures, are one of many tooth replacement options to consider. Whether you need to replace just a few teeth or are in need of full mouth restoration, dentures can help.
This article covers what different types of permanent dentures cost and the pros and cons of each. As always, it’s important to consult with your dentist to determine the best type of dentures for you.
Permanent dentures look and feel just like natural teeth. There is no risk of them shifting or falling out, and they can't accidentally be misplaced. They’re made with various dental materials, including acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, or metal.
Partial permanent dentures are also available as implants. They can be placed where you need them, whether it's just one missing tooth or many.
Unlike traditional dentures, permanent dentures are held in place by dental implants.
The implants make permanent dentures stable. They allow the patient to chew, talk, and smile more easily than with removable dentures.
The seven most common types of permanent dentures include:
Complete dentures, also called full dentures, are full-coverage oral prosthetic devices. They replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
A dentist will use a plastic base that supports a complete set of plastic or porcelain teeth to make complete dentures.
A dentist then uses a sealant or bone grafting to hold the dentures in the mouth. Complete dentures can also be held in place by attaching to dental implants.
Partial dentures are removable yet natural-looking dental appliances. They help restore the jaw's form and function by replacing one or several missing teeth.
To create partial dentures, a specialist creates a plastic base or a metal framework. This framework is held in the mouth by clasps and rests around your natural teeth.
Snap-on dentures are also called implant-supported dentures or overdentures. They are held in place by the remaining teeth or metal posts implanted in the jawbone.
Unlike conventional dentures, snap-in dentures are more stable and versatile.
All-on-4 dental implants support an entire arch of teeth, with just four implants. They're also called full arch dental implant bridges.
These replacement teeth look and feel identical to natural teeth and function the same.
Permanent dentures aren’t right for everyone. Here are some alternative dental restorations to replace missing or weakened teeth:
A permanent dental bridge is an appliance that replaces a missing tooth or missing teeth.
A dental bridge is made up of several pieces fused to fit into the open space where the teeth used to be.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers a weakened or damaged natural tooth. It provides support to a weak or damaged tooth.
A tooth that is weakened and can't withstand the force required to chew might also need a crown.
Dental implants are screw-shaped devices placed into the jawbone as artificial tooth roots. They are usually made of titanium.
After an implant is inserted, a dental crown is placed on top to restore the tooth’s crown.
The cost of permanent dentures ranges from $15,000 to $28,000, with an average cost of $21,500.9 Note that these prices are for a single arch, which is an upper or lower denture. If you need to replace all your teeth, double the prices.
The cost of permanent dentures varies based on several factors, including:
Because permanent dentures attach to surgically-placed dental implants, there may be additional tests and procedures involved.
Depending on your needs, additional procedures may include:9
Dental insurance may help cover part of the cost of permanent dentures. A full-coverage dental plan covers primary restorative care, including bridges, crowns, and dentures.
However, many dental plans don’t cover implants because they’re considered cosmetic treatments. Still, it’s worth calling your insurance company to see how they can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for implant-supported dentures.
Even if your insurance plan covers dentures, they’ll probably only pay for half the total cost.7 Here are some ideas to help you save more money on permanent dentures:
If you're considering permanent dentures, you should weigh the positives and negatives before deciding.
Permanent dentures are surgically placed into the jawbone with dental implants. Complete and partial dentures come in removable or fixed forms. Overdentures and all-on-4 implant dentures are permanent (fixed to the jawbone).
Permanent dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than removable dentures. However, they’re more expensive, and the healing time is longer. Not everyone is a candidate for permanent dentures.
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