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Permanent dentures are false teeth that are attached to the jaw. These dentures are an alternative to removable dentures for missing teeth. Approximately 32.6 million Americans have dentures.
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.
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. Dentures are 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.
Permanent dentures are surgically placed into the jawbone with dental implants.
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.
To make complete dentures, a dentist will use a plastic base that supports a complete set of plastic or porcelain teeth.
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.
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.
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.
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 that are 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.
Complete and partial dentures come in removable or fixed forms. Overdentures and all-on-4 implant dentures are permanent (fixed to the jawbone).
If you're considering getting permanent dentures, you should weigh the positives and negatives before deciding.
Permanent dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than removable dentures. However, they are more expensive and the healing time is longer. Not everyone is a candidate for permanent dentures.
The permanent denture process is slightly more complicated and time-consuming than a traditional removable denture. This is because it requires surgery for dental implants.
Some people require additional surgeries like bone grafting or ridge or sinus augmentation before dental implants. This is to help improve success rates if you lack sufficient jaw bone.
The permanent denture process is broken down into several steps:
Denture pricing depends on patient needs and the type of denture/dental prosthesis used.
See below for the different types of permanent dentures and their average costs:
The cost of permanent dentures ranges from $700 to $30,000.
The cost of dentures varies based on several factors:
The first factor that influences the cost of dentures is the number of teeth that need to be removed and replaced. Some patients only need one or a few teeth removed, while others require full-mouth extraction.
On average, the more teeth you need to be replaced, the higher the cost of your denture treatment.
A patient who only requires partial tooth replacement will usually pay less than a patient who needs a full set of dentures.
The method used to secure the dentures in place will impact the cost of the dentures. For example, patients that opt for implant-supported dentures will typically pay a higher price for the treatment.
Also, denture implants are surgically implanted, and that additional step comes with extra fees.
Patients who want a lower-cost denture solution may be able to opt for the use of adhesives to secure their dentures. This will lower the overall cost of treatment.
Dentures can be made in various materials, including acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, or metal. Typically, the higher the quality of material used, the more expensive the dentures will be.
The design and fabrication of the replacement teeth will affect the cost of the denture treatment.
Patients with poor oral hygiene and other oral conditions, including gum disease and tooth loss, may require additional treatment. This could include bone grafting.
Other factors that impact the cost of dentures include the location of the dentist providing the treatment and the type of dental insurance you have. If you use a dental specialist like a prosthodontist or cosmetic dentist, the cost may be higher.
Factors that influence the cost of permanent dentures include the type of material/method used and how many teeth need to be replaced. Your oral health standing and the dentist's location can also impact pricing.
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.
Before moving forward with dentures, contact your insurance company to determine coverage.
Some dental offices offer monthly payment plans, making it easier for some patients to pay for dentures. Many dental offices also work with financing companies so that you can make monthly payments through a third party.
You can also consider getting treated at a dental school to receive cost-effective dental care and dentures. Dental schools charge much less for the other treatments that go into denture placement, such as tooth extraction. The cost of the dentures may be similar.
Overall, dental schools charge about half of what a general dental practice would charge. At a dental school, dental students treat patients under the strict supervision of experienced clinical faculty.
Other ways to pay for permanent dentures include:
A dental savings plan can also save you money on dentures.
Many dental insurance plans partially cover the cost of dentures. If you don't have insurance, you can visit a dental school to receive cost-effective care from students in training (up to 70% off). Many dentists also offer payments plans and accept FSA/HSA's.
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