Dentures can make all the difference in the world for people who have lost some or all of their teeth. Today, dental patients can choose from a wide variety of partial and full sets of dentures. From traditional removable dentures to implant-supported fixed prosthetics, there is literally something for every person and every budget. In this article, we explore the different types of dentures and costs, so you can make informed decisions about which is the best choice for you.
Types of Dentures
Modern dental technology provides patients with so many choices! What follows are some of the most common types of dentures available from most dentists and oral surgeons.
- Traditional full dentures: Also referred to as conventional dentures, these prosthetic devices are intended for people who have lost all their teeth and whose gums are fully healed. Consisting of a full upper and lower plate, with artificial teeth mounted on a gum-colored frame and removable by the patient, traditional full dentures are what most of us imagine when we hear the word “dentures.”
- Partial removable dentures: Similar to traditional full sets of dentures, partial removable dentures are designed for people who have lost just a few teeth. This type of partial is typically supported by the patient’s existing natural teeth on either side of the device.
- Partial fixed dentures: Fixed partials consist of one or more artificial teeth that are mounted onto a frame. The device fits into the patient’s mouth in the location of the missing teeth, and a crown is affixed to each of the natural teeth on either side to strengthen them as they support the partial. The device is then cemented in place and not removable by the patient.
- Implant-supported dentures: These devices are supported by implants that have been strategically placed throughout the patient’s mouth. There are a variety of implant-supported dentures available, including types that are removable and those that are fixed (or not removable). These prosthetics can be especially suitable for people with compromised jawbone density.
- Immediate dentures: For patients who need to have all of their teeth extracted, but don’t want to live without teeth for a period of time until their permanent dentures are ready, immediate dentures can provide a solution. Unlike traditional dentures, which require the patient’s gums to be completely healed prior to the device being fitted, immediate dentures can be fitted directly onto the patient’s unhealed gums immediately after the teeth are extracted. This type of device is designed to be temporary and to only be worn by the patient for a short period of time until the permanent dentures are ready. But some patients remain happy with their immediate dentures for an extended period of time. Living with this type of denture will require additional trips to the dentist, however, since gums have a tendency to change shape as they heal and the dentures will need to be relined frequently.
What to Remember When Estimating the Cost of Dentures
When trying to estimate how much dentures will cost, it’s important to keep in mind all the variables that play a role in that cost. Those include the following:
- Partial or full sets – As you might have guessed, partial dentures are generally less expensive than complete sets. So if you are missing just a few teeth, your partial will likely cost significantly less than if you needed a full set of dentures.
- Type of denture – The style of denture you choose will greatly impact the cost. Conventional dentures tend to be less expensive than implant-supported dentures. And within the category of “conventional,” you’ll find a wide variety of price ranges – from very inexpensive to relatively pricey choices. Keep in mind that if you choose the least expensive type of denture, it probably won’t last as long, be as comfortable, or look as attractive as a higher quality device. And if you end up needing to replace your dentures more frequently, what looked like a bargain at the start may end up costing you more money in the long run.
- Materials – Dentures can be made from a variety of materials, such as acrylic resin, partial metal and porcelain, for example. The type of material used for the device will affect the price. Typically, porcelain is the most expensive.
- Associated dental services – There are usually additional trips to the dentist that you’ll need to calculate in when estimating the cost of dentures. These could range from the cost of having your teeth extracted to the follow-up visits after your dentures have been fitted.
- Varying dental fees – The fees charged by dentists can vary widely. You’ll probably pay more if you live in a large city than in the country, and an experienced dentist may charge more than someone who is just starting out.
Cost of Dentures
Keeping all of the above variables in mind, what follows are some general cost estimates for different types of dentures:
- Traditional full dentures: You can expect to pay from $600 to $1,000 for extremely low-cost dentures; between $1,000 and $3,000 for mid-priced dentures; and from $4,000 to $8,000 for a complete set of high-quality dentures.
- Partial removable/fixed dentures: Depending on the material used in the partial dentures, the cost can range from $650 to $2,500.
- Implant-supported dentures: Typically the most expensive dentures are those that are implant-supported. Although these costs vary widely, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $8,000 (or more) for these dentures.
- Immediate dentures: This type of “interim” denture usually costs between $1,000 and $3,500, although that cost does not include the tooth extraction.
When researching the different types of dentures and costs, remember to keep in mind the importance of having a good dental insurance policy. In fact, many dental insurance policies cover as much as 50 percent of the cost of dentures. And although these cost estimates may sound high, most denture wearers would agree that all the benefits you can enjoy with a good set of dentures make them worth every penny! To find out more about the types of dentures and the associated costs, contact your dentist today and schedule an appointment.