Dentures 101: Costs & Procedure Info

What Are Full Dentures?

Full dentures are manufactured for patients who are fully edentulous (no teeth are present.) In many cases the dentist may ask the patient for a picture of their previous smile as a reference. The ultimate goal is to re-establish a proper relationship between upper (maxilla) and lower (mandible) jaws. In addition, the aesthetics and functionality of the oral region is restored. An appropriate tint of the acrylic is chosen to match the hue of the existing soft tissues, and the color of the teeth is selected with an approval from the patient.

Cost of Full Dentures

The cost of dentures greatly varies from dentist to dentist and their demographical location. However, because the process of fabricating dentures requires several visits, most dental offices offer affordable payment plans. The patient is allowed to pay a portion of the fee at the time of each visit. The last payment is collected at the time of the denture delivery. The follow-up visits are typically free and may consist of minor adjustments as the patient becomes accustomed to wearing their new dentures. The average cost of dentures can vary by location and dentist practice. On average, about 30% of the population has dental benefits to cover the full cost of dentures however the remaining 70% does not. The cost of full dentures can range in price from $1300 - $3200. If you require teeth to be removed prior to getting your dentures, that cost may increase due to that. The cost of one tooth can be close to $350 if not covered by insurance.

Full Denture Procedures

The process begins with a full examination and an external X-ray (Panorex) to evaluate the patient’s facial bone structures including the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) status as well as upper and lower ridges. The patient’s medical history is reviewed in detail and consists of analysis of any medical conditions and oral habits. The patient will be asked to execute the following movements:

  • Move their tongue vertically and horizontally

  • Move their lower jaw side to side

  • Extend the lower jaw forward

  • Open wide

  • Swallow

  • Lick their lips

A clinical exam is completed by palpating the soft tissues for any abnormalities. The evaluation is concluded with a set of preliminary impressions, and the treatment plan is created.

Finding Affordable Dentures

It can be difficult to find a dentist you're comfortable with and also one that you can afford the procedure. It is best to shop around before committing to a dentist. You can start by doing a simple search on Google of dentists near you that do full denture procedures. Some dentists only specialize in certain procedures, so it is best to check first. Once you compile a list of dentists near you that perform full denture procedures, you'll then want to check reviews and pricing. It is also best to check with them to see if they take your insurance and if they're in network. If a dentist is not in your insurance network, you can still go to them but you might find yourself paying more as your insurance will not cover the procedure cost in its entirety.  

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