Partial dentures are a suitable option for individuals who have some gaps between remaining healthy natural teeth. These dentures are designed to fit around the natural teeth, preventing tooth loss or the need for extraction. They can be easily removed for cleaning and during meals or sleep.
The cost of partial dentures varies widely due to the many different types available, but you can expect to pay at least $300 for acrylic partials, $650 for metal partials, and around $900 for a fixed partial without insurance.
The cost increases as the number of teeth to be replaced increases. For instance, replacing missing teeth on both sides of your smile could require about $4,000, while replacing multiple missing teeth in one corner of your mouth could set you back as much as $10,800.
Naturally, partials tend to be more expensive without a dental plan than those with dental insurance due to the deductible and copayment options offered by the plan.
Breakdown of Partial denture costs
The cost of partial dentures can vary depending on several factors:
The type of material used in the construction of the partial dentures can affect the cost. Here are the common types:
a. Metal Partials
This is the most common partial. It features false porcelain teeth attached to a metal and acrylic base that matches the color of your gums, offering durability and less pressure on the remaining teeth. Metal partials typically come with visible metal clasps that hold the dentures in place. You can also opt for clear and flesh-toned clips for a more discreet appearance.
Metal partial dentures are lightweight and durable, often lasting a long time with proper care. The cost of a metal partial denture without insurance can range from $650 to around $2500.
b. Acrylic Partials (flipper)
An acrylic partial, also known as a flipper, is a more cost-effective choice, starting at around $300. However, they often lack tooth support, which can potentially impact the surrounding gum tissue over time.
This temporary removable partial denture is made from acrylic and held in place by metal clasps. Flippers are usually not as comfortable or durable as other types of dentures, which is why they are considered a temporary solution.
They are commonly used when waiting for a permanent partial denture to be completed. Flippers are the most cost-effective option for removable partial dentures, with a cost ranging from $300 to $500.
c. Flexible Partial Denture
Flexible partial dentures are a temporary solution designed to quickly improve the appearance of your teeth. They are made from soft and flexible plastic that mimics the color of your gums and teeth. These dentures provide a natural look, making them a suitable choice for missing front teeth or highly visible areas. However, the soft plastic material is not as durable as other options, and there is a higher risk of cracking or breaking with normal use.
If a flexible partial denture breaks, it cannot be repaired, and a new denture must be obtained. The cost of a flexible partial denture typically ranges from $900 to $2000.
Number of Teeth Replaced
The extent of tooth loss plays a significant role in determining the cost of partial dentures. Partial dentures can vary in size, ranging from replacing a few missing teeth to larger sections of missing teeth. Naturally, the more teeth that need to be replaced, the more extensive the denture will be, leading to increased costs.
Location in the Mouth
The position of the partial denture in the mouth can also impact the cost. Dentures designed for the upper jaw may have different considerations than those for the lower jaw. The complexity of designing and fitting dentures in specific areas of the mouth, such as the front teeth or posterior teeth, may require additional customization and adjustments, which can affect the overall cost.
Method of Creating the Dentures
The specific technique used to create the partial dentures can influence the overall cost. Different methods may require varying levels of customization and precision. For example, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology may be used to create highly accurate and customized dentures, which can increase the overall cost compared to more traditional manufacturing methods.
Site Preparation Procedures
It’s important to note that additional dental care may be required before receiving partial dentures. This can include procedures such as tooth extraction or other treatments to ensure the best possible fit and oral health.
Tips to reduce the cost of getting partial dentures
Consider Dental Plans
If you have dental insurance or a dental plan, it can help cover a portion of the cost of dentures. Check if your insurance provides coverage for dentures and understand the extent of coverage. This can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Explore Affordable Alternatives
Discuss with your dentist alternative and more affordable treatment options. For example, if you’re considering tooth extraction and dentures due to sensitive teeth, ask if a root canal treatment is a viable option. Your dentist can guide you on the most cost-effective solution based on your specific dental condition.
Use Your Teeth Responsibly
Avoid using your teeth as tools for tasks like opening packages or bottles, as this can cause damage and lead to the need for additional dental procedures like bridges or overdentures. Protecting your natural teeth can help avoid the need for extensive dental work.
Discuss Medications and Aging
If you’re taking medications, consult your doctor about any potential effects on your oral health, such as dry mouth or increased risk of gum diseases or tooth decay. Additionally, as you age, pay extra attention to your oral health and discuss with your physician how to maintain healthy teeth and gums throughout the aging process.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Taking care of your oral health can prevent dental issues that may require extensive treatments like extraction, grafting, and dentures. Follow proper oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks that can weaken tooth enamel and lead to decay. Also, visit your dentist for routine check-ups and professional cleanings to address any potential issues early on.
If you intend to get partial dentures and paying out of pocket rather than through insurance or a dental plan, it’s important that you consult a dentist first to see if this is the best option for you. Also keep in mind that any expense associated with getting dentures, right fr0m consultations to the actual dental work, is generally deductible on your taxes.
Remember, prevention and early intervention are key to avoiding extensive dental procedures and reducing overall costs.