Palateless dentures, also known as horseshoe or roofless dentures, are false teeth designed in the shape of a horseshoe, U-shape, to cover only your gums, without a palate (roof of the mouth).
The process of getting plateless dentures is similar to that of getting traditional dentures, except that you need to choose one of two ways to get the plateless denture fixed: with implants or without implants. Your choice will determine the cost of getting your horseshoe dentures.
If no implants are involved, plateless dentures should cost more or less the same as traditional removable dentures, at about $1,000 to $5,000. Keep in mind that horseshoe dentures without implants might be cheaper at first, but tend to have a higher maintenance cost due to their susceptibility to breakage, constant need for denture adhesive and/or relining to improve their fit and retention.
Plateless dentures with implants will require less maintenance, but the initial cost will depend on the number of implants placed, and the need for bone grafting to support the implants sufficiently. As such, your cost could range between $5,000 and $30,000.
Steps to getting horseshoe dentures
The process of getting palate-less dentures involves several steps to ensure a comfortable and well-fitting denture that meets your individual needs:
Step 1: Initial Consultation
The first step is to schedule an appointment with a dentist or prosthodontist specializing in dentures. During the consultation, the dentist will assess your oral health, discuss your expectations and preferences, and determine the feasibility of palate-less dentures based on your specific situation.
Step 2: Tooth Extraction
If you still have natural teeth remaining in your upper jaw, your dentist will need to extract them to create space for the palateless denture. However, if you are already edentulous (without natural teeth), you will proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Dental Impressions
The dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower arch using dental putty or digital scanning technology. These impressions capture the shape and size of your mouth, helping to create custom palateless dentures that fit snugly and align correctly with your bite.
Step 4: Dental Implant Placement or Denture Adhesive
There are two methods for fixing palateless dentures. One option involves using dental implants to anchor and secure the denture in place. The other method involves using denture adhesives to hold the dentures in place.
Your dentist will discuss both options with you and help you choose the best solution based on your specific needs and preferences.
If you opt for dental implants, they will be placed during this stage. You will also be advised on how to promote denture retention for plateless dentures without implants.
It’s important to note that there are different types of dental implants available, including mini-implants, all-on-4, and all-on-6, and your dentist will guide you in selecting the most suitable option.
Step 5: Healing Period
After the dental implant placement, you will need some time for the implants to heal and integrate with the jawbone. During this period, you may be provided with temporary immediate dentures to wear. This allows you to have functional teeth while the implants secure into place.
Step 6: Additional impressions
Once the fusing period is complete, additional impressions are taken to ensure the dentures fit accurately. These impressions help the dental laboratory create the final custom dentures with precise measurements.
Step 7: Fixing Permanent Dentures
If no further adjustments are needed, your dentist will fix the final custom plateless dentures onto the dental implants. The dentist will carefully check the appearance, bite, and comfort of the dentures to ensure an accurate fit.
Step 8: Dentist Tips
When everything is done, your dentist will provide you with instructions on how to properly insert, remove, and care for the denture the first ime. It is essential to follow the dentist’s recommendations for daily cleaning, maintenance, and regular check-ups to ensure the longevity and functionality of the denture.
Sedation may be used during the extraction of natural teeth, implant placement, and fixing of permanent dentures to ensure a painless experience. After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort, but your dentist will provide painkillers to manage any post-operative pain.
Throughout the process, your dentist will guide you and address any concerns or questions you may have. It is essential to follow their instructions for post-operative care and attend regular check-ups to ensure the longevity and functionality of your palateless dentures.
Factors affecting cost of palateless dentures
When considering the cost of palate-less dentures, it’s important to take into account various factors, including whether dental implants are involved in the treatment. The cost can vary significantly depending on the specific requirements of each individual case, including tooth extraction, bone grafting, and sedation.
Without Dental Implants
Palate-less dentures without dental implants typically involve the use of suction-based or adhesive-retained dentures. The cost of these dentures may be lower compared to implant-supported options since they do not require surgical implant placement. However, there are additional factors to consider:
- Denture Fabrication: The cost of fabricating the denture itself, including the materials used and the expertise of the dental professional, will be a significant component of the overall cost.
- Denture Adhesives and Liners: If adhesive materials or liners are used to enhance the stability and fit of the denture, there may be additional costs associated with purchasing these products. Denture adhesives are typically affordable and available over-the-counter.
- Denture Adjustments and Maintenance: Over time, dentures may require adjustments or relining to ensure a proper fit. These adjustments may incur additional costs, particularly if multiple visits to the dentist are needed.
With Dental Implants
Palate-less dentures supported by dental implants provide a more secure and stable solution. However, the cost will generally be higher due to the surgical placement of the implants and potential additional procedures such as bone grafting. Here are some cost considerations:
- Dental Implant Placement: The cost of dental implant surgery, including the type of implants (titanium or zirconia), number of implants needed, the expertise of the oral surgeon, and any necessary bone grafting procedures, will contribute significantly to the overall cost.
- Denture Fabrication: Similar to dentures without implants, the cost of fabricating the denture itself remains a factor. However, additional components such as attachments or connectors that attach the denture to the implants may also impact the cost.
- Follow-up and Maintenance: Regular follow-up visits for monitoring and maintenance, including professional cleaning and adjustments, should be factored into the long-term cost.
The cost of palateless dentures with or without implants can range from a few thousand dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the specific circumstances. Dental insurance coverage and financing options may also play a role in managing the overall cost.
Consulting with a dental professional and discussing your treatment options will provide a more accurate estimate of the cost based on your individual needs.