Cost of Dentures With & Without Insurance.

Cost of Dentures With & Without Insurance.
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Cost of Dentures With & Without Insurance.Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. What Are Dentures?
  2. Cost of Dentures
  3. Insurance Coverage
  4. Medicare & Dentures
  5. Important of dentures
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. References

If you have dental insurance, dentures should be covered at least in part by your insurance because in most cases they are considered a medically necessary appliance. You may end up paying for some additional costs based on the specific procedures you need before and after you receive dentures.

There are three quality and cost levels of dentures:

  • Basic ($300 to $500 per plate)
  • Mid-range ($500 to $1,500 per plate)
  • Premium ($2,000 to $4,000 per plate)
How Much Dentures Cost

Insurance covers anywhere from 15 percent to 50 percent of the cost (usually after you meet your deductible). All insurance companies have pre-negotiated rates for dental procedures, and the rates are different for each company. That means someone with Insurance A will have a different rate than someone with Insurance B.

If you don’t have dental insurance, you can expect to pay more for your dentures than someone with insurance. However, many dentists and orthodontists have pre-set private pay rates that are lower than what they will bill to an insurance company.

There are also options to get dentures at a reduced cost or to make the financial burden more manageable for those who don’t have insurance.

What are dentures?

Dentures are appliances designed to replace several missing teeth. They can either be permanent or removable. Typically, older adults who have lost all of their teeth to gum disease get dentures.

While they can cosmetically improve your appearance, dentures are more important for protecting your overall oral health after serious tooth damage and loss. Dentures are not used in cosmetic dentistry just to improve your smile’s appearance if you still have reasonably healthy teeth.

If you are missing enough teeth that you have trouble chewing, keeping your teeth clean, and speaking, dentures could be a good solution for you. Your dentist will recommend them if appropriate.

Dentures are a dental appliance designed to replace several missing teeth, but dental insurance will only cover some of the overall cost, and you will likely pay out of pocket for the rest.

Breaking down the cost of dentures.

The cost of your dentures is usually based on what type of device it is and what it is made from. Types of dentures include:

  • Conventional. Any decayed or injured teeth are removed, your gums heal, and then a removable denture is created for your mouth.
  • Immediate. This is a temporary removable denture that is given to you the same day you have teeth removed.
  • Overdenture. This can fit around some natural teeth that may be saved, using these teeth as an anchor. This may be called a partial denture.

Your dentures may need consistent adjustment for the first few weeks or months, and these adjustments will occur during checkups with your dentist. This process is crucial to keeping your gums and jawbone healthy since adjustments prevent sliding or scraping. But seeing your dentist this often can get expensive, even when your insurance helps to pay for the appointments.

Know that these visits are necessary early on, but they taper off over time. Dental insurance should cover annual checkups, and your dentist should only need to adjust your dentures on an annual basis after the initial setup process.

Materials used to make dentures include:

  • Acrylic.
  • Porcelain.
  • Metal (for frames).
  • Plastic (in combination metal and plastic frames.

Other factors contributing to a higher denture cost include:

  • The skill of your dentist.
  • The cost of living in your area.
  • The materials the dentures are made from.

Dentures often range in price along these lines:

  • Basic dentures average $300 to $500 per plate, which is either the upper or lower teeth. This is about $600 to $1,000 for both upper and lower jaws.
  • Mid-range dentures made from higher-grade materials range from $500 to $1,500 per plate. The total cost is $1,000 to $3,000 for both jaws.
  • Premium dentures cost between $2,000 and $4,000 per plate, or about $4,000 to $8,000 for a full set. These are most expensive because they are personalized to fit your jaw. They use the best materials to simulate gums and teeth, and they can last up to 10 years.

You may choose dental implants to support your removable denture plate rather than getting adhesive for the dentures. Implants can vary even more in price. One set of two to six implants plus one removable denture plate can be as little as $3,500 or cost as much as $30,000.

Remaining damaged teeth will need to be extracted, and you will need time to recover before you get the dentures set up. Extraction can cost $75 to $450 per tooth for a simple extraction, or $150 to $650 for a surgical extraction.

If you get dentures from a prosthodontist rather than your general dentist, you are likely to pay more for this specialized service. However, you will get higher quality dentures and a better fit, so they may last longer than poorer quality dentures that are less expensive upfront.

Dentures can break or crack, requiring repairs. You can opt for a repair kit, which varies in price from $10 to $50, but it is safer to work with your dentist on repairs. The price for this can range from $50 to $200, with another fitting after the repair costing $250 to $450.

Insurance coverage and preventative steps before you need dentures.

If your dentures are medically necessary, which is true for the vast majority of cases, your insurance can pay anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of the cost.

This means that the cost of a basic set of dentures with insurance will be $300 to $850 versus $600 to $1,000 without insurance. The cost of a premium set of dentures with insurance will be $2,000 to $6,800 versus $4,000 to $8,000 without insurance.

Ask your dentist about how your insurance will cover the cost of the whole procedure, from tooth removal and healing to repairing dentures later, if needed. Some dental insurance plans have health savings plans you can apply to your additional expenses. Many dentists and prosthodontists offer payment installment plans.

Medicare & dentures.

Medicare does not cover most dental services, including dentures. Generally, you will have to pay for your dentures fully out of pocket if Medicare is your only form of insurance.

Many people on Medicare get supplemental dental insurance plans that can offset some of the cost of dentures.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it may include dental coverage as part of its umbrella of services. Some Medigap plans may cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with dental services that are traditionally not covered by Medicare. Talk to a plan advisor to find out if your specific plan covers dentures to any degree.

The importance of dentures.

Dentures are important for your overall oral health. It’s also important to manage your oral health in other ways to reduce your risk of needing dentures later in life. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings.

Seeing your dentist regularly will ensure any major issues are treated when they come up. If more serious dental issues aren’t addressed, they can lead to tooth loss. If you care for your teeth well, you may be able to avoid the need for dentures as you age.

Frequently asked questions.

Do all dentures cost the same?
The cost of dentures varies significantly depending on the type, construction materials and customization. Acrylic dentures are cheaper than porcelain dentures and other high-grade material dentures. Partial dentures are cheaper than complete dentures, and basic pre-constructed dentures will be cheaper than premium custom-fitted dentures.
What is the cheapest way to get dentures?
The cheapest way to get dentures is through donated dental services, government-funded programs and discounted plans. In the DDS program, dentists volunteer free dental services to eligible applicants. Government programs, including The Dental Lifeline Network, offer similar services. To be eligible, you must be 65 years or older, be medically compromised and be unable to afford dentures. If not, discounted dental plans and dental colleges are your best low-cost options.

References.

Dentures. Mouth Healthy, from the American Dental Association (ADA).

What are Dentures? Colgate.

How Much Do Dentures Really Cost Without Insurance? Cigna Dental Plans.

How Much Do Dentures Cost? Health.CostHelper.

Restorative Care vs. Dentures: Impact of Dentures on Health. (April 2019). Delta Dental.

How Much Do Dentures Cost? (June 2021). Fixodent.

How Much Do Dentures Cost? (September 2021). New Mouth.

Where Can You Get Free or Low-Cost Dental Work? (September 2021). Very Well Health.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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