Dentures have been in use in dentistry for many years. They have been used in helping those that have lost their natural teeth to restore their functionality, such as eating and speech. Over the years, dentistry experts noticed that while traditional dentures helped resolve a number of issues, they were not ideal for every patient.
Today, there are various types of dentures, and patients can get them depending on their preferences or unique cases.
This post highlights the different types of dentures available, who is the ideal candidate for them, and their costs.
What Are Dentures?
People may lose teeth for various reasons, including facial injuries, aging, gum disease, and tooth decay. Dentures are synthetic replacements for missing natural teeth. They are also known as artificial or prosthetic teeth and are used whenever someone does not have enough or any natural teeth to assist them in their day-to-day activities.
Besides helping you regain the functionalities of your natural teeth, such as eating and talking, dentures are also helpful in improving your aesthetics. They help fill out your facial profile, improving your overall appearance.
Some dentures replace a few missing teeth, while others can replace all your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. Dentures are usually supported by oral cavity tissues and are typically removable.
If searching for denture alternatives, you can decide between veneers vs implants.
What Are the Different Types of Dentures?
There are many types of dentures that you can get. Depending on your oral health status and lifestyle, you can get removable or fixed forms of dentures. As expected, all these types of dentures have different price tags and ideal candidates. Your dentist will take you through all these considerations before settling on the best type of dentures.
Let’s have a look at the most common types of dentures and costs:
1. Traditional Complete Full Dentures
Complete dentures also referred to as traditional or full dentures, are replacements for an entire set of teeth. They are given to those that have lost all their natural teeth. These types of dentures are most common among those with advanced age.
Before your dentist recommends complete dentures, they will first have to try to save at least some natural teeth. In most cases, using full dentures becomes necessary once all other options have been exhausted.
Traditional dentures are made of acrylic resin. Once placed in the mouth, they are supported by the remaining hard and soft tissues, which may not be as stable as natural teeth or implants that get anchored into the bone.
- Restores the functionality of natural teeth, such as eating and chewing
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- Gives a fuller, more youthful appearance
- New users may experience difficulty in speaking at first
- Can slip out of place when speaking or eating
- The retention of lower dentures may decline over time
- These dentures require maintenance like reline
Complete Dentures Cost & Insurance
Complete dentures typically cost between $500 and $4,000. Various factors come into play, including the procedures involved and the location. Depending on your dental insurance provider, most insurance companies may only pay half the total denture amount.
Finding an insurer that fully covers the costs may take time and effort. As a rule of thumb, it would be prudent first to check in with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage before beginning the treatment.
You may also take advantage of various dental discount plans near you to lower the total costs.
2. Partial Dentures
Partial dentures are used if you still have some healthy natural teeth that your dentist wishes to save. These dentures are usually clipped around the remaining natural teeth. There are two main types of partial dentures that you may consider: Fixed Partial Dentures and Removable Partial Dentures.
Before deciding on the best one for you, consider looking at some different types of partial dentures pictures. Here is a quick summary of their differences:
Fixed Partial Dentures (Implant-Supported Bridge)
Fixed Partial Dentures, also known as an implant-supported bridge, are used to replace a few missing natural teeth. Dentists use at least two dental implants and prosthetic teeth in between on either row. As per their name, these dentures are permanently fixed into the mouth, and only the dentist can remove them.
- Ideal for patients with three or more missing natural teeth in a row
- Patients feel more secure with fixed dentures
- They are stronger than removable dentures
- Requires surgery during installation
- Typically cost more than removable dentures
- First-time users may find it challenging to keep them clean
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable Partial Dentures are removable and easily replaced. They are used to replace missing teeth in your upper or lower jaw to restore your teeth’ natural appearance and functionality.
The base of removable partial dentures is attached to at least two clasps — made of plastic or metal — to hold the dentures in place for support. These types of removable partial dentures are ideal for patients that may not be fit to undergo surgery.
- Easily removable
- Easy to clean
- Made out of durable materials
- They prevent teeth shifting
- They can only be used to replace missing teeth in either jaw
- Metal clasps may show when smiling
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures cost between $650 and $2,500 per row. Fixed partial dentures are technically more expensive and cost between $1,500 and $6,500. While some insurance providers may cover some part of the total cost for removable partial dentures, it would be prudent to inquire from your providers if they cover the fixed partial dentures. This is because some insurance companies view this as not a medical necessity but a personal preference.
3. Immediate Dentures
Before getting full dentures, all your natural teeth have to be extracted, but you have to wait for at least 6 to 8 weeks before you get the permanent dentures fitted. During this waiting period, your dentist provides immediate dentures, which, unfortunately, may not look natural, require more upkeep, and may be challenging to get used to as they are not molded to your gums.
- Immediate dentures provide a temporary solution for eating and talking after the extraction of all-natural teeth
- Provides for a smooth transition once you get your permanent dentures
- They are used to provide aesthetic appeal during the healing period after teeth extraction
- They are a temporary solution
- They are not made out of durable materials and are prone to breakage
- Not as natural looking as other types of dentures
- May require multiple adjustments
Immediate Dentures Cost
You should expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 for your immediate dentures. However, most dentists include this charge in the total treatment cost, meaning it may not be charged separately. If your dental insurance covers your denture treatment, the chances are that it may also cover immediate dentures cost to some extent.
4. Economy Dentures
Economy dentures are the cheapest dentures you can find, although not from a certified dentist. This is because most of these dentures are over-the-counter, and dentists often do not recommend them as they can harm your mouth. These dentures are premade, generic, and not custom-made to fit any particular mouth.
- Easily accessible
- More affordable than medical-grade dentures
- They can cause harm to your oral health
- They are not natural-looking
- They are the least secure dentures, and you may need to use denture adhesives to keep them in place constantly
Economy Dentures Cost
Depending on the source, you can find economy dentures for approximately $300 or even lower. It would be prudent to note that your dental insurance provider may not cover economy dentures, and you will have to pay for everything out of pocket.
5. Implant-Retained Dentures (Overdentures)
Implant-retained dentures, also known as overdentures, are held in place by dental implants. They are also known as one of the popular types of permanent dentures. Dentists use at least four dental implants to place the dentures in the upper, lower, or both jaws. These dentures are known to provide more stability than traditional dentures.
- More stable and robust
- Better functionality than other types of dentures
- They are custom fit hence more comfortable
- They are more natural-looking than other conventional dentures
- Invasive surgery involved
- More treatment time needed
- The most expensive denture treatment
Implant-Retained Dentures Cost
Overdentures are generally the most expensive types of dentures, and you can be expected to pay anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000. Some insurance providers may partially cover the treatment cost, but it would be prudent to confirm with your insurer before settling on the treatment.
Some places promoting dental tourism also offer these types of dentures at a much lower price. Simply determine the best place to visit and check out their unique offers.
Why Do People Get Dentures?
Tooth loss is the primary reason people get dentures. Various reasons may result in tooth loss, including:
Males over 35 are at a higher risk of tooth loss, mainly if they use tobacco products. Moreover, people with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart problems, are at a higher risk of losing their teeth.
How to Care for Your Dentures
There are different types of dentures, some better than others. However, the bottom line is that although dentures tend to mimic natural teeth, they are not natural teeth. This means they are prone to breakages and chipping, and proper care is necessary for them to last a long time.
Dental plaque may build up on your dentures without proper care, leading to other severe issues, such as bone loss, stomatitis, and bad breath. Oral thrush is a common condition you can face if you do not properly care for your dentures.
Your dentist will guide you on how to care for your dentures properly. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
There are two primary types of dentures: complete and partial dentures. Each of these two types has different variations of dentures, including implant-retained dentures, fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures, etc. You can browse the internet for types of dentures photos to get a better idea.
Many reasons may necessitate the replacement of dentures. However, your dentist may recommend denture replacement if they are severely chipped or broken, you can’t chew or speak properly when using them, they are not well-fitting in your mouth, they are causing you pain or discomfort, and if a bad taste or smell is coming from your dentures.
Dentures are made to replace the functionality of your natural teeth, including eating.
Depending on your case and preferences, your dentist may recommend dental implants, crowns, or dental bridges as denture alternatives.