According to the National Association of Dental Plans, about ⅓ of Americans are not covered by dental insurance. The reason for this is they see dental health as merely a “middle priority” says a Cigna study in 2014. Unfortunately, as we age, our need for dental health increases, particularly for dentures. Hence, it’s not surprising that plenty, particularly adults, want to know how much dentures cost without insurance.
We searched several resources for you, and came to the conclusion that there is no definite amount. There is, however, an average amount and that’s what we will be discussing here. Also, we’re sharing tips on how to care for your teeth, so you don’t have to shell out that much in the future.
But before that, let’s discuss the types of dentures first.
Types of Dentures
Not all dentures are created equal. And that should be the case. The type of dentures you should get depends on your needs. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are three types: conventional, immediate, and overdentures. These can also be categorized into full or complete and partial ones.
Conventional dentures, as the name suggests, are what we regularly see among the elderly. They are created after the teeth have been removed and the tissues have healed. This falls under the complete dentures category.
Immediate dentures are created even before the tooth or teeth are extracted so that it can be inserted the same day the teeth were removed. These, too, are a type of complete dentures.
Overdentures are the ones you need if some of your damaged teeth can still be saved. It is basically placed over the damaged tooth to fill in the gap. This is a partial denture.
There are two other types not mentioned by ADA, but exists nonetheless: the interim dentures and implant-supported dentures. The interim dentures are the transitional ones you can wear in between procedures. The implant-supported are the ones attached to the dental implants.
The type of dentures you need will be assessed thoroughly by your dentist.
Dentures Cost Without Insurance
Now let’s discuss how much dentures cost without insurance.
Based on the types above, we can clearly see why we can’t provide a fixed amount. But we’ll break down the average price for classification. The data is based on several websites associated with oral health.
For both full and partial dentures, the average price is $1,800 dollars although another site claims the national average is $1,300 for the full set. The cheapest of all these types is the interim dentures, which can be as low as $300. The most expensive is the immediate dentures, which costs anything from $1,000 to $3,500. Additional tooth extraction can be $350 per tooth.
The differences in the prices depend on several factors such as what materials will be used, where the dentures will be placed, and how many checkups and procedures are involved. The process of getting dentures involves a dental exam, panoramic x-ray, diagnostic casts, and teeth extraction (when needed).
On the average, mandibular dentures are more expensive than maxillary ones. However, the adjustment and relining of the latter is a few bucks cheaper.
Immediate dentures are the most expensive because they may need realignment as the tissues heal.
What to Expect When Wearing Dentures
The first few weeks will be weird for denture wearers. Your cheek and tongue will gradually learn how to keep your dentures in place, but during the process, it’s normal for you to feel that your dentures are loose. You may also experience soreness and increased saliva flow as a result. However, once your mouth is used to it, everything will be back to normal.
Another thing you have to prepare for is cleaning your dentures. ADA recommends the following:
- Brush it regularly.
- Rinse it before brushing.
- Use soft-bristled brush only to avoid scratching it.
- Place the dentures in a clean place covered in water when you’re not wearing them. This prevents warping.
- Use ADA approved cleansers and/or adhesives only.
How To Avoid Expensive Dentures
Denture do cost a lot without insurance, so here are some alternatives. One, you can avoid paying for dentures out of the pocket if you avail of dental plans. Two, ask your dentist for other more affordable options. If, for example, you’re having sensitive teeth and considering tooth extraction and dentures, ask if you can have a root canal treatment instead. Lastly, take care of your oral health. Here are some ways:
- The first thing to do is to follow the proper oral hygiene–brush your teeth regularly, floss between teeth, and avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks. When brushing, avoid rinsing your mouth so as not to wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste. Also, don’t drink any beverages for about 30 minutes after brushing.
Flossing is necessary, too, because food can be trapped between our teeth. Overtime, it will decay and the bacteria will damage our teeth.
Sugary and acidic foods and drinks damages our teeth enamel, which makes our teeth weak and prone to breakage. The most common acidic drinks are coffee and wine.
- Eat foods that are good for your mouth. It’s common knowledge that calcium-rich foods give us strong bones and teeth. Thus consuming calcium-rich foods every day is necessary. If you think you’re not getting enough calcium, you can supplement.
- Visit your dentist regularly. There’s no denying that dental visits is a must for everyone. No matter how much we try to keep our teeth and mouth clean, there are just areas that need professional care. Plaques can harden overtime; thus, removing it with brushing is just impossible. Uncared for plaques can lead to more serious gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
- Don’t force your teeth to exert too much pressure. It’s been a common practice for us to use our teeth as a tool. We use it to tear open our snack’s plastic container, open some jars or bottles, or cut things when scissors or knife are not around. All these can break our teeth, which force us to opt for bridges, caps, or overdentures.
- If you’re aging and asked to take some medications, ask your doctor about the possible effects of these drugs on your oral health. Some medicines are known to cause dry mouth and contribute to periodontal diseases. Also, not that along with aging comes the deterioration of your oral health. Ask your physician how you can keep your teeth healthy all throughout.
How much dentures cost without insurance depends on several factors such as the material to be used, the type of dentures you need, and number of other procedures involved. Taking all these factors into consideration, prepare to fork up somewhere from $300 to $3500.
If you have dental insurance, however, your out-of-pocket expenses will go down drastically. Some sites report it can cheapen by more than 50%. A complete denture for example, which traditionally costs about $2,000 will set you back only $700 if you have a dental plan.
However, it is still costly for some, which is why we always recommend proper oral hygiene and regular dental appointments. The younger you start doing this, the better.