Your dental health directly impacts your overall health. Having your natural teeth removed to prevent more major health issues can be a hard decision, but often turns out to be the best course of action. Most dental patients who have had multiple extractions will choose to get dentures to protect not just their health, but their smiles, speech, and ability to properly chew their food. The problem is that finding affordable dentures isn’t always easy.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation report, Oral Health in the US: Key Facts, 15% of the US population lives in dental Health Professional Shortage Areas. Forty percent of Americans have no dental insurance, according to US News and World Report, even though enrollment in a dental plan is the primary indicator of a patient’s ability (and likelihood) to get proper dental care.
So, what is the problem?
Getting dentures – full or partial – can easily cost thousands of dollars. How do you find quality, affordable dentures? Prices can seem astronomical.
Affordable Dentures Aren’t the Same as Cheap Dentures
Before we discuss the factors that will impact your buying decision, let’s first make a very important distinction: Seeking out affordable dentures prices is not the same as getting “cheap” dentures. You can get fitted by a seasoned, skilled dental professional and get quality dentures at an affordable out-of-pocket price. Affordable dentures refer to the value you get for your financial investment, and you can get well-crafted dentures that fit properly without paying thousands of dollars for them.
Cheap dentures, on the other hand, refer to both the quality and the cost of the dentures. Usually, when you go for the cheap dentures, the dentures themselves carry a small price tag but they end up costing you more in the long run for maintenance and frequent relining (refitting). Add to that the fact that you will probably have days and weeks of discomfort to endure.
The Five Things That Will Influence Your Denture Care Decision
If you want to find affordable dentures, you first must know what you need:
- Is this your first set of dentures or a replacement set?
- Are you going to need to have oral surgery to get one or more of your teeth extracted?
- Do you need partial dentures or a full (or complete) set?
- What material will your dentures be?
- Would dental implants be a better choice for you?
These are all questions that will ultimately determine the kind of inexpensive dentures you buy. But there are also issues to consider that impact how much you will pay for your dentures:
Full vs. Partial Dentures – If all of your natural teeth have been extracted, you will need a full set of dentures. If you still have some of your natural teeth, partial dentures are the way to go.
Denture Materials – Your dentures can be made from acrylic, nylon polymer, or cobalt metal. Each material offers its own distinct set of benefits and factors into the price you pay for your dentures. Metal, for instance, is more costly because it’s difficult to break, while denture plates made from acrylic resin are less expensive, more flexible, and can be tinted to match your natural gum line.
Removable vs. Fixed Dentures — Dental implants (which involves surgically implanting metal rods into the jawbone for a secure, permanent fit), cost significantly more than standard, removable dentures that you take out at night. The more rods you have implanted, the more expensive the dentures will be.
Extractions — If this is your first set of dentures, you may need to see an oral surgeon to have your teeth extracted before your denture dentist can fit you for dentures. If you choose to see a prosthodontist – a dental specialist who has undergone three years of additional training in replacing missing teeth and restoring damaged teeth – you will likely pay more money to get your dentures than you would working with a general or cosmetic dentist.
Payment Options –If you have dental insurance, the amount of money you pay out-of-pocket versus what your insurer pays will impact how much you spend on full or partial dentures. You may be able to find a local dentist who offers flexible payment options, in-house financing, or who may allow you to defer payments.
Take Time to Adjust to Having Dentures
Regardless of the type of dentures you get, it will take some time to get used to them. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few weeks to get accustomed to the feel of your new dentures. Most people experience some level of discomfort or soreness in the beginning. If you experience pain as well, speak to your dentures dentist about what you can do to minimize the discomfort.
Your dentist will teach you how to take care of your dentures. While your dentures will require the occasional adjustment (denture reline), the better you are able to care for them, and the longer they will last you.
You can’t put a price on your health, and you can’t put a price on the convenience and confidence dentures provide. That said, take any relevant issues into account as you are making your decision to invest in dentures. If you can avoid doing so, skip the cheap dentures, and spend your time looking for affordable dentures prices from dentists in your area.
Only your dentist can tell you if dentures are right for you.