Complete dentures are used to replace missing teeth for people with no remaining teeth. Dentures may also be used for people who have lost several teeth. In this case, the appliance is called a partial denture or an overdenture.
Tooth loss may result from periodontal disease (gum disease), tooth decay, or traumatic injury. It is very important to replace missing teeth. The ill effects of not doing so can be a shift in remaining teeth, an inability to bite and chew properly, as well as a sagging facial appearance, which makes one appear older than they are.
The beauty of dentures today is that they are designed to be comfortable and functional. They are very similar in appearance to natural teeth, and can improve a smile or facial appearance.
Selecting a Dentist for Dentures
It is important to inquire about the dentist’s training and experience when investigating the denture procedure. For example, many general dentists perform the denture procedure. Yet, prosthodontists receive three years of advanced training in restorative dentistry. The American College of Prosthodontists offers additional resource information about the training of prosthodontists in the U.S.
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The cost of dentures depends on several factors, including:
- The possible requirement of an additional procedure such as extractions of remaining teeth or oral surgery to refine bony ridges.
- A prosthodontist specializes in crafting dentures and may charge more for his services.
- The location of the dentist.
- The type of dental insurance you have.
- The complexity of the removable denture that is required.
- Dental materials selected by the patient and the dentist. For example, highly cross-linked polymer denture teeth are more esthetic and do not wear as much as conventional plastic teeth and are more expensive. There are different metals that can be used in removable partial dentures that may also increase the cost.
- The type of warranty offered. Some warranties may be for one to two years, while others may run up to 10 years.
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Complete dentures can range in price from $400 to $8,000 (Compare with the cost of dental implants). The difference in cost is related to the fabrication time, cost of dental materials, and the experience of the dentist. An experienced dentist may take 15 hours and five to six appointments to complete the process of making complete dentures.
The cost range does not include fees associated with possible oral surgery or tooth extraction. Depending on the type of dental insurance you have, insurance companies may offer a 15 percent reimbursement or up to a 50 percent absorption of the total procedure costs.
If treatment is not covered by your dental insurance policy, or if you don’t have insurance, you may be able to enlist the services of a third-party financing company like CareCredit or Capital One. Qualified candidates can work with a financing company to develop a monthly payment plan that best fits their budget.