How much do dentures cost?

Prices for:  1) Full dentures- conventional, economy, immediate, replacement.  2) Denture relines- in-office, laboratory. | Details about insurance coverage, with examples. | Factoring in the cost of extractions.

Fees for full dentures.

This page shows price estimates for the different kinds of complete (full) dentures that dentists make for patients, and the reline services they offer for them.

"Per unit" fees.

It's important to note that in all cases the price ranges we show on this page are for a "single unit," meaning one upper or lower denture. We've stated our estimates this way because per-unit fees are how dentists and insurance companies typically bill out and process these expenses.

So how much does a full set of dentures cost?

You can expect that the price you'll pay for a complete set of dentures (upper and lower appliances together) will be exactly twice your dentist's single-unit fee.

Additional expenses.

1) With / without extractions.

It's important to understand that the prices shown on this page are just for a patient's denture work alone.

If any other type of treatment is required (such as tooth extractions or jawbone recontouring) an additional fee will apply for those procedures and it is typically billed separately. We discuss what you can expect here.

2) With / without insurance coverage.

The prices we show on this page are "without insurance." We discuss what you can expect when insurance coverage is involved here (benefits, restrictions, etc...).


Denture fees, by type of appliance/procedure -

 

1) Full dentures cost.

Note: The fee that a dentist charges will depend on what technique is used when the denture is constructed, "conventional" or "immediate." We explain both of these terms below.

a) Conventional full dentures cost -

  • Complete/full denture (conventional) - Upper or lower.

        $1275.00 - $2950.00
        Low fee = Small rural city or town.
        High fee = Large metropolitan area.
        [How we calculate our cost estimates for procedures.]

What does the term "conventional" mean?

We're using the word "conventional" to refer to the situation where all of the patient's teeth have already been removed by the time denture construction is actually begun. (The patient is "edentulous," meaning has no teeth.)

■   All replacement full dentures are conventional ones.

■   Sometimes a patient's initial set is conventional too, depending on how concerned they are about not having teeth during the weeks while their appliance is being made.

■   As advantages for choosing the conventional technique for a patient's first full denture: 1) Doing so typically involves allowing time for gum tissue and jawbone healing ("curing") before denture construction is begun. 2) The construction process is more straightforward for the dentist.

b) Immediate dentures cost -

  • Complete/full denture (immediate) - Upper or lower.

        $1495.00 - $3270.00

What is an "immediate" denture?

The term "immediate" refers to the situation where some of the patient's teeth still remain at the time when denture construction is begun.

  • It's usually just the patient's front teeth that are still in place. The back ones are typically removed some weeks prior so some degree of gum tissue and jawbone healing can take place.
  • Even with just front teeth, the patient's appearance remains fairly normal. And although different and challenging, the patient also retains some chewing ability during the weeks while their denture is being fabricated.

At that point when their new denture is ready, the dentist will extract their remaining teeth and 'immediately' place the new appliance. The patient is never without teeth (always having either their natural or new false teeth).

"Immediates" can be transitional or permanent appliances.

  • Some dentists categorize immediate dentures as transitional appliances, intended to be replaced in 6 months to a year after a suitable amount of post-extraction healing has taken place. At that time a new cost, for the new (second) appliance, will be incurred by the patient.
  • Other dentists intend for their immediates to provide more extended service (measured in years).

    In this case, as bone and soft tissue healing transforms the shape of the patient's jaws and therefore affects the fit of their denture, relines will be needed (see fee estimate below).

With either approach, it's important to ask your dentist what your additional costs will be.

c) Replacement dentures cost -

  • Complete/full denture (replacement) - Upper or lower.

        $1275.00 - $2950.00

What does the term "replacement denture" mean?

We're using this term to refer to the situation where a new prosthesis is being made to replace a previously existing one.

It might be that the previous denture has broken, been lost or has simply worn out.

"Replacements" don't really constitute their own unique category.

There's no special dental office or insurance classification for "replacement dentures." We only list them as a separate category on this page for those who might be unclear on this point.

When one is made, it's simply billed out by your dentist, or covered by your insurance plan, as a regular "full" denture. That's why the price range we show here is the same as the one shown for conventional dentures above. (Since all of the arch's teeth have already been removed, a replacement denture is always a conventional one, never an immediate.)

Why is a replacement denture's fee the same?

Any time a denture is made, the dentist performs essentially the same steps, utilizes the same number of appointments, and incurs the same laboratory expenses.

That means the dentist's cost in providing this service is the same whether they are making an initial conventional denture or a replacement one, hence the fee for both is the same too.

Insurance limitations.

Dental insurance policies won't always pay benefits for replacements.

  • It's fairly common for a dental plan to place a limitation on how often they will provide coverage for dentures. As an example, once every 5 years would be a common interval.
  • This limitation may also extend to the replacement of lost, missing or stolen dentures, not just worn-out ones.

Of course, your plan may not have this exclusion. You'll simply have to check. (See below for more details about insurance coverage for complete dentures.)

Additional fees that may be involved.

a) Don't overlook the cost of tooth extractions.

First-time denture patients that still have some remaining teeth will need to have them extracted. The link below provides cost estimates for tooth extractions. As a point of interest, in some situations a dentist may be able to charge less than usual.

b) Alveoloplasty.

Alveoloplasty may be required for some cases. This is a surgical procedure where the patient's jawbone ridge (the portion of the jaw the denture will fit over) is reshaped to more ideal contours. The fee charged will vary according to the extent of correction required.


Insurance coverage for complete dentures.

Dental plans frequently do provide benefits toward the cost of full dentures. If so, this procedure is usually listed under the category of Major Dental Services.

As a Major service, it's common that benefits are limited to 1/2 the cost of the denture(s), after subtracting the policy's deductible (if there is one). The amount paid is also limited by the plan's yearly maximum benefits. (This page provides a more thorough description of how benefits are typically calculated.)

 

Insurance limitations on denture coverage.

Many plans have restrictions that affect how often benefits for full dentures will be paid. They can include:

  • Benefits may only be provided for dentures (one upper, one lower) once during a prescribed time frame (5-years is common).

    Example #1 - You have a set of dentures that were made 3 years ago while you were insured under your current plan. Benefits toward a replacement set will not be available until that point when 5 years have elapsed since the completion of your current set.

    Example #2 - You currently wear a set of dentures that you personally paid for 3 years ago. You now have enrolled in a dental plan. The plan very well may provide coverage for a new set being made now. (The limitation doesn't apply because the company paid no benefits toward your current set.)

  • Benefits for denture relines or rebases (see below) are frequently limited to once every 3 years for an individual denture.

How much does your dentist pay to have your denture made?

While your dentist may do some of the laboratory work needed to construct your new dentures, it's usually a dental technician who does the bulk of the work.

Here's an idea of what your dentist's expenses are for this service.

Estimate of complete denture dental lab fees: (Your dentist's cost.)

  • Complete denture (upper or lower)  -  $180.00 to $330.00

The quality of materials used (both the type of teeth and pink denture-base plastic) will affect this price. So may the specific technique the dentist uses for denture construction.

Section references - LMTmag


2) Denture reline costs.

It's normal and natural that the shape of a person's jawbones will change over time. But as this change takes place, the fit of their dentures typically worsens.

"Relining" refers to a process where the internal surface of a denture is renewed, so its fit is restored.

  • Complete denture reline (chairside) - Upper or lower.

        $280.00 - $395.00

  • Complete denture reline (laboratory) - Upper or lower.

        $350.00 - $475.00

Chairside vs. laboratory relines.

The terms "laboratory" and "chairside" refer to two different techniques that can be used for the relining process.

Laboratory -

When a laboratory reline is performed, the dentist places impression paste directly into the patient's denture, and then inserts the denture into the patient's mouth, thus capturing an imprint of the patient's gum tissue.

The denture (with this impression still in it) is then sent to a dental laboratory where a new internal surface for the denture is created.

Chairside -

With a chairside reline, a runny plastic is placed directly into the patient's denture. The denture is then seated in the patient's mouth. As the plastic hardens, it captures the shape of the patient's gum tissue.

Advantages / Disadvantages

Each technique has its own strengths and weaknesses. In general:

  • Laboratory relines take more time to complete (sometimes the dentist keeps the patient's denture until the next day) but the new plastic that's placed is very durable.
  • Chairside relines can be completed in just one office visit but the plastic that is placed is typically less durable.

How much does your dentist pay for a laboratory reline?

Lab denture relines cost more than chairside ones in part because the dentist incurs an expense with the dental laboratory that performs the work.

Fee estimate for laboratory reline: (Your dentist's cost.)

  • Reline services, complete denture, hard plastic.  -  $75.00 to $130.00

Section references - LMTmag


3) Discount / Economy dentures cost.

In an attempt to make their services more affordable, some dentists offer lesser-quality dentures. The terms "affordable" and "economy" dentures are sometimes used to describe these kinds of products.

Economy dentures -

  • Complete denture (economy) - Upper or lower.

        $570.00 - $1350.00

Since most people know very little about how dentures are made, we'd like to describe this process so to explain how economy dentures can differ from the ideal.

Techniques often used to make dentures more affordable.

  • Using relatively lower-quality materials.
  • Taking a 'stock' (pre-made) denture and then fitting it to the patient's mouth. (A non-custom denture.)

If you're considering a discount denture, you should ask your dentist questions so you know precisely what type of appliance you will get.

Ask about the materials that will be used.

The teeth.

Lower-quality denture teeth typically don't have the same "life-like" (translucent) appearance of higher-quality ones. They may also be less resistant to wear and staining. Additionally, they may not be available in as many shades, sizes and shapes.

The plastic.

Lower-quality denture base plastics (the pink part of the appliance) may not be as colorfast, as resistant to staining or fracture, or come in as many shades as higher-quality ones.

Is the denture pre-made?

Some "economy" appliances are stock (pre-made) denture shells that are then relined to "fit" the patient.

It's important to understand that a denture's function, stability and comfort are all substantially affected by both its occlusion (the way its teeth bite against opposing ones) and the overall shape of its plastic base over the jawbone.

The technique where a stock item is fitted to the patient's mouth affords the dentist very little control over these factors.

While cheaper and quick, this type of product typically makes a poor choice. (Ask the dentist if they would fit one of these dentures for their own mother. We doubt any would.)

 
 
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 Page references sources: 

LMTmag.com Removable Prosthetic Fees.

Because the procedure estimates we show are developed by different means, you may find the survey of dental fees published by DentistryIQ an interesting independent source: DentistryIQ - 2017 dental fee analysis by region and CDT procedure code

All reference sources for topic Complete and Partial Dentures.

Comments

denture price

If the denture only cost the dentist $140 to $240 then why why is there a 1000% mark up for the patient?

WM

You're paying the dentist for their time, work and materials used.
Generally it takes 5 to 6 office visits for them to construct a denture for a patient.
Here's what happens during those appointments:
1) Taking the preliminary impression.
2) Taking the final impression.
3) Establishing "vertical" (determining the needed height of the denture teeth) and taking the bite registration.
4) Evaluating the "set up" during a "try in" process. (Meaning evaluating a mock up of the denture and the alignment of its teeth in the patient's mouth prior final denture fabrication.)
5) "Inserting" the denture, meaning adjusting the finished denture so it fits in the patient's mouth properly.
6) Post-insertion denture adjustments. (As needed.)

The fabrication cost of the appliance itself, while not insignificant, isn't the highest-cost factor. Time needed to make the denture is.

xxxxxx xxx xxxx Dentures

My mom got the xxxxxx xxx xxxx denture, a full set, about 4 years ago. They were less than half the price of regular dentures and are the most comfortable she ever wore. they still look great and she can eat most foods. They talk about economy dentures being bad but these are great. They fit better than any of her others and were done in 1 visit. we are thrilled

EJW

We redacted the name of denture system you mentioned. We wanted to make sure that readers didn't interpret our allowing the mention of a brand of 1-visit economy dentures on our pages as an endorsement.

We were unfamiliar with the system you mentioned. We Googled it and found a YouTube video by the system's founder, a Dr. Wallace, and have viewed it.

(From the details in those two paragraphs, anyone who wants to know more now has enough info that they can Google and do so.)

We think it's wonderful that this type of denture has worked out well for your mother. For others reading, we want to make it clear that even the founder of this system states "The one-step dentures are not meant to replace conventional dentures, but to be an alternative in these difficult economic times." (Wallace 2012) [page references]

We interpret that as meaning that conventional custom denture construction offers advantages over this technique (we would think in just about all ways). And that this option is best chosen only due to financial considerations.

It was our impression from viewing the video that this technique is very dependent on the dentist's skill in performing the needed steps (more so than with conventional construction, primarily due to time constraints needed to accomplish certain steps, and accomplish them the first time, properly, before the denture materials set). So in that regard, likely the dentist who fabricated your mother's denture is due as much credit as the system itself.

Lowest cost dentures

Can anyone tell me what states have the lowest cost arches?

MB

We're assuming you mean "the lowest cost for dentures per arch"?

We're not going to have much of an answer for you. The fees dentist charge generally reflect the cost of living in their area. So yes, some states might have lower fees by nature. Also, don't overlook that fees will typically vary by way of large metropolitan area vs. rural community. We discuss shopping for fees and fee estimates on this page.

3D dentures

Are 3D dentures printed (made in a 3D printer), or, are they 3D topographical maps made of the mouth to aid in automatic carving dentures. And, have they proven their quality?

Art S.

There seems to be a couple variations on 3D / cad-cam dentures. So we're not entirely sure what has been proposed to you.

The impression taking involved can either be traditional (impression paste) or optical/digital (scanner).
In the case of a traditional impression, it is scanned (converted into digital) at the dental laboratory. So either way, the copy of your mouth that the laboratory has is a digital one.

Using that copy of your mouth the denture is then designed via computer. (So no, they don't print a copy of your gums, they print appliances that go into your mouth.)

The denture you go home with isn't a printed one. (During the denture construction process, some of the test appliances used in your mouth are printed items.)

Once the final form for the denture has been determined, then the actual denture is made. The (pink) base portion might either be:

1) Milled (cad/cam) out of a block of plastic. Then holes for the teeth are made and they are bonded into place.
2) Created using a process similar to conventional denture construction (kind of like injection molding), with the teeth then added later (a step that is not like the way conventional dentures are made).

As far as materials and "quality." Every thing we saw in videos and such was either associated with a dental school, a lab whose reputation we are familiar with or a well-known denture plastics manufacturer.

We anticipate that the materials involved (teeth, pink plastic) are very similar to those used to make conventional dentures (you should ask).

The biggest difference we noticed is how the teeth are embedded in the denture's plastic.

1) With 3D systems they are bonded in place as a later step, after the plastic is already hard.
2) With conventional denture construction, soft denture plastic is allowed to work it's way around the the teeth under pressure, thus helping to create a mechanical lock, not just a bonded one.

As your dentist about this point: Is there a history of teeth debonding from the denture base more so than with conventional dentures. We don't know that that's a problem but it would be our biggest concern/question.

Teeth either comes out from my denture or it breaks while eating

I am wearing full denture since last 20 years, My dentist charged $ 2400 to 2800 for last pare. I am 70 years old & only living on my social
security income. I can not afford dental insurance or $2800 foe new denture. I live in NJ.state. Please help me find some alternate way to
make my denture, I need badly. I am waiting for your reply. thanks for your time.

Patel

You don't mention how long you've been wearing the dentures you currently have or what deficiency is associated with them.

Sometimes denture relining or rebasing (procedures that replace all or part of the pink-plastic portion of a denture) can help to extend the life of an appliance and thus help the patient avoid great expense. But admittedly, all prostheses finally come to a point where their length of service has finally been reached (the page linked to explains that too).

In regard to discounted services, here's a link to our page that explains where a person might look for information about dental assistance programs in their area. Beyond just a web search, finding out about all that's available will probably take phone calls and emails too. We're under the impression that some states have specific programs set up to help Seniors obtain affordable new dentures. Good luck.

This site

This site is AWESOME. It really helped me make some informed decisions regarding insurance coverage comparisons.
Thank you!!

Getting full upper denture/lower partial

And I am scared to death! I've had (a few) one tooth extraction but not all.at once!! And the dentures are immediate which seems weird.since I am having all of this done in one day and all they have done is take a scan of my mouth. I am paying in the $5K range so I guess it's the economy route, although my dentist did say he has discounted his services. I am glad to have found this site it has helped me understand a bit better how it's all done... Thanks!

* Comment notes.

Dentures

Valerie, I hope your recovery is going well.

I am 67 and am considering dentures. Bad teeth since childhood, 15 crowns, some failing. Just had a molar extracted.

Could you share your thought on dentures? Most dentists oppose it. Wife and I both think dentists have a strong financial interest against dentures.

I would appreciate your thoughts on recovery from all those extractions AND how the dentures are working you for.

We hope you are doing well

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