How much do partial dentures cost? -
This page provides fee estimates for the following categories of removable partial dentures:
- 1) Cast metal - Metal frame work partials.
- 2) Acrylic - Plastic partials, sometimes having wire clasps.
- 3) Flexible acrylic (Valplast®, Duraflex®, tcs®) - Plastic partials having flexible plastic clasps.
- 4) Replacement partials - New appliances needed due to loss, theft, breakage or other mishap.
"Per unit" fees.
In all cases, the costs shown on this page are for a single "unit," meaning one partial (either upper or lower).
Number of artificial teeth.
In most cases the total number of teeth the partial actually replaces, either large or small, has a fairly minimal impact on its overall price.
Associated dental work.
It's important to note that the prices shown on this page are just for a patient's removable partial denture alone. If any other dental procedures are required, such as tooth extraction or jawbone recontouring (see links below), additional fees will apply.
Fees for removable partial dentures.
A) Cast-metal partial dentures -
- Removable partial denture, cast metal framework - Upper or lower.
$935.00 - $1975.00
Low fee = Small rural city or town.
High fee = Large metropolitan area.
What is a cast partial?
Cast-metal partial dentures are so named because their underlying metal framework (substructure, major connector and tooth clasps) is custom fabricated (cast from metal alloy). Denture teeth and gum-colored plastic are then added to this framework to complete the appliance.
Cast partials are typically the standard by which other types of partial dentures are compared. Due to the advantages they offer (strength, durability, excellent fit and retention, minimal thickness), they are typically considered to be the preferred type for most applications.
How much does your dentist pay for a cast partial denture?
Only a technician working in a dental laboratory has the skills and equipment necessary to fabricate a cast-metal partial. And that means, beyond all of the other expenses involved when your dentist makes one for you, they'll also incur a lab fee.
Fee estimate for cast-metal partial denture: (Your dentist's cost.)
- Partial denture, cast-metal framework - $167.00 to $229.00
The quality of materials used (teeth, plastic and metal alloy) as well as the design of the partial will affect the price. Vitallium® is a well known premium-quality partial denture alloy.
B) Acrylic (hard plastic) partial dentures -
- Removable partial denture, acrylic (plastic) base - Upper or lower.
$650.00 - $1110.00
What are acrylic partial dentures?
As their name implies, the base portion (major connector) of an acrylic partial is made out of (gum-colored) plastic. The needed denture teeth and metal tooth clasps are embedded in this plastic base.
Acrylic partials are typically considered to be less desirable than cast ones (in terms of function, strength, durability and their effect on the patient's natural teeth). They do, however, offer the advantage that if more natural teeth are lost, additional artificial teeth can usually be added to the existing appliance. (A new partial does not have to be made, which is often the case with cast appliances.)
C) Acrylic (flexible plastic) partial dentures-
- Removable partial denture, flexible plastic base and clasps (Valplast®, Duraflex®, tcs®) - Upper or lower.
$1075.00 - $1487.00
What are flexible partial dentures?
"Flexible" partials are appliances where both their base and tooth clasps are made out of a pliable (bendable) tissue-colored plastic.
- Their flexible nature can make wearing this type of appliance less irritating to teeth and soft tissues.
- The fact that the tooth clasps are the same color as gum tissue can help to make them less noticeable.
Some of the brand names involved with this type of appliance are Valplast®, Duraflex® and tcs®.
How much does your dentist pay for a flexible partial?
Fee estimate for flexible-plastic partial denture: (Your dentist's cost.)
- Partial denture (Valplast®, Duraflex®, tcs®) - $160.00 to $210.00
D) Replacement removable partial dentures -
What does the term "replacement partial denture" mean?
We're using this term to refer to any type of partial that is being made to replace a previously existing one (same number of replacement teeth). The previous appliance might be broken, lost, missing, stolen or simply worn out.
The term "replacement partial" isn't a formal category.
There's no special dental office or insurance classification for "replacement partial dentures." We've only listed them as an individual category on this page for those readers who are unaware of this point.
Replacement partials are billed out by dentists (the same fees as listed above) and benefits paid for by insurance plans the same as regular ones (whichever type that might be).
Why is the fee the same?
The reason the cost is identical is because when making the new prosthesis, all of the steps that the dentist must again take, and the number of appointments needed, are essentially the same as when the appliance was initially made. Also, the dentist's bill from the dental laboratory that fabricates the new appliance will be the same too.
Dental insurance plans won't always pay benefits for replacement partials.
- In most cases an insurance company will only provide benefits for a replacement partial denture once every so many years (5 years would be a common interval, this assumes no additional teeth will be replaced with the new appliance). So if your current needs lie outside of that time window, you should be OK.
- If the full duration has not yet elapsed, there are policies that specifically include in their exclusions section: "Replacement of a lost, missing or stolen removable partial denture."
(It's important for you not to be swayed by our statement above. The only way you can know for sure what applies in your case is to read your own policy.)
- See our next section for additional details about insurance coverage for partials.
Does dental insurance cover partial dentures?
Dental plans frequently do provide benefits toward the cost of all types of removable partial dentures. If so, this procedure is usually listed under the category of Major Dental Services.
A common scenario would be one where benefits for the partial are limited to 1/2 of its cost, after subtracting the policy's deductible (if there is one). The amount actually paid will also be limited by the plan's maximum yearly benefits. (This page provides a more thorough description of how benefits are typically calculated.)
Insurance limitations on partial denture coverage.
Plans frequently have restrictions that affect when benefits are paid. They can include:
- Benefits may only be allowed for partial construction once during a prescribed time frame (5-years is common).
Example #1 - You had a lower partial made 3 years ago while you were a member of your current plan. Benefits toward a replacement appliance will not be available until 5 years have lapsed since the completion of your current lower partial.
Example #2 - You wear a lower partial that you paid for on your own 3 years ago. Since then you have enrolled in a dental plan. It could be expected that having a new lower partial made now will be covered. (The limitation doesn't apply because the company paid no benefits toward your current appliance.)
- An exception to the above limitation would be the case where you have lost additional teeth since your current partial was made.
With this scenario, the loss of teeth may result in a situation where your current appliance is non-functional. If so, your insurance company will likely considered providing benefits for a new one, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since it was made.
Coverage for associated treatment.
If any additional dental work is required for the placement of your partial, such as tooth extractions or possibly even jawbone alveoloplasty, insurance benefits for those procedures will be determined separately according to that procedure's coverage and policy limitations (see links above).
If they haven't been removed already, the cost of extracting the teeth being replaced by the partial must not be overlooked. If many are needed, this may add substantial expense to the total cost of your treatment plan. (We provide fee estimates for tooth extractions here.)
In some cases, alveoloplasty may be required too. This is a surgical procedure that's used to reshape the jawbone ridge so it's idealized for wearing the new partial. (We discuss this procedure here.) Since the amount of correction that's needed will vary by case and design of the appliance, the associated fee can vary substantially.
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