How much do partial dentures cost? –
This page provides fee estimates for the following categories of removable partial dentures:
- 1) Cast metal – Metal framework partials.
- 2) Acrylic – Plastic partials, sometimes having wire clasps.
- 3) Flexible (Valplast®, Duraflex®, tcs®) – Partials having non-metallic, flexible clasps and bases.
- 4) Immediate partials – A procedure involving same-day placement of a partial following tooth extractions.
- 5) Replacement partials – New appliances needed due to wear and tear, breakage, loss, theft or other mishap.
- 6) Add a tooth to a partial denture. – The replacement tooth might be needed because one as broken off the appliance, or the person has had one of their natural teeth extracted.
FYI details about partial denture costs.
a) “Per unit” fees.
In all cases, the fees shown on this page are for a single “unit,” meaning one partial denture (either upper or lower).
b) The 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.
c) 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 (partial plates).
Costs for partials vary primarily according to the type of material from which their “major connector” is made (the main bulk of the partial to which all of its individual components are attached).
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.
How we calculate our cost estimates for procedures.
What is a cast partial?
Cast-metal partial dentures are so named because they have an underlying custom-fabricated metal framework (it makes up the partial’s major connector and tooth clasps). Denture teeth and pink plastic are then added to this framework to complete the appliance.
Cast partials are the standard to which all other types are usually compared. Due to the advantages they offer (strength, durability, excellent fit and retention, minimal thickness), they are typically considered to be the preferred type of partial for most applications.
Option – Precision Attachments.
In the case where a cast partial is in part anchored by a tooth that will have a new dental crown placed, the crown can be designed so it and the partial have matching (male/female) connectors that key into each other.
- The idea is that this type of attachment replaces the need for a conventional partial denture tooth clasp (the two little metal arms extending from a partial that grab around a tooth).
- A big advantage of a precision attachment is that it is more esthetically pleasing. (There are no clasp arms to see.) And this might be a significant advantage when the tooth shows prominently in the patient’s smile.
- In some cases, the use of a precision attachment may also enhance the partial’ retention (how well it is able to stay in place).
When this type of connector is chosen, both the partial and the new crown will have an added fee.
How much does your dentist pay for a cast partial denture?
Only a technician working in a dental laboratory has the equipment and skills 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 a cast-metal partial denture: (Your dentist’s cost.)
- Partial denture, cast-metal framework - $225.00 to $340.00
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 (the major connector) of an acrylic partial is made out of (gum tissue colored) plastic. The appliance’s teeth, and any needed wire tooth clasps, are then 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, corresponding artificial ones can usually be added to the existing appliance.
(With cast partials, often an entirely new appliance must be made.)
- Common reasons to choose an acrylic partial include: It has a lower cost. The appliance is just needed for a short time frame.
C) Flexible 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 (non-rigid, flexing) material, usually either thermoplastic nylon or ethylene propylene.
- The flexible nature of the appliance tends to make it less irritating to wear (as compared to hard acrylic partials).
- The appliance’s clasps are made from the same flexible material. Their translucent-pink color typically allows them to be less noticeable than shiny metal clasps.
- The fact that these appliances contain no metal or acrylic component makes them ideal for people who have sensitivities to these materials.
- (The option does exist where these same flexible materials can be used for the “pink” portions of standard cast partials (either around its artificial teeth or for clasps). One would expect that the pricing for this type of appliance would be slightly greater than what’s shown above for traditional cast partials.)
Some of the brands associated with this type of appliance are Valplast® (thermoplastic nylon), Duraflex® (ethylene propylene) and tcs® (thermoplastic nylon).
How much does your dentist pay for a flexible partial?
Fee estimate for flexible partial denture: (Your dentist’s cost.)
- Partial denture (Valplast®, Duraflex®, tcs®) - $180.00 to $280.00
▲ Section references – LMTmag
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’s made simply to replace a previously existing one. 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.
The cost for a replacement will be the same as the regular fee the dentist charges for that type of partial.
Why is the fee the same?
When making the new prosthesis the dentist must repeat all of the same steps they performed when the original appliance was made. (They’ll also incur the same dental laboratory bill.) So since making the replacement offers no shortcuts, the fee is the same.
Dental insurance plans won’t always pay benefits for replacement partials.
- It’s common for a dental plan to limit how often a replacement can be made. (5 years would be a common interval.)
- This exclusion often also extends to the replacement of lost, missing or stolen partials.
- (It’s important for you not to be swayed by our statements above. The only way you can know for sure what applies in your case is to read your policy.)
See below for additional details about insurance coverage for partials.
Immediate partial dentures.
Any of the kinds of partials described above can be delivered to the patient as an “immediate” prosthesis.
In this context, the term “immediate” refers to the fact that the partial is inserted during the same appointment when one or more of the teeth that the partial replaces were extracted.
The obvious advantage of this protocol is that the patient is never without teeth. Immediately following their extractions, the new partial is delivered (fitted and sent home with the patient).
(In comparison, with conventional partial construction a period of a month or so is usually allowed for jawbone healing following extractions. A time period during which the patient will not have an appliance to wear. After this waiting period, partial construction is then begun, which will take an additional few weeks.)
If the new appliance involves missing front teeth, an immediate partial may be the only option that the patient will consider.
The awkwardness of using immediate technique is that the gums and jawbone will not have “cured” (healed over, a process that takes 30 days, and longer) prior to the placement of the partial.
That means that during this time frame the fit of the partial over these areas will be inexact.
- With tooth-borne partials (partials that get most of their support from the teeth they grasp), this may not be much of an inconvenience or concern.
It’s possible that space may open up between the partial and gum tissue as the gums shrink during the healing process. In some cases, this gap may show prominently or trap food.
If so, the dentist can fill in the gap by adding plastic to the partial. (An easy process referred to as relining.) If changes continue, they can repeat the reline process.
- With tissue-borne partials (partials that have portions that are supported solely by gum tissue), maintaining a proper fit of the appliance as the jawbone heals requires more effort.
But just as above, what’s required is for the dentist to perform relines periodically (adding/changing the partial’s plastic that rests on the gums).
Costs for immediate partial dentures.
- It’s common that an additional fee is charged when immediate placement is chosen.
- Probably the most important question to ask is if the needed relines are included in the fee (they often are if needed within a certain time period), or if they will be charged separately at the time of service.
- The relines performed during the initial stages of the healing process will be “chairside” ones. Later on, after the healing process has substantially completed, a dentist may recommend that a more durable “laboratory” reline should be placed. (More information: chairside vs. laboratory relines.)
You should ask what costs are associated with this procedure. Frequently it’s not included in the initial fee quoted.
Partial denture tooth addition or replacement.
It’s frequently possible for a dentist to add or replace a partial denture tooth. As common examples, a tooth may have broken off the patient’s appliance. Or the person may have had a tooth extracted and therefore now needs an additional one added to bring their partial back to full function and/or satisfactory appearance.
- Add or replace tooth on an existing partial denture.
$95.00 – $141.00
Note: If a tooth has come off and you have found it, having it to give to your dentist may or may not (probably not) influence the size of your bill.
But what’s important to know is this. Denture teeth will tend to pick up stain over time. So if your dentist considers your detached tooth worthy of reusing, doing so will ensure the perfect color match with your partial’s other teeth.
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.
As a Major service, it’s common that the benefit paid is limited to 1/2 of the cost of the partial, 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.
Dental plans frequently have restrictions that affect the benefits paid for partials. They can include:
- Benefits may only be provided 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 elapsed 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 the teeth has now made your current appliance inadequate. If so, your insurance company will likely provide coverage for a new one, regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since your current one was made.
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 substantially to the 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 the alveoloplasty procedure here.)
The fee for this service will vary on a case-by-case basis, simply depending on the amount of correction required.
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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.