How much do partial dentures cost? -

Price estimates for cast metal, acrylic and flexible acrylic (Valplast®) removable partial dentures (partial plates). | Replacement partials. | Immediate partials. | Details about insurance coverage.

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) Immediate partials - A procedure involving same-day placement of a partial following tooth extractions.
  • 5) 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 (partial plates).

The cost for a partial varies, primarily due to the type of material from which its "major connector" (framework, base portion) is made.

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 did we come up with this estimate?)

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.

Option - Precision Attachments.

In the case where a cast partial is in part supported and retained by a tooth (referred to as an "abutment tooth") that's covered by a dental crown , a new crown can be designed and placed where it and the partial have matching (male/female) connectors that lock 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 clasp around an abutment tooth).
  • A precision attachment shows less (is more esthetically pleasing) than a conventional denture clasp. This might be a significant advantage when the abutment tooth involved shows prominently in the patient's smile.
  • In some cases, the use of a precision attachment may enhance partial retention (how well it stays in place).

When this type of connector is incorporated into the design of a cast partial, there is an additional per-attachment fee. (Multiple abutment teeth may involve one.)

Separately, when the corresponding crown is made for its tooth, an additional fee for the attachment will apply too.

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.)

Common reasons to choose an acrylic partial is the lower cost or that an appliance is just needed for some sort of temporary purpose.


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.

Insurance limitations.

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 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.

Advantages.

The obvious advantage of using this protocol is that the patient is never without teeth. The same day that the teeth are taken out, 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 after extractions have been completed, a time period during which the patient will not have an appliance to wear. After this wait period, partial construction is begun, which will take additional weeks.)

If the appliance involved replaces missing front teeth, an immediate partial may be the only option that the patient will consider. Additionally, when missing back teeth are involved same day insertion gives the patient better post-op chewing function.

Disadvantages.

The awkwardness of using immediate technique is that the gums and jawbone will not have "cured" (healed, filled in and recontoured) prior to the placement of the partial, a process that can take 30 days and longer.

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 way they grasp around and rest on natural teeth), this may not be much of a concern to the patient.

    A space will form between the partial and gum tissue as the gums heal and shrink. At some point the dentist will want to fill this space in by adding plastic to the partial (an easy process referred to as relining). If the gap that develops over time shows or traps food, the dentist may need to reline the appliance more than once.

  • With tissue-borne partials (partials that have portions that are supported solely by gum tissue), maintaining proper fit of the appliance requires more effort.

    But just as above, what's required is for the dentist to perform periodic relines (adding/changing the partial's plastic that rests on the gum tissue) as the shape of the healing gum tissue and jawbone ridge continue to change.

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 that price or if they will be charged separately at the time of service. (Relines needed during the healing time frame typically are included.)
  • The relines performed during 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 is placed (chairside vs. laboratory relines).

    You should ask what costs are associated with this procedure. Frequently it's not included in the initial fee quoted.

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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).


Additional expenses

a) Tooth-extractions.

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.)

Alveoloplasty.

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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Comments

fee for cast metal partial with resin

My dentist quoted me $3700. to make a new upper cast metal partial. I think this is $1000. more than I should pay. I would like to know what is a fair fee for this procedure

lag

Your comment's title is "fee for cast metal partial with resin."

We're interpreting that as meaning a cast metal partial (a partial that has a cast metal framework), with the "with resin" portion referring to the pink plastic (acrylic) that's attached to the cast framework, in which the partial's teeth are embedded (this day and age, denture teeth are usually resin too).

That's the typical "cast partial." Our estimate for a dentist's fee for making one is stated above.

Our number seems lower than the one you report. As a start, you would simply need to confirm that the fee quoted to you was just for the partial itself and no additional work (like tooth extractions or some type of supporting implant).

Another possible difference between what we refer to and what your dentist has in mind is that of "precision attachments." If a partial gets part of its support from a tooth that has a dental crown on it, via the use of a precision attachment the partial's clasp for that tooth can be designed where it shows less.

Assuming that none of these differences apply, it's common that fee differences between dentist in the same general area can vary somewhat substantially, often related to what their expenses are for running their office, or based on their experience/skills (such as a specialist's fee).

If dental insurance is involved, ask that a pre-determination of benefits is obtained from the insurance company beforehand. That will help you get an idea if your dentist's fee is substantially out of line with neighboring dentists.


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