MEDICAL TRAVEL ADVISOR
The five most important things you need to know before you travel.
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Getting affordable dentures
It is possible to get good quality dentures at an affordable price. But cheap dentures are usually just what they advertise; cheap. And by cheap, we mean cheaply made dentures.
You might be surprised to realize that many people just don’t understand what the defining line is between cheap and affordable, and this can spell denture disaster. An affordable denture should be defined as a denture that gives you value for your investment. An affordable denture should still have durability. A cheap denture may seem like a good idea at first, but after paying for three or four repairs down the road, most denture wearers will come to realize that they did not receive value from their investment. That is what truly defines an affordable denture from a cheap denture.
Less expensive methods of manufacturing a denture base may well save you money initially, but there are drawbacks to be considered. Traditional methods of making the pink denture base used a heat-curing process that tended to slightly shrink the denture’s intended fit. This led to a denture that no longer held a completely accurate impression of the denture wearer’s ridges, so the fit would have to be adjusted. The latest technology uses an acrylic injection method to form the final denture base, thus avoiding distortion and leaving the denture with the custom fit intended. Injection molded denture bases cost slightly more to make, but they give the denture a superior fit.
All that being said, it is still possible to find quality in an affordable denture if you are willing to make a few compromises. Again, these are compromises in custom design, not overall quality.
If you had your heart set on having your dentures surgically implanted with titanium rods, and custom designed teeth in just the shape and color you’ve always dreamed would make you look like a Hollywood star, take a step back. You’re going to have to set your sights on something more reasonable. A well made set of standard dentures fitted by a skilled denturist and manufactured at a reputable denture lab will still give a nice smile and the ability to eat properly. Even though your new dentures won’t have teeth modeled on your favorite celebrity, you can still choose from some decent looking catalog denture teeth.
If you are willing to re-adjust your expectations, then a good quality denture at an affordable price can be a reality.
Cost of Dentures
The cost of dentures is affected by many factors. Will this be a first set of dentures or a replacement set? Do you need partial dentures or full dentures? Will you choose standard dentures, and if so, which type? Or will you opt for denture implants, and will you choose to have each tooth mounted individually, or will you choose to permanently mount a set of dentures attached to one denture base. The type of material used will also affect the final cost of your dentures. Do you now feel like you are swimming in a sea of confusion? Well relax, and let’s break this information down into bite size pieces.
Basically the cost of any denture is related directly to it’s quality. That’s the bottom line. You get what you pay for. A good quality denture made by a top of the line denturist is going to give you the best value for the dollars you spend.
Denture insurance coverage is also a factor. Many dental insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of dentures. It’s best to consult with your provider to find out the specifics of your denture coverage, namely, what the policy will cover, and what it won’t cover. A little homework beforehand can save you the unpleasant surprise of finding out you have to pay for a non-covered procedure out of your own pocket.
Now let’s take a look at some of the variables. In the first place, a full set of dentures is going to cost more than a partial set since less materials are required to make them.
Standard or removable type dentures, whether partial or full dentures, can be made of various materials, each providing an increasing level of comfort and therefore an increasing level of cost. Acrylic denture bases are the most common, and this material usually costs less than flexible or soft type dentures that use a flexible resin in their manufacture.
Finally, we’ll take a look at denture implants. As the name implies, denture implants involve surgically implanting metal rods directly into the boney ridge for mounting the dentures on to later. The more rods you have implanted, the higher the cost of this denture. The number of rods needed is determined on whether each denture tooth will be mounted separately, or if only a few rods are needed to mount a partial or full denture plate.
While it wouldn’t be possible to quote actual prices for each type and procedure, those vary by denturist, hopefully you will now understand that there a varying degrees of cost according to the type of denture you finally choose.
Denture prices may be considered high, but in comparison with monthly expenses like home and auto loan payments, the cost of dentures is actually very reasonable. All three of these items can enhance your quality of life, but unlike dentures, your house and car payments continue on a monthly basis for years on end. When looked at in this context, dentures can actually be a bargain.
Dentures prices vary significantly across the board and there are many reasons why. The region you live in may have some affect. East coast living is generally more expensive than living in the mid-west, so denturists may need to charge more for their services to maintain higher office space fees.
There is also a price difference between the fees charged by prosthodontists when compared to fees charged by cosmetic denturists which may be as much as 30% lower.
And when it comes down to it, all denture insurance and denture discount plans were not created equally. Denture wearers should do some comparison shopping before they commit to any plan or company. It pays to do your homework!
Which brings us to the price of different types of dentures. To begin, partial dentures may sometimes actually wind up costing more than full dentures because of the precision measuring needed to make sure they fit between existing teeth. And some partial denture plates will be more expensive depending on their method of attachment.
Standard removable type dentures are less expensive than immediate type dentures which are set directly into the sockets once occupied by the natural teeth.
Denture implants are by far the most expensive type of denture, but they make up for it with one of the most secure fits available, and eliminate the discomfort created when dentures rub against the gum ridges.
Another factor in denture pricing is the type of materials used for manufacturing. Denture grade acrylics are the most used type of material, providing a smooth durable surface that allows for good fit and comfort. Denture acrylic is one of the less expensive denture materials.
Flexible dentures use a combination of denture grade acrylic enhanced with and overlay of flexible resin material. This denture is even more comfortable than plain acrylic dentures.
The soft denture is perhaps the most comfortable of all. Its denture base is totally made with the flexible resin, offering a snug fit that allows denture wearers the ability to eat foods that most standard denture wearers would find too difficult.
As you can see, there are many reasons why dentures carry the price that they do. Your denture professional can provide you with a complete list of charges for services offered.
With the rising cost of living today, everyone is looking for a discount, and it’s no different for denture wearers. Denture wearers need good quality dentures at a price they can afford, but the cost can be a strain on the family budget. So what happens? The denture wearer makes the sacrifice and foregoes the much needed personal care, which eventually leads to bigger health care issues.
The cost of health insurance is simply out of reach for many Americans, with premiums shooting through the roof. How then can a denture wearer find a little help? Well there are a few resources out there.
For student denture wearers there can be a little relief. There are some low cost denture plans that offer discounts on full dentures. This denture discount may be as much as 50%, but you have to see a denturist who is a participant in the plan. The discount denture plan has different tiers of membership. The student denture wearer can join at a single rate, couples rate or even family rate. They key requirement is that the denture wearer is a currently enrolled student.
There are other dental plans out there with broader guidelines for membership acceptance, and many will give a significant discount on dentures, but will likely not offer discounts for higher level services like denture implants.
We need to clarify that these are dental plans, and they differ greatly from denture insurance. While you will enjoy a discount from the participating denturist, you are still responsible for paying your own health care costs. The denture plan will not make direct payments to your denturist on your behalf. You are simply receiving your denture services at a reduced rate. These programs also make no guarantee of the quality of denture services that you will receive.
Senior citizens may also find themselves at a small advantage. Many denturists will give an automatic discount to this seasoned group of denture wearers. State sponsored senior citizens programs, sometimes known as Silver Saver programs, may also be accepted toward discount rates on dentures.
Sometimes all it takes is for a denture wearer with financial hardship to ask their denturist if they are willing to discount the cost of the denture service. Denturists are caring human beings, and some do a certain amount of discounting each month as a form public service. While they cannot contribute to the cost of denture materials, they may be willing to give a small discount on fitting services.
Your denture professional may be able to supply you with information about discount denture plans in your area.
Picture an attractive person checking you out at the local watering hole. Kind of cute, great clothes, goody body… all in all, a promising subject. And then you get the wink. So far so good. Then comes…THE SMILE! (Insert the sound of screeching brakes and breaking glass.) You are suddenly looking the cheapest, cheesiest, most artificial looking dentures you ever saw right in the mouth. As denture-face starts grooving his/her way toward you, you slap a ten spot on the bar and make tracks for the door. The evening has become a car wreck, and only one thing could make it worse. Flip flop the situation and denture-face is YOU!
This is the kind of nightmare you only hope you can wake up from. Cheap dentures look cheap for a reason and here’s why.
Most denturists would prefer to help you choose a quality denture that has been custom designed for you. Dentures that not only look great, but feel great. Dentures with the durability to stand up to everyday wear and tear, and keep their original fit and condition for as long as possible.
However, for various reasons some potential denture wearers find themselves at a one day denture shop, probably with the misguided notion that they are on to a great way to save some cash. While dentures purchased in such a place may be reasonably serviceable, there is no way they compare to quality customized dentures.
Dentures at places such as these don’t offer the opportunity to select the individual size, shade, and shape of denture teeth that can make a decent pair of dentures great. They simply don’t have time. They serve a clientele that wants their dentures now, today, and they’re not hung up on how those dentures look as long as they work. Dentures you purchase from this establishment are assembly line quality. Once you have been properly fitted, the denturist will wisk your info into the lab in back where he and the lab technician will choose which pre-manufactured teeth go into the denture base. One shudders to think of the results if stock is low that day.
This is not to rule out the possibility that you may actually wind up with a reasonably decent set of dentures, but the odds are definitely lowered right from the start.
Why not choose to invest in yourself. After all, cheap dentures are no bargain if you’re too embarrassed to wear them.
Partial Dental Costs vs Full Denture
There can be quite a difference between the prices of partial dentures and full dentures, and you may be surprised to learn why. To start, let’s review the purpose of each type.
Full dentures are also referred to as complete dentures because they replace the entire set of natural teeth. The upper denture has a pink denture base that extends across the roof of the mouth to aid suction, which helps keep the denture in place. The lower denture is U-shaped and hugs the bottom ridge of the jaw. For patients who have gone without teeth for a while, full dentures can make a dramatic difference in the way they look. These dentures will fill out the mouth area, relieving that caved-in appearance.
By comparison, a partial denture only replaces some of the teeth while the rest of the natural teeth remain. A partial plate usually consists of one or more denture teeth resting in a pink acrylic base that may contain a band of metal for reinforcement. Either metal clips may be used for attachment or the partial may actually be bonded, or glued, to the remaining natural teeth left on either side of the intended denture bridge.
One of the most important differences between full and partial dentures is the amount of custom work involved. The full denture is usually a pretty straight forward job and does not require an especially tricky measuring. Partial dentures can be a whole new ball game.
Since partial dentures need to fit exactly between the existing teeth, there is no wiggle room in their fit. And there is an added consideration with the manufacture of partial dentures. Sometimes it makes sense to construct a partial denture that leaves one or more spaces in the middle to accommodate existing natural teeth. While this gives additional stability to the denture, it also requires some very exacting measurements to assure everything fits together properly. This is where the skilled denturists are separated from the posers.
As you may have already surmised, partial dentures have the potential to actually cost more than a full set of dentures, though a straightforward partial denture placed in the front of the jaws will likely cost a little less than a full set because the less material needed should result in a lower cost.
You should now have a working understanding of what is involved when determining the cost difference between partial and full set dentures.