Having a beautiful smile is important to make a good first impression, your self-esteem, and good overall oral health. When you have missing teeth, your bite can be compromised and bacteria can make a home in the sockets where your teeth used to be. Recent studies predict that nearly 38 million Americans will require dentures by the end of 2020. Dentures are a good, affordable way to revitalize your smile and keep your mouth healthy. The cost of dentures varies based type of denture and the quality of materials.
What are dentures?
Dentures are removable prosthetic devices that fit over your gums and resemble your natural teeth. Depending on how many missing teeth you have, you may need a partial or a complete set of dentures. Unlike dental implants, dentures are not permanently anchored in your mouth and can be removed for periodic adjustments and regular cleaning. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth closely, so you needn’t worry about them making you look different. In fact, dentures will help fill in your jawline and help you avoid that sunken look.
The benefits of dentures
There are many good reasons to opt for dentures to replace your missing teeth. Just a few of these include:
- Easy and fast. Dentures are much faster to fit and construct than other types of cosmetic dental solutions, especially implants. In many cases, we can fit you with immediate dentures until your permanent dentures are ready to fit.
- Improves your smile and your self-esteem. As unfair as it may seem, people tend to make snap judgments about people they first meet based on their appearance. A good smile can help open doors for you in work and social situations.
- Helps your bite. Dentures will also improve the way your upper teeth match up with your lower teeth, preventing the pain that often accompanies a misaligned bite.
- Makes speaking easier. Missing teeth can make speaking clearly difficult. Dentures help with your confidence and make enunciating words a lot easier and help you be more easily understood by others.
- Allow you to enjoy your favorite foods again. As people lose teeth, especially front teeth, they often lose the ability to eat and enjoy their favorite foods, such as raw apples, corn on the cob, and steak. Today’s dentures stand up to and allow you to enjoy all of these foods without worrying about slippage.
How much do dentures cost?
The average cost of dentures in Houston varies. At Zara Dental, we keep the cost of dentures affordable to everyone, whether you have dental insurance or not. We think you’ll see that we offer very affordable dentures in Houston. Below are just a few of the fees you can expect…
- Initial oral exam and evaluation — FREE (this compares to between $55 and $81 with other Houston area dentists).
- X-rays — FREE (this compares to between $121 and $158 with other area dentists).
- Single denture plate (upper or lower) — $1,397 to $2500
- Single partial denture — $1,297 to $3000
- Immediate dentures (single plate, upper or lower) — $1,497 to $2000
- Simple tooth extraction — $97 to $450 per tooth
- Surgical tooth extraction — $197 to $900 per tooth
- Fitting and adjustments to the dentures — FREE
Many dental insurance plans cover all or the majority of the cost of these services. In some cases, where dentures are necessary for your continued good health, your medical insurance may cover a portion or all of the cost of your dentures. For those expenses not covered under your insurance plans, we offer a variety of payment plans to make it affordable for you to improve your smile, your self-esteem, and your bite with dentures.
How much do dentures cost when you don’t have dental insurance?
Without dental insurance, the entire cost of dentures is your responsibility. However, we don’t want anyone to have to forego the aesthetic and health benefits of dentures just because they don’t have the necessary insurance coverage. For that reason, we offer a variety of financing plans starting with very low monthly payments to help make paying for your dentures as easy as having them fitted. We’ll discuss all of your costs and your payment options before we do any work or suggest a treatment schedule for you. We’ll never try to fit you into an existing plan. We’ll customize your denture plan to fit your mouth, your lifestyle, and your budget.
The different types of dentures
There is no “one-size-fits-all” type of dentures. There are many, different kinds of dentures. Just a few types we offer include…
- Traditional full or partial dentures — These are full or partial plates that fit snugly over your gums. Patients can be fitted for upper, lower, or both. Partial dentures replace the teeth in one part of the mouth and allow the patient to keep his or her healthy teeth. These are anchored to existing teeth and colored to match. The process of fitting traditional dentures begins with pulling any teeth that are to be replaced with the plate. Next, a mold is made of the gums, and dentures are constructed and fitted in the patient’s mouth. The process takes about 8-10 weeks from the time the gums are healed from the extractions. We encourage our patients to return for at least one fitting after they receive their dentures, to make sure that the dentures are comfortable.
- Snap-in dentures — Snap-in dentures are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. With this option, the denture plates are secured by “snaps” that are anchored into the jaw bone, much like anchors hold dental implants. The entire plate can be snapped in and out for cleaning and sleeping. This type of denture is recommended for patients that have few remaining teeth, but still have a strong jaw bone into which to anchor the snaps. Snap-in dentures are known for their stability. Since the snaps, much is implanted and the mouth allowed to heal after the surgery, the process of getting snap-in dentures takes somewhat longer than that of traditional dentures.
- Same-day dentures — Also called immediate dentures, this type of denture is fitted the same day as your teeth are extracted, eliminating the time you’d otherwise have to spend without any teeth. With traditional dentures, the dentist waits until the gum line has healed and any swelling has gone down before a mold is made for the plates. For this reason, some adjustment may be necessary with immediate dentures, since the gum line may have changed slightly as it healed from extractions. Same-day dentures are generally a little more expensive than traditional dentures.
How long can I expect my dentures to last?
On average, a denture plate can be expected to last between seven and ten years. However, many factors can shorten or extend this time frame. Smoking, eating acidic foods, grinding your teeth can all shorten the lifespan of your dentures. A person’s jaw bone can also change over time, making your dentures fit less snugly. While we can make minor adjustments to your dentures to improve the fit, you may need a new set when they begin to rub and irritate your gums.
Alternative cosmetic dentistry options
As much as we like dentures, we have to admit that they are not the right choice for every patient. Other cosmetic dentistry options include…
- Dental implants — These individual enamel teeth are fitted on titanium screws that are anchored into your jaw. They function very much as your natural teeth did and can last for up to 20 years. However, the process of getting ready for implants, setting the anchors, and fitting the teeth can take several months or longer. Dental implants are also quite expensive compared with dentures.
- Dental bridges — Dental bridges are artificial teeth that are designed to be anchored to existing teeth via a removable device. This cosmetic dentistry solution is used to replace gaps from missing single teeth. They can also be anchored to dental implants. Bridges typically last around a decade.
- Dental bonding — Bonding is used most often as a temporary fix for chipped teeth when more expensive dental solutions are not possible. Bonding is done using dental resin, gradually building up the area that is missing. While dental bonding is more affordable than most other dental solutions, the bonding “patch” only lasts an average of two to four years.
When should I get dentures?
While you may associate dentures with your grandparents or older, retired people, the truth is that Americans are getting dentures are a younger and younger age. According to one 2015 study by Survada, more than half of the people wearing dentures today got their dentures at or before age 44. Another study found that 19 percent of American women over the age of 40 have either partial or full dentures. As long as your mouth and jaw have stopped growing (at or around age 25) and you still have solid, healthy gums, you’re never too old or too young to get dentures.
However, getting even our affordable dentures is a major decision and expense. If you are only missing a few teeth, we’ll probably discuss other dental options with you.
Transforming your smile with Zara Dental
The prospect of getting dentures doesn’t have to be scary and it shouldn’t make you feel old. Modern dentures are designed to fit snugly in your mouth and can restore your self-esteem, allow you to make better first impressions and let you speak clearly, and eat the foods you want more comfort. In many cases, your insurance will cover all or part of the expense. What are you waiting for? Haven’t you suffered from missing teeth and a “less-than-perfect” smile for long enough?