HOW MUCH DO DENTURES COST?
In Australia expect to pay in the following range:
COMPLETE DENTURE: $1500 – $2000
PARTIAL METAL FRAMEWORK DENTURE: $1500 – $2200
FLEXIBLE DENTURE: $1100 – $1500
It is hard to say exactly how much a partial denture will cost you, because there are so many variables that influence the price. The only way to get an exact quote is to see the dental practitioner and have them draw up a treatment plan for your mouth. The variables that will affect the price are discussed below.
Partial dentures involve a number of laboratory stages for which the dentist is charged, this may include special trays, bit blocks, try-ins, re-setting the bite etc. So if the price of a denture seems quite high (and it is), it is because of the laboratory costs ($400-500 for a cobalt chrome denture) which the dentist must factor in to the overall price.
So What Affects the Price of a Partial Denture?
We can split these up into ‘denture factors’ and ‘general factors’.
- Type of denture
Cobalt chrome dentures are more expensive than flexi dentures; which are more expensive than the basic acrylic dentures.
- The number of teeth
Teeth themselves have an ITEM number. In Australia this is 733 and each tooth will cost $30 to $50. So if eight teeth are required on your partial denture, this is going to cost you a few hundred dollars more than a single tooth.
Retainers are metal clasps that grip your teeth. They have the ITEM number 731. The price of these is included in the metal framework of a cobalt chrome denture but needs to be an added to simple acrylic dentures, for which two or three retainers are usually required. These cost about $30- $50 each.
- Immediate teeth
If an immediate denture is made, then there is a charge for any teeth that are added immediately as part of the denture. This is to avoid you having to walk around with a gap; the denture has the tooth added beforehand and it is put in ‘immediately’ following the extraction. The ITEM number is 736 and generally this costs $30-50 per immediate tooth.
- Number of partial dentures
If you require a denture on the top and on the bottom then you must add these up separately. If they were the same type and had the same number of teeth on them, expect to pay double the price of one.
- Special additions
If there is not enough support from your natural teeth, then an ‘implant-retained denture’ may be needed. This would increase the cost considerably. They are most commonly used in conjunction with a full lower denture but may prove of use in other situations too.
Sometimes though it is very rare, a patient may request an inlay or a filling to be placed into the denture teeth to make them look more realistic.
I have done a few gold inlays on front teeth for patients who had them in their natural teeth before they were extracted and so wanted to keep the same appearance. There will be extra costs to do this and if it is something you wish to consider then discuss it with your dentist.
- Lab Technician
Your dentist needs a laboratory to actually make the denture and prepare the different stages. Different laboratories will charge slightly different prices and these are likely to be reflected in the dentist’s overall price.
The cost of a partial denture will vary not only between countries, but also between states, major cities, smaller towns and rural areas where access is more limited and competition less.
Which health fund you are with, and the type and level of insurance will determine how much you get back and ultimately how much you end up paying out of your pocket for the denture.
Since there are no set fees to say what a dentist should charge, only guidelines, fees can vary quite largely from practice to practice, as the average price range above suggests.
Ask yourself- is the dentist a general dentist, or a prosthodontist or are they a dental prosthetist? The level of training, expertise and experience may affect how much the dentist decides to charge.
Though all dentists are trained to make dentures, this doesn’t make them all equal. A prosthodontist is a registered specialist, trained in advanced dentistry and restorative procedures; the prices they charge are likely to reflect this (expect to pay 20-30% more).