Whether you’re living with damaged teeth or missing some of your pearly whites, getting dentures can solve plenty of seniors’ dental woes. Unfortunately, dentures aren’t exactly cheap – because they’re customized to fit your individual needs, they can cost thousands of dollars.
And dentures aren’t covered by Medicare, leaving seniors to pay the entire cost. However, there are ways to save on dentures. You can reduce your cost if you know where to look.
The Cost of Dentures
When you’re in need of dentures, you’ll need to decide which dentures are the best for you and your oral care. There are different dentures to suit the needs of different patients, but each type of dentures comes with its own unique cost.
Full (Complete) Dentures
The most common kind of dentures is a set of full or complete dentures. This is a set of artificial teeth that can cost anywhere from $600 to $10,000 (with each upper and lower mouth plate costing from $300 to $5,000).
Full denture plates on the more affordable spectrum are typically premade plates produced from lesser quality materials. This can result in dentures that look artificial, are more susceptible to breakage, and due to the premade fit, aren’t as comfortable. More expensive sets of full dentures are custom made and often last longer.
Partial dentures are ideal for those who haven’t experienced significant much tooth decay and who are missing only a section of teeth. While partial dentures might sound like they cost less than a full set of dentures, they’re priced similar to complete dentures. Partial dentures can cost between $300 to $5,000 for a plate and $600 to $10,000 for both the top and bottom of the mouth, Authority Dental reports.
Dental implants are becoming an increasingly common choice for those who may need dentures but want a permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants are placed into the jawbone, and they look just like your natural teeth.
It’s important to note that you need significant bone strength in your gums for dental implants to be had, and the cost of dental implants in the United States is significantly higher than dentures. Authority Dental notes that implants can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $30,000, with a full set costing upwards from $7,000 to $90,000.
How to Cut Costs On Dentures
Unfortunately, because Medicare doesn’t cover fittings for dentures or the dentures themselves, many seniors are left worrying about how they’ll ever pay the full cost of the dentures they need. However, there are plenty of ways to save money on dentures – and depending on your level of need, you may even be able to get your dentures covered by other organizations or money-saving methods.
Here are some of the ways you can save money on dentures.
Medicare Part C Coverage: While traditional Medicare doesn’t cover dentures, there are Medicare Advantage plans that could help with the cost. These plans are known as Medicare Part C. Medicare Advantage programs can be accessed via private insurance companies approved by Medicare. They offer additional coverage which can include dentures and routine dental care. Coverage can be different from plan to plan; therefore, it’s vital to check your Medicare Advantage plan before opting in.
PACE: The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is jointly run by Medicaid and Medicare. It offers services around health care to seniors within their homes and community. PACE also offers covered services from Medicaid or Medicare, and dental services might be included under the Medicaid program within your state.
Medicaid: The Medicaid program in your state might cover the cost of dentures as well as other dental services. As the program is state-run, some states expand covered services beyond that of what federal guidelines offer (while others do not).
Dental Insurance: Many medical insurance plans include dental coverage within your coverage; however, stand-alone dental plans also exist. Plans such as these not only cover dentures, but also include regular exams, X-rays, cleanings, fillings, and other dental services.
Dental Savings Plans: Think of it as a warehouse club membership! With a dental savings plan, patients pay a yearly fee to gain access to huge reduced rates on dental services. It differs from dental insurance – there’s no paperwork involved, no annual limits or caps, and discounted rates on all dental services. Your potential savings can be from 10 to 60 percent, and there are about 30 or more plans you can choose from.
Dental Schools: Dental schools provide low-cost clinics to not only help those in the community but to also help train the dentists of tomorrow. Finding a dental school in your area might be the perfect way to help solve the huge price tag dilemma around your dentures, and you’ll be offering some experience to those who need it.