We can split these up into ‘denture factors’ and ‘general factors’.
Cobalt chrome dentures are more expensive than flexidentures; which are more expensive than the basic acryic dentures.
(i) In Australia, a metal base has the ITEM number 727 for a top denture and 728 for a bottom denture.
(ii) An acrylic base has the ITEM number 721 for a top denture and 722 for a bottom denture.
(iii) Currently flexidentures do not have their own item numbers and generally those from (i) are used.
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.
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.
(i) Precision attachments
If special attachments are incorporated into the denture to improve the fit and retention, there will be additional charges.
Usually this will require a dental crown
to house the other end of the precision attachment and as such the price will escalate considerably. If the dentist is thinking of using this in the design, they should inform you and provide you with all the price details.
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.
(iii) Inlays, fillings
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.
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 prosthesist? 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).
There may be other work that needs to be completed before the denture is made- there will of course be charges for this. Initially you are likely to need:
ITEMS 013 or 014- a limited examination or consultation and perhaps x-rays; ITEM 022- for a single view or ITEM 037 for an OPG.
A lot of dentists offer payment plans for cosmetic, restorative and orthodontic treatment. Ask your dentist or a prospective dentist if they have anything available. Third party financing may also be possible if you meet certain eligibility criteria. That way you can develop a monthly payment plan to suit your budget.