How much do Full Dentures Cost?

Full dentures have few variables compared to partial dentures, so it’s much easier to work out the cost. They are generally cheaper than theprice of partial dentures, which are quite a bit more complicated to make. A dentist will charge the same amount for a full upper denture as for a full lower denture, it makes no difference.

Generally, however, a full set of dentures i.e. an upper and a lower full denture will have a slightly lower combined price, because you are doing both at the same time.

A complete upper denture; ITEM 711 in Australia will cost in the range of $900-$1400

A complete lower denture; ITEM 712 will also cost $900-$1400

The average price according to the ADA 2012 member fee survey for either an upper or a lower complete denture is $1197

An complete upper and lower denture set; ITEM 719 in Australia will cost in the range of $1600- $2500

The average price according to the ADA 2012 member fee survey for both upper and lower complete dentures is $2091

Occasionally a metal base or strengthener may be required, if you have had repeated breakages previously or have a difficult heavy bite. This would cost a few hundred dollars extra if it was necessary. A soft lining would also be extra.

What is the Rebate on a Complete Denture?

If you are in a private health fund and have dental cover, you should check any rebate with your health fund and calculate the out of pocket expenses. This makes sure you aren’t in for any nasty surprises!

To do this you need two things; firstly the item numbers for the treatment you will be having, and secondly the costs of each of them.
Because costs vary slightly between all dentists, only your dentist will be able to give you this information. You could use the rough costing above to get a general idea, but the only accurate way to get the information is from your dentist after he has examined you and discussed the various treatment options.

They will then issue you with a ‘treatment plan’ that will contain all the information required by your health funds to determine the rebate and any gap you will be required to pay.

What about the Costs of other Denture- related Treatments?

Over the lifetime of your dentures you are bound to encounter some problems- a breakage, fractured tooth, worn teeth, ill fitting base etc. as your mouth changes. The cost for repairs varies greatly and depends on what it is that needs to be done. For example if a tooth comes off and you have it- it is very easy to re-attach, if you lose it or swallow it, the technician will charge the dentist more for the repair to find and match the tooth and in turn the cost will be passed on to you.

Some of ITEM numbers for the most common complete denture repairs are shown below. I am hesitant to put any costs here because it varies so much. There may be additional charges for impressions and the consultation or strengtheners if required.

Adjustment of a denture ITEM 741

Repairing a broken base ITEM 763

Permanent reline of complete denture (done in the lab) ITEM 743

Re-attaching a tooth or clasp ITEM 761

Replacing a tooth ITEM 765.

Factors that Influence the Price?

As with the cost of partial dentures, the price of complete dentures is influenced by a number of general variables:

  • Lab technician- the cost of the lab will influence the ultimate cost to produce the set of dentures.
  • Location– different states, countries and suburbs will have slightly different prices.
  • Insurance company- which insurance company you are with and the level of cover will of course impact on what you end up paying from your own pocket.
  • Individual dentist prices- again, as with all treatments there are only guidelines on what dentists should charge and no hard and fast rules, so you will find prices vary from dentist to dentist. There are many factors involved in running a practice that will effect this- such as rent, staff, equipment- you get the picture. Dental prosthetists, I would imagine to be slightly cheaper, given the additional training that dentists are required to undergo. In the same light, a specialist prosthodontist trained in advanced dental procedures and difficult cases, is certainly going to charge more. I know price is important, but at the end of the day- getting a good well made, nice natural looking set of comfortable dentures is far far more important. Wear a bad set for a day and tell me that isn’t the truth.
  • Other costs– sometimes surgery to improve the area on which the denture will sit may be required, an examination or consultation is most likely to be charged initially and there may be some other costs such as an OPG to check for no retained root fragments. The dentist should outline all of this to you on the treatment plan.