When you lose a tooth, there are quite a few tooth replacement options out there. From implants to dentures and bridges, there’s a solution for everyone. To help you make the right decision for you and your dental health, here are the facts about one popular option, partial dentures, and an overview of how much partial dentures cost in Los Angeles.
- What Are Partial Dentures
- Types of Dentures
- Dentures Cost
- Dentures Benefits
- Dentures Problems
- Alternative to Dentures
What exactly are partial dentures?
If you know what dentures are, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what partial dentures are as well. If you’re only missing a few teeth, then you don’t need a complete set of dentures to replace all your teeth. Instead, a partial denture just fills in the missing teeth. This is accomplished by putting a gum-colored plastic base into your mouth, which the replacement teeth are attached to.
There are several different kinds of partial dentures, which each offering a unique set of advantages and drawbacks.
Cast metal partial dentures
These dentures use a metal framework, clasps, and crowns. If you’re worried about the metal being too visible, you can rest easy because the metal will be hidden during all but the closest inspections of your mouth. However, the clasps do tend to be a little visible, so that’s something to consider. These are generally the most popular option, offering a combination of longevity, strength, and durability.
Flexible partial dentures
As the name suggests, flexible partial dentures offer a lighter and more flexible solution. This can increase comfort for the patient, so if you’re unsure about the feel of dentures in your mouth, then this might be the right choice for you.
When you’re only missing a single tooth or need to temporarily replace a missing tooth while waiting for a more permanent solution, a tooth flipper may be just what you need. They’re cheap, easy, and don’t put too much of a strain on the bone and flesh in your mouth. However, they don’t last as long as some other options and they’re more fragile, so they’re not ideal as long-term solutions.
The biggest impact on your out-of-pocket cost will be insurance. Talk to your insurance provider to see exactly how much they will cover, along with whether they consider partial dentures to be medically necessary. This could mean the difference between paying the whole bill yourself or only a small fraction while your insurance covers the rest.
To help you get a rough idea of what the price will look like before insurance kicks in, here are some common ranges:
- Cast Metal Partial Dentures – $935-$1975
- Flexible Partial Dentures – $1075-$1500
- Tooth Flippers – $300-$500
Partial dentures are great ways to replace missing teeth if you don’t have the money to pay for more expensive solutions like permanent bridges or implants. Furthermore, those other options tend to involve much more invasive surgery, so if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of sitting in a dentist’s chair for a lot of drilling, then partial dentures offer you an easy alternative. As long as you aren’t too uncomfortable with the prospect of taking out your replacement teeth on a regular basis, partial dentures offer a lot of upsides.
Of course, partial dentures do come at a cost. They’re simply not going to last you as long as most other options. Your partial dentures will wear out and you will need to go and get replacements. This isn’t nearly as invasive and frustrating as needing to get a bridge or implant replaced since there’s no surgery involved, but it can still add up in both time and money.
Beyond that, the fact that you will be constantly aware of the dentures in your mouth is enough to put some people off entirely. You will be reminded of them multiple times on a daily basis, much like contacts that need to be taken out and put in regularly. Just like some people prefer glasses over contacts for that very reason, some people prefer more permanent alternatives to partial dentures.
The two biggest alternatives to dentures are bridges and implants.
Bridges are used to bridge the gap when you are missing one or more adjacent teeth. These adjacent teeth are capped with special crowns that can be used to anchor the bridge, which is then used to replace the missing teeth without needing to drill down to the bone and creating a strong foundation. Bridges come in a variety of different styles, including traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported. They’re generally good choices if you are missing a couple teeth and want to get a permanent solution. They’re both cheaper than implants and require less intensive surgery, but at the same time, if your teeth on either side of the missing teeth aren’t healthy enough, you may need to look elsewhere.
Implants are the most permanent and expensive option for replacing individual teeth, which makes them a good choice if you have a lot of money, want the absolute longest lasting solution, and don’t mind a bit of surgery. However, they can quickly become prohibitively expensive if you’re missing more than just a couple teeth. Replacing an entire section of missing teeth is much easier with bridges or dentures, whereas implants would require separate invasive drilling for every single replacement tooth.
The Bottom Line
Partial dentures are a great choice for replacing missing teeth. On the upside, they don’t require complicated surgery and they tend to cost less than the alternatives. On the downside, they can be a little uncomfortable and you will likely need to get them replaced relatively frequently.