Do you need dentures? Here is our step-by-step guide to help you with replacing teeth with dentures!
Step #1: Decide What Type of Denture You Want
Most people who are sitting in front a computer thinking “I need all my teeth pulled and dentures” are missing a key piece of information. Most people don’t know that there are five different types of dentures. These types of dentures vary greatly in quality, looks and price. The differences come from how they are made and what materials are used. Before you try to find a dentist, it is SO important to understand the kinds of dentures and choose which one is best for you. It makes finding the right dentist for you much, much easier!
Type 1 – The Cheapest Dentures
I saw an ad this week from a national corporate dental chain that offered new full dentures “starting at $250 an arch.” That has got to be the cheapest denture price I have ever seen. Periodically, people frustrated with super cheap dentures come to my office for help. I am always absolutely shocked at the poor quality and clinical care these people have received. If you want the cheapest price, you can find a denture starting at several hundred dollars, not including extractions. You will get something that looks like a denture. Don’t expect great follow-up care after surgery or comfortable teeth.
That being said, these offices meet a need. When my family first came to the US, unfortunately, that would have been all they could afford. They would have suffered through a miserable experience and paid more money for a replacement denture later at a better clinic. If you can afford something better though, I recommend you spend the extra money.
Type 2 – Assembly Line Dentures
The next type of dentures are made at the volume-based dental offices that accept every type of insurance from Medicare to Dental HMO plans. These offices make their profit by seeing as many patients as they possibly can in as short of time as possible. If you go to one of these clinics, you will get below average quality because the people working there don’t have time to pay attention to all the details. They also don’t use good quality materials. They’re better than the $250 full dentures – You’ll get a denture. It won’t look lifelike but it should work. You’ll probably be frustrated with the uncomfortable fit and the lack of customer service. But you’ll also pay considerably less than at a private clinic. Dentures at these clinics run between $400 and $1,500 an arch.
Type 3 – Quality Traditional Dentures
These full dentures get made the old fashioned way by old fashioned doctors in private practices. Making a traditional complete denture involves multiple appointments and impressions prior to getting your remaining teeth extracted. These doctors tend to provide significantly better follow-up care after surgery and good quality dentures as well. Traditional denture doctors usually use local dental labs and higher quality denture teeth to produce more beautiful, more comfortable complete dentures. They may not be in network with your insurance, but you will be well cared for and you’ll get a much better fitting removable denture. Complete dentures at these offices often cost between $2,200 and $5,000 an arch. If you choose a traditional denture office, it is important to make sure that they do them frequently. Both the surgery to get your remaining teeth extracted and the process of making a good denture are complex dental procedures and you don’t want a dentist doing yours who only does a couple a year.
Type 4 – Digital Dentures
In the last five years, digital dentures have revolutionized the world of dentures. Dentists who are serious about providing high quality, lifelike dentures are transitioning to digital technology. Why? Because digital dentures provide a better fit, longer lasting materials, and better cosmetics. Digital technology lets your dentist plan your tooth extractions digitally and practice your surgery ahead of time. Digital removable dentures not only fit better and look better, but they also are easier to replace if something happens to them. Old fashioned complete dentures have to be remade every time from scratch. Digital dentures can be reproduced in one day if necessary without sacrificing any quality and without any rush in the process. Digital dentures run between $3,500 and $5,500 an arch depending on the dentist and city.
We are proud to be one of the few offices in Texas offering digital dentures to our patients. People who have worn removable dentures for years are amazed at the difference in comfort and cosmetics.
Type 5 – Specialist Dentures
Some people choose to have prosthodontic specialists make their dentures. Some prosthodontists do digital dentures others still make dentures the traditional way. A denture made by a prosthodontist is going to fit well and look good. You’ll also pay significantly more for the “specialist” title. Prosthodontists charge between $6,000 and $10,000 an arch. If you’re sitting there thinking, “I need all my teeth pulled and dentures” and you have extremely complicated chronic health conditions or bone problems, the extra cost is probably worth it to you. Prosthodontists typically partner with oral surgeons. If your regular dentist has told you that getting all your natural teeth extracted is going to be more complex than usual because of unique health problems, then the specialist route will probably be worth the extra several thousand dollars.
Picked which denture you’d like? Continue reading to learn how to find a dentist who makes what you’re looking for.
Step #2: Choose Your Dentist
Now that you know the types of dentures and the dentists that make each one, you can choose your dentist. Most people start at this step and then end up surprised either in a good way or a terrible way by their experience. No matter which type of denture you choose, here are a few questions that can help you find the best dentist of any type.
- How many dentures does this dentist do per month?
- How frequently does this dentist pull teeth?
- Does this dentist offer sedation?
- Does this dentist make digital dentures?
- Does this dentist have advanced training in dentures?
- Does this dentist accept a lot of different insurances?
- Do your denture prices include denture adjustments and relines?
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Step #3: Go to a Consultation
Nearly everyone would rather get a price over the phone and schedule treatment right away. Don’t do this. Not ever. Never. It is a guaranteed way to get ripped off at a dentist’s office!!!
Go meet the dentist in person before letting him touch your mouth. Some dentists are total weirdos. Others don’t care at all. You can pick up on these things talking to a person.
Step #4: Plan Your Treatment with Your Dentist
If a dentist is willing to schedule your treatment without sitting down and really talking you through it, that’s another warning sign. We talk to our patients about all their options before making a plan. Once we have a plan, we walk through what to expect, risks and things to watch out for.
At your planning appointment, ask every question you can think of – you play a vital role in the success of your treatment. If a dentist doesn’t have time for your questions, he is in too much of a hurry and you may wake up with unpleasant surprises from his lack of planning.
Step #5: Get Your Denture Designed
This happens over one or more appointments that involve impressions and scanning. If you have a picture of your smile when you loved it, bring that to guide the denture design.
Step #6: Schedule Your Surgery
The big day is almost here! If you’re planning on getting sedated, be sure to have a friend or family member standing by to drive you home from your appointment. Schedule on a day when you can take the day off work and can rest after your surgery.
Do Dentures Hurt? Check out this blog to get the answer.
Step #7: Get Your Remaining Teeth Pulled and Dentures
Plan on taking the day off from work to rest and plan on plenty of soups and soft foods for the first few days as you heal. You can check out our post-op instructions for our patients here.
Step #8: Let Your Mouth Heal
The healing process takes 3-6 months. As your mouth heals after extractions, it will continually change shape. You’ll need to get your denture adjusted periodically to keep it comfortable and stable in your mouth. You’ll also need up to three soft comfort relines in the first 6 months. When you are choosing which type of denture to get and which dentist to use, always ask about whether the price includes denture adjustments and relines during the healing period. Many of the cheaper offices do not include these and many of the private offices do include them, but most people don’t know to ask because they don’t work in the field.
Step #9: Enjoy Your Beautiful New Smile!
Getting your natural teeth pulled and dentures is a process. However, every single one of our patients who has traded bad and missing natural teeth for a beautiful denture has experienced relief and joy at having a gorgeous smile again. Don’t take our word for it – watch our patients’ reviews and see for yourself!
If you need your teeth pulled and dentures, the next step is easy and fast – come to a free consultation! Schedule yours today. Call right now! (210) 691-1211.
See what our patients have to say about their experiences!