By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell
Cheap dentures are a reality. You don't have to pay top dollar to get a decent set of low cost dentures. Here's my guide to finding the BEST route to getting new dentures without paying a fortune!
First of all, you may be wondering why dentures are so expensive in the first place. There are a couple of factors involved;
1. The cost of the materials used to make up the set of dentures.
2. The laboratory bill for the dental technician who constructs the dentures
3. The dentist himself also has to be paid for his time!
4. The dentist's overheads, such as staff wages, office rent, insurances, utility bills etc.
1. The cost of the materials depends on the quality. A higher quality acrylic will be stronger, more durable, and less likely to stain over time. But it's not always necessary to use top quality acrylic if you're careful not to drop your dentures, for example, and don't drink a lot of black tea or red wine!
2. The lab guy needs to be paid for his work. Again, there are differences between dental laboratories and even between technicians working in the same lab. The most experienced and skilled technician will charge more than someone who is less experienced and younger.
3. Dentists do not all charge the same rates. At one extreme, there may be a highly qualified and experienced specialist dentist who only does dentures. And his office is located in some swanky office block downtown in a big city. He will charge a lot more for hs time and overheads than a general dentist in a small office in Smalltown.
SO, what are the 3 options for getting cheap dentures?
As always, I recommend asking around your family, friends and work colleagues for recommendations for an inexpensive dentist in the area. I do NOT think it's a good idea to travel too far just to go to a particular dental office that offers low cost dentures, because you can rack up some extra travel expenses just getting the dentures made in the first place.
And if you have a problem with your new cheap dentures, you want to be able to go back to the dentist easily and quickly. So if you get a lot of recommendations for a dentist in the next town, it's probably worth going there, as long as it's not a 2+ hour trip!
So you have found a dental office that people say offers low cost dentures.
HERE'S THE IMPORTANT BIT. Remember, when you go along for your first visit, to TELL the dentist that you are on a budget, and that you are looking for cheap dentures. He will probably tell you that "cheap" isn't always the best option, and go over some of the drawbacks to cheap dentures. After that, he should be able to give you a price for making low cost dentures.
Make sure this quote is written down, and ask if there might be any "extras" not included. The dentist can usually offer a discounted price if he sends the denture work to a low-cost dental laboratory, where they will use more economical materials and employ young, recently trained dental technicians.
There are specialist dental business that specialize ONLY in making cheap dentures. That's all they do. They can keep their costs down in several ways;
1. Because they only make dentures, they don't need all the dental equipment needed for fillings, extractions, root canal work etc. All that equipment is very expensive. In contrast, an office set up only for denture work only needs a few basics. Much less expensive!
2. These special denture clinics keep their own costs low by being located in low-cost rental areas, only employing the number of staff they really need (ie. no over-staffing), and decorating the office in a simple, inexpensive manner. After all, you won't get a better quality denture just because the office has expensive carpets!
3. This specialst office will usually have it's own dental laboratory on-site - owned by the dental office itself. This makes the whole process more efficient - and that means less expensive!
You can read more about this option for affordable dentures HERE. This link will take you to the Affordable Dentures Group website.
Make your own dentures. This is NOT as crazy nor as difficult as it sounds! There is currently just one dental lab that I know of in the USA that offers this service. It is run by a great guy called Garry Rhyne, and he has put together a kit to help you make your own dentures at home, in an easy-to-follow step by step manner. He "holds your hand" as you go through the stages involved, and helps you get the best cheap dentures possible.
What are the advantages? Why is it cheaper?
It's cheaper because you cut out the middle man. You take that expensive dentist out of the equation! You still have to pay for the materials required, and for Garry's time at the lab. But now you're in the opposite situation of going to one of the big affordable denture offices; you have one-on-one contact with ONE guy - Garry - instead of the sometimes impersonal corporate dental offices, where you may even see a different dentist each time you go!
Also, you are in total control of the process at home. You can try out how different tooth shapes and colors look on your "new" denture, before it's completed.
How do Garry's dentures look? Here are some images from his website.
I think Garry has put together an excellent instructional kit and DVD, and I think it's a great option for making your own low cost dentures. Go to his website HERE for more information.
Note; I have no connection, neither financial nor professional with Garry Rhyne, other than I like and recommend his product.
Those are your THREE options for getting cheap dentures. Of course, each option has it's own drawbacks, too. But you should be able to come through the process with a new set of low cost dentures that will give you the smile and the bite you want!