By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell
Denture prices can be shocking if you've never had reason to look at them before. They are much more expensive than most people imagine.
The other day, a patient was telling me about his hearing aids. They are very small, and fit right inside his ears. I hadn't even noticed them.
But they cost 4000 Euros! I was amazed that they cost so much - I'd never really thought about the cost of hearing aids before.
And it's the same with dentures.
Denture prices vary a LOT around the world. For example, dentures provided under the National Health Service in the United Kingdom will cost APPROXIMATELY $500. That's for a complete set of upper and lower dentures.
But if you get dentures made by a private dentist in the U.K., (ie. not subsidized by the government or insurance companies), the cost is likely to be in the region of $1,500. In the United States, it's likely to be from USD2,000 to $3,500
What is the reason for these price differences?
As always in life, a higher price is usually rewarded with higher quality. There are other factors around the world too, such as rates of pay and costs of materials in local markets.
One reason why dentures are so cheap in India, for example, is because the local rates of pay are very low by american or european standards. Also, the cost of malpractice insurance in India is very low compared to the USA, so the dentist has lower overhead costs to cover.
The 3 main factors involved in denture prices are:
The main ones are the acrylics used for the denture, and the teeth that go on the denture. The quality of the acrylic reflects it's cost. More expensive acrylic is harder and much more resistant to cracking if you accidentally drop the denture. The best ones are called "high impact" acrylic.
Next, the time taken by the dentist. If he spends a lot of time, say 5 or 6 appointments, pays a lot of attention to detail, and does not delegate any tasks to his chairside assistants, his cost will be more than someone who only takes 3 appointments and delegates a lot of the work to assistants.
Finally, it's the same story in the laboratory. If the lab guy takes his time and pays attention to detail, his bill is going to be more than someone who works faster and has less time to spend on each job.
So there are several factors that affect denture prices. There are others, too, but these are the main ones.
BUT here is why the cost of dentures tends to be either high or low, with not much in the middle;
A dentist who wants to take his time, pay attention to detail and do a great job will ALSO employ a lab guy who does the same, AND will want to use the very best materials.
So you have ALL 3 of the major factors either going one way (expensive) or the other way (low cost). There just aren't many dentists on the middle ground!
All in all, denture prices pretty much reflect the quality of the product you are getting. Just be sure to get a written quotation beforehand, so that you know exactly what the cost of your dentures is going to be!