Complete tooth loss, also known as edentulism, is relatively common among older individuals. Nearly 1 in 5 American adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, many options are available for people experiencing tooth loss, including conventional dentures and immediate dentures. Understanding how much immediate dentures cost compared with conventional dentures and how these tooth replacement devices differ can help you choose the best option for you.
Immediate Dentures vs. Conventional Dentures
If you need to have your teeth replaced, it's important to know your options. Conventional dentures, as the American Dental Association points out, are fully removable replacement teeth. These are placed in the mouth after your teeth are removed, once the tissue has had time to heal. Sometimes, it can be several months between when your teeth are taken out and when the conventional dentures are ready. Wondering which dentures are right for you? This denture type guide will help make your decision much easier.
Immediate dentures, also known as temporary dentures, are placed in your mouth right after your teeth are taken out. Typically, your dentist will take measurements and an impression of your mouth during an initial appointment to ensure the immediate dentures will fit properly. Then, at a following visit, your dentist will complete the tooth extraction, and your dentures will be ready for placement immediately after. These are also removable.
Benefits of Immediate Dentures
One major benefit of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that there's no period of time spent without teeth. Because you get the immediate dentures the same day that you have the remaining teeth taken out, you can feel confident in your smile and appearance from the moment you step out of your dentist's or oral surgeon's office.
Another benefit of immediate dentures, as The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics notes, is that they can help reduce bleeding and protect your gum tissue as your mouth heals from the extraction. Getting immediate dentures can also help you avoid speech issues commonly associated with conventional dentures and will allow you to continue eating and chewing as you normally would.
What Do Immediate Dentures Cost?
While immediate dentures offer a number of benefits, they're usually more expensive than conventional dentures, according to The University of Iowa. One reason for the higher price tag is that, in many cases, getting immediate dentures requires more dental appointments.
The University of Iowa estimates that the average patient may need about four to five visits to create the dentures — plus an additional visit to remove the teeth. Then, about six months after the immediate dentures are placed, patients may need to return to the dentist's office for adjustments, depending on how the mouth has healed. In cases where the mouth hasn't healed properly, patients may need their dentures replaced entirely, which comes at an additional cost. If you're concerned about the cost of immediate dentures, you should check with your dental insurance provider to see if they offer coverage.
Conventional dentures, on the other hand, are fit only after the patient's mouth has fully healed, so they usually require fewer adjustments and appointments. If you are facing tooth loss, it's a good idea to discuss your teeth replacement options with your dentist. Depending on your dentist's recommendations and your insurance coverage, you may be able to get immediate dentures and never have to go a day without a set of healthy-looking teeth.