The Complete Guide To Affordable Dentures
We are confident this is the most comprehensive guide you will find on the internet regarding affordable dentures.
In this guide, we will share our knowledge, life-changing stories, and experiences around dentures and dental implants.
ArtLab Dentistry is the leading implant and denture specialists in the Los Angeles and Brentwood, California area.
So if you're searching to learn as much as you can about affordable dentures, I hope that you will find value in this guide.
DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS, MSc
DR. ARMAN TORBATI, DDS, FACP
Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
Former Associate Clinical Professor, USC. SD
Traditional full dentures, partial dentures, and denture implants - What’s the difference?
Most people think of dentures as the old school, false teeth of their grandparents. But dentures today actually come in a number of different varieties depending on the individual needs and lifestyle expectations of their wearers. In fact, some dentures are actually permanent solutions that can’t be removed.
Far from the clunky old dentures of your grandparents, today’s alternatives utilize a variety of cutting-edge materials, are lighter, stronger, more resilient, more comfortable, and generally fit more naturally and more precisely than the dentures of yesterday.
"When deciding between the various widely available denture options, the most important factor is whether it will be a good fit for you."
DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth designed and fabricated as aesthetic and functional replacements for real teeth. Dentures can come in a variety designs and applications. While a full set of removable dentures, or artificial teeth, remains a popular option for those with edentulism, there are other great options. Today, patients can choose between conventional dentures, also referred to as immediate dentures, partial dentures, and implant-supported denture solutions. Each different denture treatment has its own set of advantages and disadvantages that every consumer should consider before making a final decision.
Are There Affordable Dentures in Los Angeles, CA?
The answer is, yes, dentures are the most affordable tooth restoration option. Compared to conventional individual dental implants which can be as high as $2,500 to $4,500 per tooth or as high as $150,000+ for a full mouth replacement procedure such as All-On-4 dental implants, a complete set of dentures with 32 teeth can cost roughly $2,000 to $5,000 per denture (upper and lower plates).
While individual dental implants have significant advantages, the cost can be prohibitive for some patients. Not only do dentures cost significantly less than other solutions, they are also less invasive, require little recovery, and aren't dependent on the quality and quantity of existing underlying bone structures.
When deciding between the various widely available dentures options, the most important factor is whether it will be a good fit for you. Ask yourself the following questions: will it fit my lifestyle? Will it fit my dental health needs? Will it fit my budget? Once you have the answers to these fundamental questions, you can then decide which denture therapy will work best for you.
A Patient's Letter to Dr. Reshad
"I get compliments ALL THE TIME by random people on how beautiful my smile is and how beautiful my teeth are! You, and every else at ArtLab Dentistry helped change my life ... for real. For that I cannot thank you enough."
John A. - Los Angeles
"I am so happy each and every day! Words seriously cannot describe how thankful I am for you al and how great you've been to me. As far as the dental work... Dr. Reshad you truly are an artist! You may remember me telling you how I had braces for almost 9 years, and still the orthodontist couldn't fix my bite. As an adult still looking to correct the problem, I reach out to two top orthodontists in Beverly Hills for a consult. You can imagine how shocked I was when both told me I'd need double jaw surgery and braces to fix my bite to get the results I wanted. I am so happy I found you. You not only fixed my bit and gave me an incredible smile, by you totally exceeded my expectations, and overall you're just a super cool dude!"
John A. - Los Angeles
July 19, 2019
Not The Dentures of Your Grandparents
The first time many people see or hear about dentures is usually in relation to their grandparents. Sure, dentures are often associated with older people, but they have come a long way since the days of your grandparents.
For many, especially young and middle-aged people, dentures often conjure up images of unwieldy, false teeth floating in a cup of water. While similar in concept, modern dentures are very different from the old chompers most people have in mind.
Modern dentures, in contrast to the traditional dentures of the past, can actually come in many shapes and sizes. They can be so-called “partial dentures” or “complete dentures”. There are even "implant-supported dentures". More importantly, depending on the application, modern dentures needn’t even be removable. Permanent dentures are a real possibility, although quite different than most people’s conception of what dentures are.
Of course, one of the most significant drawbacks of old-school dentures was the genuine possibility that they might accidentally fall out. Imagine the embarrassment someone might experience if their teeth were to slide out of their mouth accidentally.
Luckily, that’s where modern digital and dental technologies have made an enormous difference. Not only are there permanent denture solutions (that involve mechanically anchoring dentures in place), but the process of crafting and fitting removable dentures has also advanced dramatically as well.
In the past, dentures were primarily crafted out of a single block of material, usually, resin, and manufactured in standard sizes. Like buying a suit of the rack, as opposed to a bespoke fit, standard sizes often resulted in a poor fit for many people. This was a real problem; after all, no two mouths are the exact shape and size. While dental professionals recognized this shortcoming at the time, the technology wasn’t available to economically and affordably create a custom piece for every individual. Custom dentures had to made by hand by an artisan. As a result, lots of patients opted for off the rack products. Unfortunately, decades of ill-fitting traditional dentures have given dentures a bit of a bad name.
Dentures Good or Bad?
Today, with the rise of digitization, 3D printing, and Computer-aided Design and Manufacturing CAD/CAM technologies, a perfectly fitted set of dentures can be crafted quickly and efficiently with exact precision. Furthermore, new dental-grade materials such as porcelain and zirconia have opened up new opportunities for better aesthetics, mouth-feel, and durability than just resin alone. Some custom, hybrid pieces can be crafted with a mix of materials. By and large, modern dentures use tissue-shaded powders, such as polymethyl methacrylate acrylic (PMMA).
Dentures are replacement teeth that can be removed when needed. It is essential to note the existence of permanently anchored dentures (referred to as permanent dentures) as well as so-called conventional dentures, including partial dentures, flexible dentures, and implant-supported dentures.
Conventional dentures are removable prosthetics that are supported by the gums or, in some cases, the hard tissues such as the jaw bone or surrounding teeth.
Some types of partial dentures, for example, are supported and held in place by clasping onto adjacent teeth.
Typically, dentures remain in the mouth except when they need to be cleaned. Natural, living tissues change and morph in shape over time. As a result, dentures may need to be refitted and replaced after a particular time that is different from patient to patient. On average, dentures need to be refitted every few years.
Meanwhile, permanent dentures function much like conventional dentures with the notable exception that patients themselves cannot remove them. Instead, permanent dentures are often held in place by anchors such as dental implants that require professional assistance to remove. Nonetheless, they are still technically removable, although commonly referred to as "permanent dentures."
3 Most Common Types of Dentures
1. Full Dentures
Full dentures are the full sets of removable teeth and gums that come to mind when most people think of dentures. Full dentures rely on suction and soft tissue support to stay in place. This tried-and-true solution to tooth loss, however, has come a long way from the old dentures of the past. While the basics remain the same, the materials and fabrication methods have vastly improved. Full dentures can now be designed and created out a variety of dental-grade materials, including porcelain or acrylic, depending on your personal needs and desires. They can also be crafted in a way as to be virtually indistinguishable from real teeth to the casual observer.
2. Partial Dentures
Partial dentures (and flexible partial dentures) are dentures designed to fill in a gap. Sometimes referred to as dental bridges, partial dentures are not supported by the gums but rather by healthy adjacent teeth. Successful supports can be created in a variety of ways, including metal clasps and even crowns. Partial dentures are very popular with over 14,800 searches a month on Google compared to only 880 searches for full dentures and 2,400 searches for implant-supported dentures.
3. Implant-supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures combine the stability, aesthetics, and longevity of conventional implants with the affordability and relative ease of replacement associated with traditional dentures. Conventional dental implants require one implant per tooth. This means that a full set of teeth, both upper and lower arches, would require 32 implants or more! In contrast, implant-supported dentures only need as little as four implants per arch for permanent stability. As a result of the drastically reduced number of implants required, implant-supported dentures cost less, are easier to install, and require a shorter recovery period than full mouth reconstruction with conventional individual implants.
Compared to full dentures, implant-supported denture solutions are generally more expensive. However, the sticker price doesn’t tell the entire story. The comparably longer longevity, higher resilience, better mouthfeel, and more seamless sit all point to a solution that is well worth the initial upfront investment. Furthermore, implant-based solutions actually physically stimulate the underlying jaw bones which help to combat bone resorption or atrophy.
Key Characteristics of Dentures
Removable (or non-removable without professional help in the case of permanent dentures)
Can be partial, complete, or permanent
Can be resin, porcelain, zirconia, or a hybrid of materials
Supported by the gums or hard tissues or anchored in place
May need to be periodically replaced or refitted
A Brief History of Dentures
Contrary to popular belief, there is no historical evidence that George Washington ever sported wooden teeth. Wood would most likely not be the best dental material or suitable for the first president of the United States. Instead, according to historical records, George Washington had much fancier dentures custom crafted for him from hippopotamus ivory and gold wires springs.
Of course, the history of dentures goes back much further even than the American Revolution. As long as human beings have had to deal with tooth loss, they have come up with denture-like solutions. The ancient Egyptians, for example, employed dental bridgework using gold wires to tie a replacement tooth in place in the mouth. Likewise, the Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Chinese, and other ancient cultures also employed similar tactics with varying degrees of success. There are examples of ancient people crafting dentures out of everything from animal teeth to lead to tortoise shells and aluminum.
Dentures as we might know them today, however, didn’t take shape until the middle ages. Once again, the Chinese, who also invented paper, movable type, and gunpowder during this era, also developed the first true dentures. Initially crafted from wood, the art of denture crafting soon moved on to more resilient materials such as ivory. The art of crafting dentures took a leap in the 17th century with Pierre Fauchard, who invented and perfected many techniques for carving dentures out of ivory and other materials.
Pierre Fauchard, for example, used beeswax to create a mold or impression of a patient’s mouth. This impression was then allowed to harden and sent to artisans to reproduce. The overall principles of impression taking still carry forth to this very day - albeit sans the beeswax and ivory. Porcelain, which was invented in China in the 9th and 10th centuries, also began seeing use in dentistry and dentures in particular during this time.
Progress continued in the intervening decades and centuries in fits and bounds. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s when dentists began experimenting with plastic acrylics. Acrylic resin was used in dentures in 1937. Not long afterward, dentists started using epoxy resins. In 1986, then Dentsply International came out with a form of acrylic resin that could be cured with visible light which significantly streamlined the denture fabrication process. In the past, the manufacturing process for resinous dentures required waxes, flask boil outs, and other sophisticated industrial processes.
Today, PMMA resins are one of the most popular dental materials for everything from dentures to bridges and other dental prosthetics. Research continues on ways to strengthen PMMA resins and on the incorporation of different materials such as porcelain and titanium into dental applications such as dentures.
How Dentures Have Improved Over The Last Decade
More resilient and stain-resistant
Aesthetic and looks natural
Custom crafted options widely available
CAD/CAM & 3D Technology
Same Day and faster fabrication time