Dentures can cost almost as much as a down payment on a house.
If this makes you upset and frustrated, this is the article for you. We’re going to cover all the different ways you can get cheap dentures — cheap as in affordable, not low quality.
Sadly, dental benefits are not usually built into most health insurance plans. And people complain about the cost of dental insurance, but honestly, it’s probably worth it. Good oral health is underrated.
Regardless, despite what dentures cost, there are plenty of ways — some obvious, some outside the box — to pay for your new smile.
Dental Discount Plans
Whether or not you have dental insurance, you can get something called a dental discount plan. It can be supplemental or a replacement for insurance.
Basically, you pay a yearly fee for this plan and, in exchange, you get discounts on your dental care visits. And most discount plans allow you to get low-cost dentures and there are no limits or deductibles.
All you have to do is check out the plans we offer, enter some info online, and begin using the plan almost immediately.
Dental Insurance For False Teeth
Discount plans sound great, but you may need more than that. You may need a full-service dental insurance plan to help cover your dentures.
If you do need to pick up some dental insurance, we recommend going with Care Credit, Delta Dental, or Humana. These are trusted dental insurance companies with fair premiums and top-notch benefits. Just make sure those benefits include coverage for dentures.
And you should be aware that most most dental insurance plans have a yearly limit of $1,000 or $1,500. So even if you qualify for dental insurance, it is unlikely to cover your total costs.
Fortunately, there are other things you can do to help pay for your new teeth.
Many people don’t realize this, but the cost of dental care can vary greatly from country to country. This has led to something called “dental tourism.”
Dental tourism is where you travel to another country for two reasons: to vacation and to get dental care. The point is to get cheap dental care and just get a fun trip out of it too. Places like Mexico and Thailand have famously affordable dental care.
After you calculate all of the travel and lodging costs, the total you end up spending just to get dentures could easily be more than if you just did the procedure in the United States. That’s why it’s important to plan well. With good planning and deal-finding, you can save lots of money on your denture.
Dental schools are both underrated and super affordable ways to get dental care.
Being a test dummy for dental school undergraduates will get you the biggest discount, and the school you visit may even be hosting postgraduate and staff clinics.
Locating a dental school that offers big discounts on costs associated with denture is easy (like tooth extractions). The trick is finding a school that offers discounts on the actual dentures and the placement procedure.
It’s possible, but tricky.
The United States government knows that the cost of healthcare is uncomfortably high. That’s why they’ve created programs, like Medicaid and Medicare, to help citizens pay for healthcare.
So what can these programs do for you?
Just to be upfront — Medicare dental plans do not cover dentures and they don’t cover most dental services.
What Medicare can cover, however, is a hospital stay related to a dental emergency and if you’re hospitalized.
According to Medicare, it’s for “people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).”
At the end of the day, Medicare can’t replace dental insurance, but it can help out. You can also find certain Medicare Advantage or “Medigap” (Medicare Supplement) add-on plans that offer dental coverage at additional costs.
The main difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicaid eligibility is based mostly on income while Medicare is a program geared toward seniors. Other factors that can help you qualify for care based on age, pregnancy, disability, and other factors.
Medicaid, which is a program run by both the state and federal government, also has a wider net of coverage than Medicare. This means there are certain programs it offers in every state and some that differ state to state.
One of the benefits that differs among states — in other words, an optional benefit — is denture care.
As of 2012, 39 of the 50 states where Medicaid is active offered some form of denture benefits. (In addition to the states and D.C., Medicaid is active in United States territories American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.)
The best way to find out what benefits you can get based on your state is to apply through Medicaid.
If you need help with any of your questions, just call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).
And even if these government programs don’t work for you, there are still more options for getting cheap dentures.
Other Organizations That Can Help
People looking to save money on their dentures often overlook these other organizations.
You can become a guinea pig in a dental-related clinical trial and end up getting free dentures. Visit ClinicalTrials.gov and search for “dentures” and “tooth extractions” and see if there are any trials offering those services for free to participants.
You can also find help (whether directly or just a point in the right direction) from these charitable organizations:
And finally, you can contact your local and state health departments to find out what is offered near you. You can also check out this directory of State Oral Health Programs from the ASTDD.
There are plenty of nonprofits that can help you pay for your new smile.
Reduce Associated Costs
If you can pay less for costs associated with getting dentures, that can bring down your total cost. These associated services include things like tooth extractions ($50 to $900 per tooth), alveoloplasty (surgery to reshape the jawline), and denture relines (replacing the lining of your dentures).
Try getting these services done with a professional that’s the cheapest yet most reliable.
Final Tips on Lowering Dentures Cost
But wait, we’re not done. You can maximize your savings even more with these clever tips on how to lower the cost of your dentures.
Know Your Market
Location makes a huge difference when it comes to dental services. So when you search for the right dentist to create your new set of dentures, be sure to widen your search radius to at least an hour away. Try to find areas where multiple dentists compete for business from blue collar families.
With competition in the free market comes lower prices.
Work With The New Dentist In Town
I know this might scare you, but it can be a good idea to work with a dentist who has recently opened business in your area. At the start, they may offer reduced cost dental care with specials deals and promos to drum up business.
You may have to do some digging, but when you find a new practice (or one that doesn’t get much business due to location or marketing), their desperation could be your ticket to low cost dentures.
Pay In Cash
Cash makes a lot of people happy, but it put an especially wide grin on the faces of dental professionals. It reduces fees that they would normally have to pay to accept insurance or credit cards. Plus, the flexibility of cash makes it a great negotiation tool.
Tell the dentist ahead of time that you’re willing to pay cash and ask if they would be willing to give you a discount.
And this leads us to a related tactic — negotiation.
Take all of the research you’ve done and make sure the dentists you talk to know that you know your options. Most dental work yields high margins and a high hourly rate. When clients are on the line, dentists are often more than willing to adjust their pricing. Shop around with conviction, and you’ll be rewarded.
Using these alternative options, you can spend much less on dentures than you would at face value:
- Get a dental discount plan
- Make sure your dental insurance covers denture-related costs
- Consider dental tourism
- Get dental care at a dental school
- Look into joining a government program
- Know your market and feel free to negotiate with dental professionals
- Pay in cash
There you have it! If you have any questions about anything we discussed here, let us know in the comments.