by Aidan Kang, CFA
Senior Writer
Insurance
UPDATED: April 12, 2022

Dentures are a wonderful option for over 120 million Americans who've lost at least one tooth. They can help you maintain a healthy bite, eat your favorite foods, speak with confidence, and enjoy a great smile.

However, they can also cost as much as $8,000—beyond the reach of most people, especially those with no insurance.

To help you get the dentures you need at an affordable price, we've gathered updated pricing information and checked official sources.

In this list, you’ll learn how to get affordable dentures, a list of denture prices with or without insurance, and the best places to get dentures for free or at a reduced cost.

Let's get started!

What are dentures and who needs them?

Dentures, or removable false teeth, are designed to replace some or all of a person’s missing teeth.

Depending on how many teeth you still have left, you can get complete or partial dentures.

Partial dentures go into the vacant space between the remaining teeth. Full dentures replace an entire row of teeth on either the top or bottom jaw.

They're an excellent option for:

  • People who have lost all their teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma
  • People who have missing teeth but still have some healthy natural teeth remaining
  • People who don’t want to go through surgery (which is often required for dental implants)

Lastly, modern dentures are usually made from acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals such as metal.

How to Get Free or Low-Cost Dentures With No Insurance

An alarming one-third of all US adults can’t afford dental care by themselves. Millions of Americans don’t have dental insurance to help them pay for it either.

However, there are several ways to get the dentures you need for a reduced price or even for free. Here are some: 

Sign Up for Discount Dental Plans

First, discount dental plans can be helpful if you’re unable to pay full price for dentures. This membership plan lets you visit participating dentists and receive care at reduced rates.

When you sign up for a discount dental plan, you only pay an annual premium. Depending on the provider, payments can be as low as $79 per year.

You can often find these network discounts by searching online—try searching “dentures + [your city]” or “discount dental plans + [your city].”

Request Denture Payment Plans

Some dentists offer payment plans for dentures and other dental services. This allows you to get dentures without having to pay the entire fee upfront. 

Instead, you’ll be paying a set amount on a regular basis (e.g., monthly) until you’ve paid it all off. Most dentists add interest to the original cost. Some don’t, so spend time shopping around for the lowest interest rates.

Also, make sure to check the fine print for any late fees or penalties.

Finance Your Dentures with Dental Credit Cards

Another affordable option for getting dentures is through a dental credit card. These are separate from regular credit cards and are exclusively used for dental care. 

If you're able to secure one of these they usually have low or zero interest rates, although they may also require a deposit or down payment on your treatment upfront.

You should also look at your own credit card options—sometimes a low-interest credit card can be used in place of a dental credit card. 

Some patients have even found success using rewards cards to pay for their dentures since the card can be paid off quickly. 

Similar to payment plans, just make sure that there isn't a high interest rate if you're not planning on paying it off immediately.

Get Cheap or Free Dentures at Dental Schools

Dental schools are an excellent place to get free or affordable dental work, not just dentures. 

The catch is that instead of professionals, dental students will be the ones taking care of you. This is usually done as part of their exams or to complete a subject. 

Here’s how to get started:

Search for dental schools near you.

Research all the universities and community colleges near your home that provide degrees in dentistry. 

Once you've compiled this list, contact each facility and ask if they offer low-cost or free services to patients without insurance. 

Some of them also offer financial assistance, so don’t forget to visit their websites or ask directly about these programs.

Make an appointment and have your teeth examined. 

Do this by calling or submitting an online form on their website. You'll then be requested to attend an initial examination.

This helps them evaluate whether your particular case can be treated by a student dentist at their institution. If not, they will point you to affordable dental programs that fit your needs.

Use Government Programs to Get Dentures

If you’re covered by Medicaid, you may be able to get dentures through their dental care program. Find a dentist on your plan who offers dentures and ask them how much your state covers. 

Many dentists will do the paperwork for you, but if they don't, ask them for help filling out the form so that you can get it approved as quickly as possible.

If you have Medicare instead of or in addition to Medicaid, see if there’s a dentist who accepts both. This can be tricky because some doctors accept Medicaid but refuse Medicare patients. 

Still, keep calling around until you find a dentist who meets all your criteria for price and availability.

Get Free Dentures from a Military Dentist

The military and VA provide dentures and other dental services to active duty and retired service members. Dependents of active duty members may also receive free dentures if they’re eligible for TRICARE dental coverage

Some veterans groups like the American Legion offer dental services at no cost to members, including non-members with proof of eligibility (such as a DD214).

Ask for Help from DDS Programs

If you don’t have dental insurance, you may be able to obtain free or reduced-cost dentures through the volunteer programs run by the Dental Lifeline Network.

The Dental Lifeline Network is a nonprofit organization that provides dental services to those who are elderly, disabled, and medically fragile. The network of volunteers includes licensed dentists, laboratories, and other dental professionals who provide care for those in need.

The Dental Lifeline Network runs the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, which provides free complete dentures to eligible people who cannot afford treatment. 

This also includes those who cannot qualify for government assistance programs such as Medicaid or Medicare.

How much do dentures cost without dental insurance?

In general, the cost of basic full dentures starts at about $300-$500 per plate or $600-$1,000 for a complete set of upper and lower dentures. 

The more expensive the material used, the more expensive the price tag. 

As an example, a full set of standard acrylic plastic dentures costs around $1,000 to $3,000 while premium dentures cost between $2,500 and $8,000.

Still, there’s no set price for dentures. It depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type of dentures you want (full or partial)
  • The materials used to make your dentures (plastic or metal)
  • How many teeth are needed for your denture(s)
  • Any dental work you need to prepare for the dentures (e.g., tooth extraction, root canal, etc.)
  • Your location (e.g., getting dentures in New York City will be costlier than in Oklahoma)
  • The dentist you choose (dentists' fees vary according to location, experience, and the type of practice they have)

To get a more accurate estimate of how much your dentures will cost, it’s best to call or visit the clinic to request a quote.

Do Medicaid or Medicare Cover Denture Costs?

Medicare Advantage can cover between 30% to 60% of the cost of your dentures. However, original Medicare does not cover dentures and other dental care services in general.

On the other hand, Medicaid can cover a portion of your denture payments, but it depends on the state. 

For instance, Medicaid in Alabama “does not cover any type of dental care for adults.” In Alaska, eligible adults can get up to $1,150 per year for dental care, including dentures. 

To see what dental aid you can have access to, here’s a comprehensive list of Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Benefits by State.

How much do dentures cost if you have insurance?

Many full dental insurance policies will cover up to 50% of the cost of your dentures. This falls under the restorative dental care part of your coverage.

You’ll have to pay for the balance yourself. When you consider the deductibles and copay, this can still result in a significant amount.

That’s why you need to make sure you get a dental plan that matches your needs.

The Best Denture Alternatives

There are several alternatives to dentures that both prevent tooth loss and help restore your smile. Below are some of the best:

Dental Bridges

Unlike dentures, which you can remove at any time, bridges are fixed into place with dental implants or crowns.

These natural-looking prosthetic teeth can be made from various materials including porcelain and even gold.

Dental Implants

Implants consist of artificial teeth attached to titanium posts that have been surgically screwed into your jawbone.

They offer a permanent solution for tooth loss without affecting your other teeth. Because of this, they’re often considered superior to dentures and bridges.

However, implants require surgery and may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Overdentures

An overdenture is a special kind of denture that snaps onto implants instead of resting on your gums. It's more expensive than a regular denture, but it tends to fit better and may require fewer adjustments over time than a traditional denture does.

Conclusion

Everyone deserves healthy and beautiful teeth regardless of financial status. Missing teeth, in particular, can negatively affect your overall quality of life.

That’s why we strongly recommend trying all of the options above to increase your chances of getting free or affordable dentures. Don’t give up and good luck!

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