How to Save Money as a Denture Wearer
Dentures are a big expense. A good set of high-quality dentures could cost you over $2,000, and that’s before you think about extractions, X-rays, and all of the repairs and realignments. It could leave a sizeable hole in your bank account, but it’s better than having one in your mouth, and if you can scrape together the money, it’s an expense well worth paying.
If not, and if you’re desperate to save some money buying and maintaining your dentures, then this is the guide for you. We will show you some of the ways that you can save money before you buy and after your dentures have been fitted.
Save Money Buying Dentures
When you consider how essential dentures are and how long they will last you, the initial expense seems a little more reasonable.
For instance, if you’re charged $500 for extractions and $2,000 for a full set of dentures, it’s going to feel like a massive expense. But those dentures could last you for at least 5 years.
As a result, you’ll be paying the equivalent of just $41.66 per month for the lifetime of those dentures, and as you won’t need extractions for additional sets, the proceeding half-decade will cost you the equivalent of just $33.3 a month.
That seems much more reasonable, but regardless of how you look at it, $2,500 is still a massive initial expense. Luckily, there are a few ways you can save.
Speak with Your Dentist
If you’re given a quote that you can’t afford, tell them. Be upfront, honest, and clear about your concerns. Let them know that there is no way you can afford to pay the prices they are quoting.
Dentists are there to make money, but they are not used car salesmen. They won’t hassle you until you close the deal and will generally try to help you. If they can offer you a cheaper alternative, they will.
You might not get the best dentures, but they will still be manufactured to a relatively high standard and should look okay. If nothing else, you’ll get something that looks better than what you have and fits like a glove.
Get Other Quotes
You don’t have to take the first offer that your dentist makes, and you definitely don’t have to go with the first dentist that you find. It doesn’t matter if they are your family dentist or not. If you can’t afford the prices they are quoting, or you’d just rather pay less, you need to look elsewhere.
Call other dentists in your area, give them a quick rundown of your needs, and make a note of the charges. If you have to travel a little out of your way to save a few bucks, then so be it.
As with anything, though, you don’t want to stick with the cheapest option every time. You might save $100 or so, but in exchange, you could be getting an inferior service and product, one that ultimately leaves you frustrated and with a set of dentures that you don’t like.
Check Your Insurance
Insurance likely won’t cover the cost of a full set of dentures, but it can take some of the burdens away. Medicaid may help (although Medicare won’t), and you may also get extensive coverage with other health plans. Many of these will be limited in what they offer and how much they cover, but they can help.
Contact a Dental School
Dental schools have a bad rep and are often the butt of the joke, but you can get some fantastic treatments by very skilled dentists. The work will be performed by dental students, and this is often what scares patients away, but they know what they’re doing, and they also work under supervision from experienced practitioners.
You probably won’t save any money on the actual dentures, but the preliminary work, including extractions and casts, will be a lot cheaper. Some dental schools will also fit titanium implants, which help to lock your dentures in place and provide a more stable fit.
Look Into Dental Tourism
An increasing number of Americans are looking abroad for their essential dental treatments, because even when you consider the cost of flights and hotels, it’s still much cheaper than US treatments if you require extensive work.
You could pay anywhere from 30% to 90% less for your treatment, which adds up to thousands of dollars if you need several extractions, implants, and a high-quality set of full dentures.
The United States has some of the most expensive dental care in the world, so most countries are cheaper. However, the most viable options for dental tourists are Bali, Thailand, Hungary, India, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.
The standard of care is very high in these countries, but there are exceptions, so make sure you do your research on the region, the dental clinic, and the dentist who will be providing the treatment.
Take a look at our blog for other articles on dental tourism. We have written about this subject several times and you can find guides on the pros and cons, as well as the best places to visit.
Look at Financing Options
Debt is never advisable, but it could be the preferable option. After all, would you rather acquire another new debt or deal with rotten/missing teeth?
Refrain from acquiring debts that you can’t afford, keep your debt to income ratio as low as possible, and always shop around for the lowest interest options, including:
- Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit: It’s a huge decision to make for the sake of a set of dentures, but it might be worth considering if you can use the remaining cash for other beneficial reasons, including clearing debts, paying for a child’s/grandchild’s education, or going on vacation.
- Balance Transfer Credit Cards: If you have credit card debts, you can sign up for a balance transfer card and move all of the debt across. You will be given a grace period in which no interest is charged, and this allows you to clear the debt you have while adding some extra charges. As long as you repay the debts in full before that grace period ends, you won’t need to worry about penalty fees and high-interest rates.
- Personal Loans: Small loans are relatively easy to acquire these days and are offered by banks, credit unions, web wallets, and a variety of online lenders. The annual percentage rates differ considerably, and you’ll be charged much higher rates if you have bad credit, making it a much less viable option.
- Ask Your Dentist: Dental clinics understand how important certain treatments are and how hard it can be to cover the costs in full. As a result, they may offer some financing options.
Sell Some Stuff
The older you are, the more likely you are to have accumulated a wealth of possessions that are just gathering dust. Electronics, DVDs, textbooks, clothes, games—all of these things can be sold, and if you’re not using them, there’s no point keeping them!
There are two main reasons why people hold onto these possessions much longer than needed. The first is that they just can’t bear to let go, even though the item is useless. In such cases, it can be hard to convince someone that it’s time to sell, even though every spare room and cupboard is probably stuffed with junk.
The second is that they just can’t be bothered with the hassle or don’t think they can get a lot of money, but there are many ways to sell these days. There are apps for selling used clothes and electronics, as well as auction sites where you can see everything.
It has never been easier to sell unwanted junk and get a good price for it.
Save Money Wearing Dentures
The longer you keep your dentures, the most cost-effective they will be. You’ll save money for every year that you keep them and for every time that you avoid paying for repairs and realignments. With that said, let’s look at some of the ways that you can save money once your dentures have been fitted and installed.
Buy a High-Quality Set
Buy cheap and you will buy twice. A low-quality set of dentures might seem like a good idea when your budget is tight, but eventually, they’re going to cost you more than they save you.
You might need more dental adhesive to keep them in place and they may also need to be replaced much sooner. Over the long term, dentures that cost $2,000 and need to be replaced every 5 years are much cheaper than dentures that cost $1,000 and need to be replaced every 2 years.
The law of diminishing returns kicks in quite early, and you’re not going to get twice the quality moving from $5,000 to $10,000, but if you pay around $1,500 to $4,000, you should get some of the best dentures on the market. They will look great, feel great, and last you for many years to come.
Get the Right Supplies
As soon as you buy your dentures, you should pick up an XODENT kit. It’s one of the best dental cleaning kits on the market and it’s also one of the most affordable.
A single kit contains everything that you need to properly clean and maintain your dentures. In fact, it contains 2 of everything and at no additional cost, so you can give one to your partner or keep it as a spare/travel kit.
The kit should last you for years, although you will need to re-stock with XODENT tablets every now and then.
Don’t worry though, because as soon as you purchase an XODENT kit, we will remind you every time that you need to re-supply. We also promise to provide you with the best prices and super-fast shipping.
Clean Them Every Night
Your mouth is acidic and full of bacteria. Your dentures were made to survive in that environment, but if you want them to last, you need to remove them every now and then. They should spend at least 6 to 8 hours outside of the mouth every day, which is exactly how long you should be sleeping!
Remove your dentures before going to sleep, add them to an XODENT bath with a little water and an XODENT tablet, and then go to sleep. When you wake in the morning, you just need to give your dentures a little scrub with the brush provided, rinse them under the faucet, and then put them back in your mouth.
It’s a ritual that will take you a minute or two every night and every morning, and yet it will make a massive difference to the longevity of your dentures.
The cleaning solution removes all of the stains and the bacteria, preventing it from harming your dentures or your mouth. It will ensure your dentures stay clean and fresh, which means you don’t need to worry about bad breath, discoloration, and other issues.
Don’t Sleep in Them
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t sleep in your dentures. In fact, in another guide on this blog, we discussed 10 of them!
We won’t go over them again here, but needless to say, it could greatly reduce the lifespan of your dentures, thus requiring repairs, refits, and replacements much sooner than expected.
Bacteria is one of the biggest issues. If your dentures are staying in your mouth from morning until night, it means they’re not being cleaned, you’re not giving your mouth time to breathe, and all of that bacteria will just grow and grow.
Your dentures can also dry out when they are left in your mouth overnight. They need to be kept moist, and because your mouth tends to be very dry at night, they don’t have the moisture that they require.
If you suffer from night-time teeth grinding, known as bruxism, then you have an even bigger problem on your hands. It’s a condition that affects a surprising number of Americans and one that many sufferers don’t even know that they have.
If you grind real teeth at night, you may wake up with a little pain in your head or jaw. You may notice that your back teeth have been worn down or you may be warned about the issue by a partner or loved one. In any case, it’s generally not that big of an issue with real teeth and when it starts to become a problem, it’s usually diagnosed and fixed.
With dentures, it’s a different story entirely. Not only are fake teeth much weaker, but the fixings that hold them in place are also weaker. It takes just one night of teeth grinding to chip, break, or warp your dentures and depending on the extent of the issue, they may be damaged beyond repair.
Whether you have bruxism or not, you should always refrain from wearing your dentures at night, but if you do suffer from this condition, extra caution is advised.
Pay Attention to Irritation and Gum Damage
Gum damage could indicate a more serious problem with your mouth and your dentures. It could be a sign that your dentures don’t fit properly or that your mouth is dry and causing constant rubbing.
There could also be a dietary or lifestyle issue. In the worst case scenario, it could be a sign of severe gum disease. Just because you didn’t have it when you had real teeth doesn’t mean that you can’t get it now. You still have gums, your mouth still plays host to bacteria, and if you don’t take good care of your mouth and your dentures, it’s possible to get gum disease.
In any case, don’t dismiss bleeding, oral sores, and redness. In addition to washing your dentures, remember to lightly brush your gums every night, removing bacteria and stimulating blood flow. You can also give them a quick rinse with water or alcohol-free mouthwash whenever you remove your dentures during the day.
Visit Your Dentist at the First Sign of Trouble
Dentures, just like real teeth, won’t get better if you ignore them. That chip is not going to heal itself and if there is pain where it shouldn’t be, you can’t simply wait and hope that it will disappear.
As soon as you damage your dentures or notice a persistent problem with your gums, cheeks, or lips, you should consult with your dentist. More often than not, they will just give you some recommendations to manage the condition or make some quick tweaks to fix it.
If more extensive repair work is required, at least they can do it nice and early, long before it develops into something more damaging and becomes completely irreparable.
Being fitted for dentures doesn’t mean that you never need to visit the dentist again. They are not the ultimate solution to your dental phobia and shouldn’t be treated as such. You still need to make and keep appointments; you still need to get your mouth checked over.