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Dentures: The high cost of tooth loss in the U.S.

by Emma Mooney dentures are a necessity for over-65s

By age 65, one-fourth of Americans will have lost all of their permanent teeth.

As the population grows older, tooth loss is becoming a bigger issue. By 2020, 37.9 million American adults will have complete dentures, estimates this report.

The state of oral health in America

According to a Center for Disease Control report, 35% of adults aged 18-64 did not get or delayed getting necessary dental care due to the cost.

The report also showed that since 1997, there has been a year-on-year increase in the number of households not availing of dental care.

The result is more adults are in need of tooth loss solutions such as dentures in later life – and the expense can be considerable.

The cost of dentures in the U.S. Example of part of a set of dentures

The ADA Dental Fee Survey 2011, published by, has figures on the costs of dentures. They found the average cost of a maxillary/mandibular denture (D5110/D5120) is $1570 per denture. So a full set would be approximately $3140. Note this does not include the cost of extractions or implants if required.

The average doesn’t tell the whole story though, as prices vary widely with little explanation as to why. One report found dentists can charge up to $10,000 for complete dentures.

Out of pocket costs for dentures

Dental plans usually cover up to 50% of the cost of dentures. But according to Oral Health America, less than 2 out of every 10 older Americans have dental plans.

A 2012 report on older Americans found that 76% of dental care received by Americans aged 65 and older was paid out-of-pocket. The cost of dentures can be substantial for this age group, especially as 25.6% of over 65s are on low income, while 9% of over 65s are living below the poverty line.

Dentures in Mexico Find a dentist in Mexico on WhatClinic

If paying between $3000 and $10,000 for dentures is not feasible, dental treatment in Mexico may be an option. The trend of ‘snowbirds’ coming from the Northern States and Canada to Mexico for dental treatment has been happening for years now.

For clinics listed on in Los Algodones, for example, the most expensive price for dentures is $707, which is $1414 for a full set.

This means a potential saving of almost 55% on the average cost of dentures in the US. Of course this depends on the dental clinic and which type of denture you choose.

If you are considering dentures as a solution to tooth loss, we highly recommend you do your research and shop around.

Even though the costs involved are high, don’t let price be the only factor when choosing a dentist – whether you see a dentist in Mexico or in your home town.

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