The cost of dentures without insurance can range from $500 to $8,000 depending on the quality of materials used, and the number of false teeth you need. Plus, expect to pay more for extractions, implants, and same-day appliances.
Uninsured patients have two avenues to reduce the amount they must spend out-of-pocket to improve their smile and enjoy food again.
Looking for financial assistance works in rare instances. However, Medicaid gives you a fifty percent chance of having to pay nothing!
Meanwhile, some people can buy a new dental plan and take advantage of the healing time between treatment steps to overcome waiting period restrictions.
Help Paying for Dentures
Patients in excruciating pain or with already missing teeth often need help paying for dentures without insurance. Either they do not want to wait, or a new plan will exclude coverage because of their pre-existing condition.
Restoring lost teeth with dentures can get expensive, especially if you want your smile to look as natural as possible by paying a premium price.
Most people resort to financing because free treatment and grant money are extremely difficult to find, and few qualify.
Financing programs can help patients to pay for dentures without insurance by spreading the costs over time. Many payment plan options exist that make it easier to fit the added expense into a monthly budget.
- Personal loans provide a cushion of cash in your bank account that allows you to shop around for the dentist with the lowest prices and best service
- Credit cards offered by some practices offer promotional zero-percent interest rates for well-qualified borrowers who can afford to repay the entire balance within six to twelve months
- Third-party patient financing companies sit behind a curtain as in the Wizard of Oz and make it appear as if the dentist offers payment plans
Finding a way to get dentures free could undoubtedly help lower your out-of-pocket costs without insurance. However, it is essential to be realistic and read the fine print on any advertisements.
Medicaid (see below) is the first place that low-income patients should turn when looking for free dentures. Being at or below the federal poverty level is a vital qualifying criterion for this program. Half of the states pay for restorative dental work for adults with zero out-of-pocket costs.
Medicaid (see below) is also the first place that disabled adults should look at when seeking pro bono dentures. In most states, people who qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) are automatically enrolled. Your odds of this program covering 100% of your replacement teeth cost are about fifty percent.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the first place that former armed service members should turn when looking for free dentures. The VA supports oral care services at varying levels based on class (combat wounds, prisoners of war, etc.).
Senior citizens seeking pro bono dentures need to be on alert for practitioners looking to take advantage of the elderly. Since traditional Medicare (see below) rarely covers oral care, older people have fewer realistic options and are more vulnerable to scams. Get a written cost estimate of the full treatment plan before starting.
Grants for dentures are another possible cost-saving measure that causes many uninsured patients to run around in circles. Many websites promote these resources, but few deliver the goods.
Some dentists offer grants to insured patients, knowing they will make their money back on other oral care services covered by the plan. Beware of deceptive marketing schemes.
You will find it nearly impossible to find central government grants for dentures. Federal agencies send monetary awards to universities, state agencies, and non-profit organizations to fund ideas and projects to foster a public service or stimulate the economy – not individuals.
However, several federal agencies oversee programs that could lower denture prices indirectly for some people regardless of location.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers Medicaid (see below) which helps patients lower charges in twenty-five states
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows patients to deduct unreimbursed medical and dental expenses via two programs
- Schedule A for people who itemize and whose qualifying expenses exceed 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
- Flexible Spending Accounts provides first dollar tax savings on up to $2,750 per individual
You are more likely to find grants for dentures by looking at nearby state agencies, schools, and private charitable organizations. As described before, the money flows from federal agencies to regional entities – who then sometimes serve individuals.
The challenge becomes where to find these local resources. By definition, they are native to many different regions, making it hard to point people to a single directory. Start with your county social services department. Good luck!
New Insurance Covering Dentures
Purchasing a new dental insurance plan that covers dentures is a seemingly obvious way to lower your out-of-pocket costs if you do not have coverage already in force. Unfortunately, immediate benefits are not a cure-all solution.
However, replacement teeth do not happen overnight, opening a strategy to stagger claims over time. Plus, seniors and low-income families have unique opportunities via Medicare and Medicaid.
Many patients search online for dental insurance that covers dentures without a waiting period as a means to cut their out-of-pocket costs. Plans with immediate benefits do exist. However, each design may include one of these features that limit its utility.
- Missing tooth exclusions mean that the plan will not cover replacement dentures at any time for teeth extracted before the coverage effective date
- Graded benefits will minimize the amounts paid during the early years of the contract for teeth extracted after the start date of the plan
Discount plans are the only option that can deliver on lower denture costs with no waiting period before benefits begin. However, they are not insurance. Dentists agree to lower prices for members in exchange for patient flow.
Other patients who still need to have teeth extracted can benefit by purchasing a new dental insurance plan – even if it has waiting periods for dentures and other services. Remember, your gums and jawbone need time to heal in between treatment steps.
People who are not experiencing pain can lower their out-of-pocket spending by employing a simple delaying strategy.
- Missing tooth exclusions do not apply before the dentist pulls them out
- Extractions have shorter waiting periods (3 months) than major services
- A 6-month wait for dentures allows three months for healing
Buying new dental insurance that covers implants and fixed dentures in combination opens the door for some patients to lower their overall costs. Here the healing times are extended, enabling some people to work around waiting periods.
|Step||Healing Time (Months)|
|Extractions||1 to 6|
|Bone Grafting||4 to 12|
|Body Placement||4 to 6|
|Abutment Insertion||1 to 2|
Many plans consider implants as cosmetic procedures and will not honor claims. Therefore, it pays to shop around because some include graded benefits attached to waiting periods.
Also, keep in mind that the missing tooth exclusions apply to implants as well. As a result, this strategy works well for people with future extractions only.
Traditional Medicare plans (Parts A & B) do not cover any dental services, including dentures. The government-run healthcare program includes a universal prohibition for oral care procedures.
“Statutory Exclusion: services in connection with the care, treatment, filling, removal, or replacement of teeth or structures directly supporting teeth.”
However, every rule has an exception, and seniors on Medicare could enjoy coverage for related services when any of these scenarios apply.
- Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans often include dental benefits
- Preventive (Most Common): exams, cleanings, x-rays
- Basic (More Likely): fillings, root canal, periodontics, extractions
- Major (Least Frequent): crowns, oral surgery, dentures
- Medicare might pay for medically necessary oral surgery and extractions when connected to a covered accident or illness
Medicaid pays for major restorative dental work, including dentures, in twenty-five states. The federal government establishes the basic ground rules, and each state then determines what their local version of this insurance will cover, along with the income-based eligibility criteria.
Therefore, the average reader has a fifty-fifty chance that Medicaid will cover dentures in his or her state. Also, federal guidelines could help answer other common questions for the lucky half of the country.
- Patients have no out-of-pocket costs for covered services. Therefore, the cost of dentures with Medicaid is zero for those living in the right states.
- The least costly alternative rule eliminates high-end services. As a result, Medicaid is more likely to cover removable or flexible dentures versus the fixed or implant-supported versions.
- Reimbursement levels to practitioners are meager. Therefore, finding a dentist that accepts Medicaid for dentures will be tricky. Start with an online provider search with the private insurance company that manages your government plan.
- By combining rules two and three, you narrow the odds further. As a result, finding a practice that accepts Medicaid for same-day (immediate) or implant-supported dentures is highly unlikely.