According to a recent report from CBC, one out of five Canadians over age 60 don’t have natural teeth.
Many of these Canadians have dentures, which are artificial sets of teeth that you can easily take in and out of your mouth. However, not all Canadians who need dentures can afford them.
A full set of dentures can easily cost upwards of $3,000 or more. Partial dentures can cost even more as they need to be formed around your existing teeth and jaw structure.
Dentures can be rather costly, so it’s a good idea to plan for the purchase by saving.
Below, I’ll explain how much dentures cost in Canada, break down factors that can affect the total cost, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about getting dentures in Canada.
Saving for retirement is important. Canada offers some excellent programs, such as TFSAs, RRIFs, and RRSPs. These retirement programs allow you to consistently set money aside throughout your career, so that you’re adequately prepared to retire.
When most people think about retirement, items such as mortgage payments, auto payments, home repairs, and living expenses are the first things to come to mind.
However, many retirees forget about some of the other expenses that can come with age – such as buying dentures.
Although the number of toothless Canadians has declined compared to previous decades (mostly due to readily available dental treatments), around 15 – 20% of Canadians will need at least a partial set of dentures after age 65.
If you’re just missing a couple of teeth, it may be possible to get a partial set of dentures for under $1,000.
However, if you need a full set of dentures, including both the upper and lower plates, then you could easily pay $5,000 or more.
A full set of dentures includes two full sets of teeth – one for your lower jaw and one for your upper jaw.
These dentures are made with your total jaw design in mind and are designed to be a complete replacement for your teeth. With a full set of dentures, you won’t have any of your natural teeth left.
Getting a full set of dentures often involves extraction of old teeth and often jaw surgery as well.
A basic single-plate denture for the upper or lower jaw can cost between $2,500 and $3,500, depending on factors, such as:
- Preexisting jaw diseases you may have
- How reputable of a facility you’re visiting
- Whether or not you need jaw surgery
- …and more
I’ve even heard of some sets of full dentures costing up to $10,000!
It’s a bit difficult to nail down an exact price for the cost of dentures in Canada since there are so many factors that determine cost. Thankfully, many dentists offer quotes and consultation services that can help you plan to cover the cost of dentures.
Partial dentures are very similar to full dentures, but they include gaps for your real teeth to fit in between.
I used to have a friend in university who was a semi-professional boxer. Unfortunately, he got half of his upper teeth knocked out in a match that he lost.
For about two months, he walked around with just half of the teeth in his mouth.
One day, he showed up to class with a perfect smile. He’d just gotten a set of partial dentures that allowed him to keep his real teeth and provided fake teeth to fit in the gaps.
Partial dentures are often cheaper than a full set of dentures and can be as low as $500 if you’re just filling in for a few teeth. However, more complex sets of partial dentures can cost upwards of $2,000 or more.
Partial dentures are just as hard to price as a full set of dentures. In fact, partial dentures can cost even more than full dentures due to the extra work needed to ensure they fit around your existing teeth.
When it comes to choosing the best dentures for your mouth, you’ll have three different options to choose between:
- Transitional dentures
- Conventional dentures
- Equilibrated dentures
From these options, you’ll choose a full or partial set of dentures. Keep on reading for a quick overview of each type of dentures, and how each different type can affect the total cost of your dentures.
As the name implies, immediate dentures are given out immediately after your first visit and exam.
They’re not designed to be a long-term solution, though. Instead, transitional dentures are issued to provide the patient with a pair of “temporary teeth” that they can wear while they’re waiting for their custom dentures to be made.
From start to finish, a complete set of conventional dentures can take several weeks to be completed.
First, the dentist will have to perform detailed scans of your mouth, as well as your tooth and jaw structure. Then, these moulds and scans will be sent to a laboratory, where skilled technicians will handcraft the dentures to fit your mouth perfectly.
During this time, you could also have to undergo oral surgery to prepare your jaw for the new dentures or extract old teeth. All of this takes time and could leave you toothless for a month or two.
A set of temporary dentures can cost between $800 and $2,000, or about half of the cost of your conventional dentures.
Temporary dentures aren’t necessary, and patients are required to purchase a set. However, they will provide you with a pair of temporary teeth, so you can smile confidently and eat without problems.
Conventional dentures are the standard form of dentures that most dentists in Canada offer.
To create conventional dentures, your dentist will take a mould of your teeth and jaw. Then, this mould will be used to create a set of dentures that matches the existing pattern of your mouth.
Conventional dentures can cost between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the specialist you’re visiting and the complexity of the job.
Equilibrated dentures are often referred to as precision dentures. These dentures are made using the same materials as conventional dentures. However, the process used to create these dentures is far more calculated and controlled.
In addition to taking a mould of your mouth, the movements of your jaw and teeth will also be calculated using precision scanners.
When creating a set of equilibrated dentures, the technicians will not only account for the shape of your mouth but also the movement and angles of your jaw/bite.
This makes for a more comfortable, natural-feeling set of dentures, which means that they’ll be easier for your brain to get used to.
Because of the extra work that goes into creating a set of equilibrated dentures, they can cost up to twice as much.
It’s not uncommon for patients to pay anywhere between $6,000 and $10,000 for a full set of equilibrated dentures.
Looking at a pair of dentures, it’s hard to imagine that the little pieces of plastic and ceramic can cost thousands of dollars.
Ultimately, though, it’s not so much the product that you’re paying for, so much as the process of creating your product.
Creating a high-quality set of dentures involves working with a number of skilled professionals and expensive scanners and machines – all of which are overseen by highly-skilled dentists and medical professionals.
To give you an idea of what you’re paying for, here’s everything that goes into creating a set of dentures and fitting them into your mouth:
- Initial Dental Examination
- Preliminary Dental Work & Tooth Extraction
- Potential Alveoplasty
- Scanning Your Mouth
- Lab Work Fees
- Denture Fitting
Most dentists in Canada recommend that patients replace their dentures every five to seven years. Over time, the ceramic teeth on the dentures will wear down, which can cause changes in your bite, headaches, and more.
Additionally, your gums can also shrink as you age, which can cause your old dentures to not fit as well as they used to.
Replacement dentures are usually a bit cheaper than full dentures. However, a replacement set can cost as much as a traditional set of dentures if considerable changes need to be made.
Assuming that no changes need to be made to your dentures, a replacement set of dentures typically costs around half the cost of your original dentures.
Because you’re being provided with an exact replica of your previous set of dentures, you won’t need to go through all of the extra scans and preliminary examinations.
However, if you’re getting replacement dentures because the shape of your mouth has changed, then expect the cost of replacements to be almost as much as the originals.
This is because your dentist will need to create updated scans of your mouth and craft an entirely new set of dentures for you.
Dentures often represent a costly investment, especially if you’re looking at precision dentures or purchasing a full set of upper and lower dentures.
Thankfully, some dental offices offer in-house financing programs that allow patients to pay for their dentures with monthly payments.
Not every dentist offers financing for dentures, though.
If yours does not, then you’ll need to obtain third-party financing from a lender or use a credit card to cover the charge. If you have decent credit, then your bank may be able to provide low-interest financing to help you cover the cost of dentures.
Alternatively, you can use a loan marketplace like LoanConnect, which will ask you a few questions and then pair you with suitable lenders.
To wrap things up, here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about dentures and dentures cost in Canada.
Although Canada provides free general healthcare to residents, dental care isn’t always covered.
While some plans cover basics like annual cleaning, the majority of health insurance plans do not cover the cost of dentures. Because of this, many Canadians end up having to pay for dentures out of pocket.
That being said, there are advanced dental healthcare programs that offer coverage for dentures. These typically come with a costly monthly premium, though.
During your first appointment for dentures, you’ll usually be charged for an initial examination.
This visit typically involves your dentist asking you some general questions, followed by a scan and mould of your mouth. All of this information will be used to create the perfect set of dentures for your mouth.
At the end of the exam, you should also be given a quote for the total cost of your dentures.
Additionally, you may be given a chance to purchase a pair of temporary transitional dentures to wear while you’re waiting for your final dentures to be crafted.
Most dentists recommend that you replace your dentures every five to seven years. This can be affected by factors such as:
- How often do you clean your dentures
- How well do you care for your dentures
- Changes in your jaw and bite
- Changes in your gum size
They say that a smile is worth a million dollars. If having a full smile and being able to eat normally is important to you, then a set of dentures is definitely worth it.
They may not be as good as having your real teeth back, but a good set of precision dentures will work almost as well as your real teeth.
Are they worth the cost? Only you can decide that.
If you need to start saving money for your set of dentures, be sure to give my guide to saving money on a budget a read next!