Some folks may shy away from the thought of getting dentures. This may be due to outdated or incorrect information or worries about the cost.
If your dentist has recommended dentures, it might be worth some research to determine if dentures are right for you. Let's start by reviewing some of the more common questions people ask about Original Medicare, dentures and cost.
The cost of dentures can vary greatly, from $600 for a basic set to more than $8,000 for a premium set.1 It's best to find out what your dentist recommends and do some comparison shopping so you get a better idea of the costs.
Does Original Medicare cover dentures?
Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover dentures. In fact, it does not cover any routine dental services like exams, X-rays or cleanings.
Yes, if eligible, there are a number of dental insurance plans that include preventive dental care and may offer discounts on the cost of dentures and denture repairs.
While dentures may be expensive, cost is not the only consideration. Some people assume that caring for dentures is a lot of work, but it's really not much different than caring for your own teeth. You can help keep your whole mouth healthy by following a few simple steps.
Brush your dentures daily2
Dentures can develop tartar and bacteria, so they need to be brushed just like regular teeth. First, rinse the dentures with warm water, being careful not to bend or drop them. Then gently clean them with a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive denture cleanser. If you use denture adhesive, be sure to clean the grooves that fit against your gums. Always rinse the dentures well before putting them back in your mouth.
Soak your dentures daily in a denture cleanser3
After you brush your dentures each evening, soak them in denture cleanser. This will remove any food, dental plaque and bacteria you may have missed while brushing. It also keeps your dentures from drying out and helps prevent bad breath. Follow the instructions on the cleanser container to see how long you should soak your dentures, and remember to rinse them thoroughly.
Remove your dentures for 6–8 hours a day4
Removing your dentures before bed is a good way to give your mouth a rest. It also provides time for healing if your dentures are causing any irritation or soreness. When they aren't in your mouth, put your dentures in warm but not hot water. This will help them keep their shape and prevent them from drying out.
Avoid sticky and hard foods
Sticky foods can get stuck to dentures, or loosen your dentures as you chew, causing discomfort and discoloration. Harder foods, like some types of candy or even ice cubes, can damage your dentures. Hard candy, popcorn or nuts can also break into small pieces and lodge between your dentures and gums, which can be painful.
Practice good oral hygiene
Brush your gums, mouth, cheeks and tongue with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste before putting your dentures in each morning. This will help remove the plaque and bacteria that cause gum irritation and bad breath. Use the same routine before you go to bed each night.
Continue to visit your dentist for regular checkups
Yes, even with dentures you still need to see your dentist! It's possible he or she may spot signs of irritation or infection before you do. And you can always ask to have your dentures professionally cleaned during your visit.