Budget dentures versus premium dentures

Budget vs premium dentures

Budget vs premium dentures

Whether you're a seasoned denture wearer or a newbie, choosing the correct denture to suit you is no easy task. Budget or premium quality removable dentures or something in between - your choice must take into account your individual clinical needs, your expectations of functionality and aesthetics, and of course your budget. If you are looking to replace an old denture, you will soon be aware of how much dental technology and denture materials have improved since your last denture. Luckily, your dental prosthetist is an expert in the field and will guide you through the maze of options. He or she has your best interests at heart because beyond any professional gratification for a job well done, your satisfaction is their best endorsement. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for.’ And for good reason. That said, not everyone can afford a premium quality denture. So, what are the implications for those who can’t? Where do you begin when sorting through the options for the one which best suits you?

Choosing a denture using the cost-benefit analysis method

One way is to borrow a method from the business world which defines a cost-benefit analysis as “a systematic process of evaluating the desirability of a decision by weighing up its potential benefits and costs.” Put simply, you want the best value for your money, that is, you want the most comfort and functionality you can get in a denture, together with the most natural looking denture available, all at a price you can afford. But there are other factors in the mix, like how long will your denture last. Are the materials used in its manufacture optimal for your health? How often will the denture need repairs or servicing, and how easy will it be to get those things done? Of course, there is no standard answer to those questions given that every denture wearer’s experience will be different; different bite alignment, different standards of care.

Budget or basic versus premium denture -it’s not all about price

As the cost-benefit method demonstrates, the aim is to weigh up whether the benefits you gain justify your financial outlay. Take longevity and aesthetics for example. While you may pay more for a premium denture, if it lasts longer than a budget model, looks more natural, has a lower profile and is more comfortable in your mouth, then the cost may turn out to be worth it over time.

Then there is the human element which must be factored into the equation. Every denture wearer is unique with different clinical needs, chewing styles, bite alignment and level of commitment to denture maintenance and care. In terms of oral health, some people are allergic to different denture materials such as metal alloys, plastics and acrylics, and will have a reaction, perhaps causing discomfort and inconvenience affecting your enjoyment of life. In addition, the material your denture is made from may be more susceptible to surface scratching than other denture base materials exposing you to harmful bacteria and fungi which can grow on its surface thus endangering your health. In this case, your denture care practices must be considered. A ‘rough brusher’ will damage a denture’s surface shortening its life span and allowing for harmful biofilm to establish. In contrast, a ‘gentle brusher’ who takes good care of their denture will enjoy better denture longevity and fewer bacterial colonisations and need fewer repairs. If you have a regular bite, good hygiene practices, and take care of your denture, a budget model may serve you equally well as a premium model.

Other things to consider – the middleman effect

No-one wants to pay more than they need to. Entrusting your oral care to the right professional for the job will avoid unnecessary costs or a lesser quality product. Oral health professionals generally work in concert with each other. If you plan to have your teeth removed and replaced with a denture, it makes sense to deal directly with your prosthetist before you see your dentist, so the correct preparations can be made, then you are not paying your dentist a fee to send your work out to a dental laboratory. In this case, cheaper products may be used to make your denture to keep costs down and remain competitive. Alternatively, consulting a prosthetist first will ensure as his or her patient, they are accountable to you personally, not through a third party. They will be responsible for not only making and fitting your denture but also overseeing your denture care into the future. Having a good relationship with your specialist oral health provider cannot be underestimated for something as important as your teeth.

Budget dentures don’t have to mean inferior dentures

We are fortunate in Australia to be well regulated when it comes to our health. While budget dentures are cheaper than premium dentures, the materials from which they’re made must still comply with stringent health safety regulations. Equivalent oversight applies to our health professionals who must undergo extensive training in their specialised fields before they can practise. The same may not be the case if you choose to go overseas to get your dentures made, or if your dentist sends your work to an overseas laboratory. Your local prosthetist has more skin in the game than someone in another country with different standards and different regulations. He or she will be intimately familiar with your needs and the prothesis they make for you. In contrast, if your denture was made in an overseas laboratory, you can’t just pop back for a quick adjustment. Your concerns must be relayed by your dentist to a technician who may not get the adjustment right the first time making the process a long-drawn-out inconvenience for you.

Why having the right specialist is crucial for budget dentures

Taking impressions, then making and fitting a denture is an exacting process and should only be performed by a specialist using safe materials. If you have chosen a budget denture getting the right expertise is even more crucial.

Possible issues with budget dentures

Among things that set budget dentures apart from premium quality dentures are longevity, aesthetics, denture fit and oral health. Cheaper materials like some low-grade acrylics used for the denture base, are subject to shrinkage of approximately 0.1% during processing.i While this may seem minimal, it can affect how well your dentures fit and therefore how well they function. Ill-fitting, unstable dentures make eating and talking less comfortable, thus affecting the denture wearer’s confidence and quality of life. Poor fit can also mean sore spots and gum inflammation, which makes the case for building a close relationship with your prosthetist even more important since it is they you will rely on to resolve the issue. In addition, dentures made from low quality materials may not be as robust making them subject to breaking or cracking more readily. Damaged denture surfaces harbour harmful bacteria which can compromise the denture wearer’s oral health.

Premium quality dentures

When it comes to appearance, premium dentures have a greater selection of gum colours, and tooth shapes, finishes and colours, from which to choose. This makes for a highly individualised denture which more closely replicates the appearance of natural teeth. In addition, the materials from which premium denture bases are made, are thinner, less bulky and have a lower profile in the mouth. They also have greater longevity. However, premium quality dentures are more expensive than budget or basic dentures.

When is a cheaper denture an appropriate choice?

There is one situation when a cheaper denture is recommended. You may be familiar with the term immediate dentures. They are called ‘immediate’ because they are inserted immediately after tooth extractions. They are also called ‘temporary dentures’. This is not as some believe, a ruse by the dental industry to make you spend more money on another denture sooner rather than later. Instead, a temporary denture serves you while the swelling in your mouth subsides after tooth extractions and normal gum and bone shrinkage takes place. This process may take weeks or even months depending on the individual, during which time your prosthetist may adjust this temporary denture to accommodate your changing oral landscape by relining it at least once. Eventually, after the changes in your mouth stabilise, you will discard the immediate/temporary denture and have a permanent one made. It makes sense therefore, that immediate dentures do not need to last and therefore are cheaper than a permanent denture. You spend less on this kind of denture because it is only temporary.

A final word

While a premium quality denture maybe on your ultimate wish list, a budget quality denture can be an equally positive choice depending on your clinical needs and budgetary constraints. Without some kind of method to weigh up the deciding factors, choosing between a budget or premium denture will be a challenge. However, whichever denture option you choose – budget or premium, or something in between – acquiring and building a relationship with the right prosthetist to guide you through the crafting, fitting and long-term maintenance of your denture choice is essential. Your prosthetist will advise you on all elements of denture selection to best enhance your appearance and maximise your investment.

[1] https://eurodenture.com/blog/quality-dentures/#:~:text=Unnatural%20Appearance,all%20you%20notice%20about%20them



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