With the rising cost of living and current financial pressures on households it’s no surprise that people want some idea of how much dentures cost in Australia 2023 before they dive into a decision to buy. Much like every essential we go shopping for now, the list of choices is vast. In addition, the cost of dentures can depend on the state in which you reside, or whether you live in a city or rural area. There is simply no one price fits all, making it difficult when you are watching your budget.
In this article we attempt to give you some ‘ballpark’ estimates for the most common dentures with the caveat that an exact cost is beyond our ability to deliver given the very individual clinical conditions, aesthetic choices, and personal financial circumstances, which demand a customised denture cost quote. That said, we offer suggestions for pensioners and others who struggle to cover the costs. We also provide a useful checklist for the denture shopping exercise from the initial research phase to the purchase phase and beyond, in the service of giving you the best possible denture experience.
How much do dentures cost 2023?
The following table gives an approximate price range for the most popular types of dentures. The prices are for dentures only, not including cost of tooth extraction or other preparation treatments. Lower price in the range can indicate a budget version while the higher price may indicate premium denture cost.
Type of Denture
|Full upper AND lower denture set - acrylic
|$2,400 - $5,500
|$2,400 - $4,500
|Full upper OR lower denture (single) - acrylic
|$1,250 - $2,900
|$1,500 - $2000
|Partial acrylic denture
|$800 - $1,700
|$1,100 - $2,800
|Partial chrome cobalt denture
|$1,400 - $2,000
|$1,600 - $2,000
|Flexible nylon partial denture
|$4,000 - $8,000
|Implant retained denture (one full denture with 2 precision implants)
How much are dentures for pensioners 2023?
The cost of dentures for pensioners can seem prohibitive if one only looks to getting them through the private health sector. However, there are other less expensive avenues through which pensioners, and others in need of dentures, can find affordable access.
Can I get dentures on Medicare?
Unfortunately for those on a pension, Medicare does not provide for dental care, and this includes covering the cost of dentures for pensioners or others who may need them. However, the Australian Government in conjunction with state and territory governments, funds dental services through public dental clinics for eligible patients, usually at public hospitals. To be eligible you must hold a healthcare card or be on a Centrelink pension. In some states and territories, you may be asked for a co-payment. Because of the high demand for dental treatment, with 1 in every 3 Australians waiting for public dental care, the waiting list to receive treatment under this scheme is generally lengthy.i
Getting dentures through a public health service
Each state is a little different so check the situation in your state. In NSW under the Oral Health Fee Service Scheme (OHFFSS), a dental voucher may be issued to eligible patients in an emergency or when the public dental service cannot provide the treatment. If you prefer to use a private clinic you may also request a voucher and a list of approved denture clinics from which to choose treatment in the process of getting dentures.ii
Cost of dentures and the Department of Veteran Affairs
Currently under reviewiii the dental services covered by Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) card holders is more generous, although certain conditions apply. Those who hold a gold cardiv are entitled to free treatment for all dental conditions including dentures, while white cardv holders are entitled to treatment, including dentures by registered providers, for accepted service-related conditions. See the DVA website for further information.vi
Managing the cost of dentures for pensioners
While it’s undeniably difficult for many pensioners to put money aside or pay the escalating cost of private health insurance, there are other ways in addition to the health system to get a denture when you are strapped for cash. Some denture clinics and oral health providers offer interest free loans to cover the cost of dentures for pensioners or others who cannot pay up front. The cost of the dentures can be paid back in instalments, so you don’t have to wait to get your dentures to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like eating, again.
It's also worthwhile enquiring if your local university has a dental school. Treatment by professionally supervised students in dental schools is at a much-reduced cost.
Pensioners and private health insurance
If you are one of the lucky pensioners who can still afford private health insurance, read your policy carefully to be sure it specifically covers dentures. Depending on the level of cover in your policy, you may be able to recover part of the cost of dentures.
A checklist for getting a new or replacement denture
Regardless of which path you take on your denture journey, it’s important to do your homework thoroughly before getting dentures. Very often denture wearers are disappointed with results because they feel their expectations haven’t been met. Whether it’s the choice of denture type, the oral health provider, the cost of the denture or even how the denture functions and looks, if you go into the exercise armed with reliable information, disappointment can be averted.
Of course, the greatest choice is offered if you have private health insurance, but you still need to choose your prosthetist carefully. This is the person who will steer you toward the best denture options for you and who will make your denture, be responsible for maintaining your oral health and keeping your denture fit for purpose. The choices they help you make also affect them so there must be mutual trust. A satisfied patient is good for business.
When you are shopping around with the purpose of finding the cheapest price, it’s worth remembering there are reasons for price disparities. These may include preparation treatments by other oral health professionals, like the removal of natural teeth by a dentist before the prosthetist can fit the denture. If, in addition to tooth extraction, you commission your dentures through your dentist, be aware the work of making it will most probably be sent to a denture laboratory and the dentist will charge a fee for doing so. So be sure you are comparing prices for the same product, made of the same material, and with the same preparation, customisations, and after care service.
Be aware too, of associated costs of having a denture. If you have had teeth removed and an immediate or temporary denture fitted immediately after the extractions, the immediate denture will need to be replaced sooner than if you waited for healing and natural shrinkage of your tissues and gums to take place. This is because the denture will no longer fit once natural shrinkage has taken place. Whether you choose to go down the permanent or immediate denture path, you will need denture relines to keep your denture fitting snugly. As the name suggests this is a lining applied to the underside of your denture to re-establish a close fit. A couple of relines over the life of your immediate denture is usual. Permanent dentures may also need relines over their lifespan. These are things to check with the denture clinic of your choosing before you commit to having treatment.
Your choice of prosthetist through the public system is limited to those dental prosthetists approved by and registered with the public system to do the work. However, this does not mean an inferior result since many of the best private denture clinics also care for public patients. This applies to the DVA patients as well.
- Research eligible denture clinics. Ask friends and family for referrals or look online for reviews on clinics near you. Remember, you need someone you can trust and it’s crucial you have a provider you can communicate with.
- Compile a list of questions before your first consultation. Some denture clinics off free consultations which gives you the opportunity to assess whether it’s the right one for you. Denture wearing friends or family can assist with the kinds of questions to ask.
- After your initial consultation, research and understand the options you’ve been given. Use your list of questions. These might include what after sales service is included in the denture price or alternative options for denture materials from which your denture will be made and what the implications of choosing them might be.
- Sort out your finances before you see your prosthetist. Deciding how much you can spend before you go to your appointment will avoid ‘heat of the moment’ budgetary overstretches.
- Beware of making false economies. Choosing dentures made from cheaper materials over quality materials often means the dentures may not last as long, look as good, or be as robust as better-quality dentures. Always buy the best you can afford.
- Ask a close friend or family member to go with you when it comes time to decide on how the denture will look. They will alleviate any actual or perceived pressure on your part when it comes to making aesthetic choices.
- Be realistic about how long it takes to get used to your denture. Patience and perseverance are key.
A final word on dentures cost Australia
The cost of dentures Australia 2023 is a very real concern for current and future denture wearers. It’s important therefore, to research providers and options available to you when it comes to how to pay for your dentures. The table included in this article is a rough estimate of denture costs. The individualised nature of dentures means there simply is no one size fits all. While dentures aren’t covered by Medicare, the cost of dentures for pensioners is covered by some state health clinics in conjunction with the Federal Government. For those without a health care card, we also suggest other avenues to explore which may allow you to purchase dentures at a manageable cost. The checklist provided can be helpful on your first consultation. Preparation and forward planning are key to getting your dentures at an affordable cost, and importantly, dentures you will be happy with.
iv Veteran Gold Card | Department of Veterans' Affairs (dva.gov.au)
v Veteran White Card | Department of Veterans' Affairs (dva.gov.au)
vi https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-treatment/injury-or-health-treatments/health-services/dental- care/dental-services#who-can-receive-it
Northern Rivers Denture Clinic is located in the heart of Tweed Heads, southern Gold Coast. Finally have the smile you deserve with handcrafted, quality dentures.