False Teeth - Dentures
Dentures are false teeth, mounted on removable plastic or metal plates. Full dentures are used when there are no teeth remaining on the upper or lower jaw, but partial dentures can be made to replace a lower number of teeth. Dentures can be very expensive, so you might want to quickly take a look at our page on how much dentures cost.
Why do I need Dentures?
Replacing missing teeth is very important, for clinical and cosmetic reasons. If teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can move out of position, resulting in a misaligned bite. This can cause discomfort, as well as increasing the risk of decay and gum disease if food gets trapped. Also, if teeth are not replaced, the patient's facial muscles may begin to sag, making the patient appear older. The patient's speech and ability to eat may also be impaired.
Alternatives to Dentures
There are alternatives to having dentures- if you are replacing one or two teeth, your dentist may suggest a bridge. A bridge is an artificial tooth which is fitted to the remaining teeth on either side of the gap. Bridges can only be used instead of a partial denture- it is not possible to replace a complete set of teeth using bridges.
Another option is dental implants- these are artificial teeth fitted by inserting a metal screw through the jaw bone, onto which a false tooth is attached. Implants can be used to replace one tooth, or a complete set. They offer a solution that avoids some of the difficulties patients can experience with dentures (see below), but they are not suitable for all patients and usually cost considerably more than dentures.
What is involved in fitting Dentures?
At a preliminary appointment, the dentist will take an impression of the patient's jaws. The acrylic material used to make dentures is then fitted to this impression, making artificial teeth which will fit the patient's mouth. It is possible for dentures to be fitted on the same day as the patient's teeth are removed, but only using "immediate" dentures. When teeth are removed, the patient's gums will need to heal, and this process can take several months. The advantage of immediate dentures is that the patient does not have to go without teeth while the gums are healing. However, during this time the bones and gums may shrink, and immediate dentures may therefore need to be relined or even replaced to ensure a correct fit. In some cases, dentists will recommend that the patient waits until the gums heal before having dentures fitted at all- these are "conventional" dentures.
Full upper dentures (where all the teeth on the upper jaw are replaced) are kept in place by a thin layer of saliva on the roof of the mouth- this effectively seals the dentures to the palate. Full lower dentures are harder to keep in place because of the muscles in the bottom of the mouth and tongue- however, the tongue should adapt to this over time. Denture fixative shouldn't be necessary, if the dentures have been well made.
Partial dentures usually consist of a metal or plastic frame, fitted closely to the shape of the gums, to which plastic or porcelain artificial teeth are attached. The frame is kept in place using small fastenings (metal clasps), which are affixed to the surrounding teeth. Sometimes, small grooves have to be cut into the surrounding teeth or fillings to make this possible.
After the Dentures are fitted
Although dentures are extremely beneficial, it is important to accept that they will not be the same as real teeth. Immediately after the dentures have been fitted, an increased build-up of saliva is quite common, and it is likely that your mouth will feel irritated for a few days.
At first, the dentures may feel very unusual, but the mouth will learn to adapt quite quickly. It is common for denture wearers to have difficult pronouncing certain words at first, and to experience difficulty with eating. If the latter occurs, you should begin by sticking to soft foods, cut into small pieces, and chew slowly using both sides of the mouth. You can then introduce new food as you become accustomed to the dentures, until you are eating normally again.
Cost of Dentures
In the UK you can either have NHS dental treatment or go for Private Dental treatment. According to our Whatprice figures Dentures cost £194 through the NHS and an average of £487 if you go private. Take a look at our up to date prices for private dental treatment in the UK , but be warned, you might be slightly shocked at the scale of the prices!
Due to the number of comments on this page/topic we have moved further discussion to the forum.
"just had a plate fitted with the 3 front teeth fitted on it it feels like i have abrick in my mouth and feels so weird in time will i addapt to it and will i be able to say my words right and how long will this take "
"I find that you really need to do your homework. I have paid a technician more than I would have paid the dentist on two occasions. Now I need a cosmetic result for 3 upper teeth on a metal clasp I am prepared to pay aorund £400 whereas the NHS says £198. I don't know if the result will be any better. Who can say if NHS dentures/plates are inferior? I think it is a lottery of how competent and how honest your dentist is. The boundaries between private & NHS are TOO VAGUE. I will get the dentist denture, then see the technician and see if he could have done any better for less. It makes sense to sit in the technician's chair rather than the dental chair and have the plate/denture go back and forth for fitting! The regulations in the UK are MAD. As it is the technician may charge you anything he feels....as well as the dentist. I'd rather see a vet!"
"I have just had top set 7 days ago. !0 teeth out, fitting 7 days before. follow up today with dentist 320 pounds, all done. I\'m staying near Cape Town, come for a holiday and get your teeth fixed cheaper than UK. Eating chicken bread etc already."
C B Oconnell
"I\'v just had all top teeth removed and a denture placed in straight away,today 2 nd day they just won\'t stop in can i use a fixative,with my gums still healing.Alao at front of denture the top 4 teeth have no pallet just straight on the gum.Any help."
"haw long will i have to go without teeth while awaiting full set of dentures"
Mrs J Bebbington
"I seem to remember reading about dentists in America who used laser scanning and a 5 axis milling machine to duplicate extracted teeth. Allegedly a titanium duplicate of an extracted molar could be machined and fitted into the tooth socket within 30 minutes of the decayed tooth being extracted. Maybe such technology will arrive in Britain in the next couple of hundred years. Present dentistry seems to be in the Stone Age - if you can find any that is!"
"please can you tell me how i get onto the nhs to arrange new dentures?i was quoted £550 for each set today which is very pricy and really need new ones ."
"The dentistry market is changing (slowly !) - if any of you get a chance go have a look at the conditions some dental technicians work in, you might be shocked, particularly the cheaper/NHS part of the dental market. A lot is said of the poor, stressful working conditions of NHS Dentists, but dental technicians are a hidden, down-trodden profession, often unrecognised by the public, dentures sold to patients at several thousand pounds were probably made for less than a third of that price and the majority of labour and time to make them is technical not clinical. Dentists in the UK have had too much control of the type, quality and cost of work provided by dental technicians to patients, often keeping patients in the dark about the origin and cost of the product they sell on. Dentists often choose dental techncians/dental laboratories on the cost of their products, not quality, to maximise their own profit. This has resulted in an ever downward spiral for quality of workmanship and working conditions for dental technicians/dental laboratories. Since March this year (2010) Dentists are legally obliged to provide patients that receive new dentures, bridges crowns etc - with a copy of the original prescription and conformity statement, this will start to identify exactly what the Dentist requested from the dental technician and more importantly the quality level - many patients are unaware of the many levels of quality that are available - make sure you are a savvy dental patient by asking for a copy of the original prescription and conformity statement for your denture, crown or bridge.. and try to ascertain how much the dental lab/dental technician is being paid for this skilled work..... At the end of the day - do your research but true quality costs, ask many more in depth questions about the fees charged by the dental lab and dental technician and the fee charged by the dentist...and ensure your dentures, crowns, bridges are being made in the UK, not by some chinese dental laboratory for a bowl of rice..."
"I had a denture from the age of 11 due to an accident. I then had this replaced by a bridge at 19. The bridge lasted into my mid 30\'s but the teeth it was fixed to had loosened and I then needed another denture. That denture lasted for 10 years but problems with surrounding teeth have meant the need for a replacement. I chose a private technician and paid £500 and am delighted with the results. Dentures are uncomfortable at first but if you persevere you do adjust to them. In fact I found it worse losing a denture and having a bridge fitted. My mouth felt too big and the roof of my mouth became sore."
"Try a clinical dental technician they specialise in dentures, they take the mould and construct your teeth themselves. I paid £1200 for my dentures and they were worth every penny. They actually look better than my own natural teeth did and i feel very confident"
"I have really bad breath want teeth removed would a dentist do it"
"I have a full denture on top and a partial on the bottom-my partial has irritated my bottom gum and is sore and can't wear partial.Have been using peroxide to relieve pain. Would appreciate any suggestions you have .I have had them for 30 yrs.and realize I should have new ones.Haven't been to the dentist in 10 yrs and he has passed away."
"I am 22yrs old & have one tooth that is chipped & loose. Years of fizzy drinks etc... I have now thought twice about touching fizzy drinks etc. However i am worried if i need a denture or crown i have NO money to my name what so ever for the dentist!! What can i do?"
"Why NHS dentures never fit properly"
"hi, not a hour ago my front tooth came out, i feel ashamed now, ive looked after my teeth, its the fact i have very gappy teeth (top set), like having a fence with no support, anyway its been loose for months, and christmas was coming so my dentist said he would start treatment after, ive just phoned and hes in hospital, was told ring end of the month, dont think i can cope going out in the public looking like i do, its not easy to hide, how can i get treatment now but still stay with my dentist? "
"Id just like to say that i am with an nhs dentist and they are brilliant! I got a full upper denture made in just over a week and it fits perfect and looks very natural. Appointments are also very quick and easy to get. I guess i must just be lucky to have such a good nhs dentist as most people that have left comments here have slated the NHS."
"Hey, i'm in my early twenties an awful teeth so will probably have to have full set dentures, my parents are going to pay but want to do it through NHS, but as i'm young should i really go through private instead?"
"My husband came home from the dentist today and told me he had been quoted £3000.00 for dentures.He has to have the rest of his teeth out shortly.I nearly died of shock as we both have tax exemption certificates and cant afford this. The dentist did say he could have NHS dentures but did not recommend them as they were a bad fit it did not look good?? Is this just a ploy to get us to buy the expensive teeth, we did not mind paying up to £500 as we thought this about right but £3000 seems overly expensive......help! "
"most dentures in the oxfordshire area cost closer to £1.000 pounds and in many case over 2.000 pounds"
"i have had dentures fitted to replace eight front teeth at the top and they are excellent"
k l wheaton
"Told me just whatI wanted to know. Thanks"
"I took my son to a denture technician today and his full denture is costing £2,600! Am I being ripped off?"
"Hane been tripping back and forth to dentist as originally was referred by maxiofacial?surgeon at hospital.Was told jaw pain NOT down to jaw ,but my teeth.I have no back doubles and needed partial dentures for both top and bottom.Nhs cost was £198 for both.Had 5 impressions done but on very last impression ,on waking the following morning,my hair was stuck to left side of my head,pillow was wet through,as was sheet on bed.This was saliva.I went on google and found that this CAN happen sometimes.About a couple of days later I realised I was a bit deaf in my left ear and had a slight 'buzzing' in that ear and presumed saliva had run in there as well.Went to doc ,told ear ok ,but was given antibiotics.Took them and told to go back if no better.Was then diagnosed with Tinnitus!Am going back to docs cause I don't think it is.Too coincidental.As to my dentures,I've had them 3 weeks now and finding it difficult to cope.They have had about 9 adjustments and I am using powder polygrip as you are not left with the gungy stuff to get out of your mouth when you remove the plate. Not very happy as I have a slightly loose bottom tooth,right in the middle and my dentist has told me I will eventually loose that one so I asked if I could have that out and another tooth put on the bottom plate to be told no,apart from being loose ,nothing wrong with it!So I can only presume that it is going to cost me another £198 when this needs to be done.Having said all this,I was dental phobic and my dentist has been so very patient with me and explained everything before he carried out any treatment.I'm almost cured .Still can't eat with them though but I suppose it's early days."
"I have no biting teeth upper mouth can't have dentures make me gag is there any other way you could suggest."
m r henley
"Dentures My Teeth were taken out 3 Years ago, since then Ive had 3 sets of dentures, I now need a new set so i went to a Dental lab rather than a Dentist and the cost is more than Half less, so Ive had SR Ivocap made for at a cost of less than £450 (The Rolls Royce of Teeth) instead of £1200.00. So Look around and Money can be Saved"
A P Rumsey
"my teeth are really bad and and i have always got tooth ache and it really gets me down, i wish to have all my teeth removed and false ones in but my dentist will not allow this! how can i get my teeth sorted but with out it costing to much money?? please help x"
"how long from going to dentist to be assessed to having teeth out to getting dentures is the wait"
"I have had a new denture fitted,to replace my lost front tooth, its absolutely fabulous, i have no regrets, obviously I have to remove the tooth at night, but for what's it worth, it has lifted me completely."
"This page has helped me make the decision to have the treatment I need. "
"I found this page very useful"
"Dentures I found this page very useful and easy to understand. I will be looking into dental insurance later this week."
"i was promised implants before having my upper teeth removed, however, the dentist in charge of the students refuted this, so now i am stuck. I have since lost most of my bottom teeth as i was scared to touch the remaining ones. The dental hospital said they would pull my teeth, big deal, they wont be there by the time the hospital sends the appointment! furthermore they did not feel it necessary to refer me on for dentures, so, I have had to stop working, I am a singer. Now I dont open my mouth, and dont go outside. I am now single too, all thanks to the dentist, an over zealous bullying woman, who was just trying to prove something to her co workers, so much for teaching hospitals. My advice, argue if your dentures don't fit and get a job to pay for them. temping for two weeks on top of normal work wont kill you and you will have enough cash for good dentures and you can not spend while you are working all those hours"
single ex singer
"hi , re dentures, ... i am too inexperience in cyber space to know if this posting will appear or not.... but, hello world .... world of folk who too have to deal with plastic teeth. i am trying to seek info on how much full dentures are and where to get them. i am broke, not working, and am considering saving to get some peace of mouth.
i was advised to get all my teeth out a few years ago and havent had a day without headaches since. i had a set of dentures made (NHS) and they didnt line up right. to close the teeth, i have to force my lower jaw over to the side which hurts both during and after. even ignoring the issues of the fit to my mouth, (they drop drown and lift up all the time) if i glue them in with p grip etc , ya can still see, when i talk that the teeth are out of line.. it looks odd.the gaps dont line up and it just draws attention to my mouth when i talk, so i feel the need to close them to put them back in line but then my jaw is strained to the side. .....its no good. and they are nothing like my teeth. at all. the are huge!!! i never even saw my own bottom teeth unless i pulled a face.
anyway, moan over, ive been waiting for 3 and half years for the local dental hospital. they said i shouldnt wear them and they will make a new set, but im getting very sick of waiting. and need to know what i should do. it all sounds like "loads a money" and i dont have much at all. if i spend money on teeth i really cant afford to make any mistakes getting them. any advice out there???? ive dreamed of inventing something that can allow for the movement of faces, like singing and talking and even being able to shout without reaching up to catch my teeth.....so to have heard today about some 'flexi' something....whats that??? does it work?? ive waffled enough. and i now need to go glue the ill fitting head hurters in (despite advice no not use them) since im off swimming. ....oh wot not joy that is with dentures. any advice on that welcomwe toooooo, thanks for reading ....love to all. raise the profile!!!!...keep smiling!!!, bx"
"I must be very lucky, just had 3 tooth bottom centre plate at £177.00 on NHS. Good fit and excellent colour. Liverpool bred dentist in North Wales"
"This is my second upper and lower dentures ,and the bottom Gum has become very sore ,in the center of the Gum ,sir with due respect what can i do to relieve the pain ?"
"I first had dentures at the age of 21 for the two middle front teeth and one next to it , this was around 1996 and the price of the treatment and denture was around £350 , the colour of the "faux" gum was perfect to my natural gum and the teeth were made of porcelain so you really could not notice the difference.
Unfortunately 6 months ago i broke one of the front ones so have had to replace them with NHS dentures , which are no where near as good as the private ones , the actual teeth look pretty natural but the "faux" gum they have added is very pink and does not match up to my natural gum colour . It also involved the dentist shaving the denture with her tools to fit more comfortably when it finally arrived.
The teeth are too small and although it fits relatively well it really is not a match for the private denture i had fitted all those years ago. The NHS denture has cost me £194 pound , and that was with a filling , x rays and fittings plus treatment . On the NHS they charge you a maximum of £45 for fillings regardless of how many you need ( only if they are diagnosed at the same time ) , so i only in theory had to pay £150 for the actual denture ( plus 45 for filling ). £194 is the maximum they can charge you for any dental treatment at one diagnoses. I have actually been back to the dentist today to enquire about getting a better fitting denture on the NHS and she told me it really wont get any better , they cannot match my natural gum colour and the hard fitting mould will not be improved upon. She suggested i need to go privately , i would have been suspicious had it not been for the fact she said she cannot do the denture at her practice , so i do believe her when she says getting a private care for a "flexi" denture will be a lot better and more comfortable . If i go private she has assured me they will be able to match the natural shade of my gum and make the teeth the correct size for my mouth . Currently the teeth on the NHS denture are too small and when i really open up into a full smile im quite aware the fluro pink gum is showing . She did quote me somewhere in the region of £350 - £500 for the denture and treatment if i went privately . I know to some it does sound excessive but if you put it into perspective , and think even if the denture only lasts 5 years ( it wont my old one had lasted over 10 years and would still be in my mouth had i not broke the tooth ) its only costing you a maximum of £8.33 per month ... now surely that is worth the pleasure of having a more comfortable denture and more pleasant appearance !! "
"IS IT 194 FOR TOP AND BOTTOM DENTURES OR JUST ONE?"
"I have read this with much gratitude. However having recently had my bottom front teeth removed, after much preventative treatment, I am wondering how long it will take for me to get over the 'pain treshold' of me inserting lower denture. The treatment took place five days ago. Do i continue inserting implements of pain, or should I wait for gums to heal as in my top set, which had 7 days days to heal before next appointment."
"yes most helpful"
"I had my first set of top dentures at 41 on NHS and have now had to have two teeth out on the bottom so have had another set made. The NHS dentures for the missing top teeth have never fitted particularly well as my gums go in and then out and the hard material of NHS will not bend over them. As a single parent it has taken me 5 years to save up for flexi dentures which are going to cost £500 per set. The first fitting has been done and I get them next week and have been assured they will be a lot better for my mouth and long term stop the loss of the remaining teeth. My bottom set - well had the NHS dentures for 5 days now and apart from a sore on one side from the tightness they fit really well although I have seen how the hardness of the plastic has moved my other teeth so I will definitely be saving up for a flexi set for the bottom as well. I have no stigma about wearing dentures - everyone knows I do! With lose teeth and NHS dentures I have had 10 years of discomfort - for me the flexi dentures at £500 a set are, hopefully, going to be worth the financial sacrifice and by July this year I may actually be able to eat again and be pain free! My father (who kindly gave me the genes of losing teeth!) has also resorted to private dentures having never had total success with NHS ones."
"pictures of dentures would be useful,when trying to decide on plastic or metal."
"Thank you for this information. I had immediate denture fitted just over a week ago, 4 front lower teeth out and bottom molar on left hand side, it has been uncomfortable, more the left side, the front ones do seem to sit out slightly, not onto my gum. I had mine done on NHS and they are not ugly, they are a very good colour and nobody can see any difference, if anything they look better than my old front ones. The cost me £198.00, money well spent. I may yet have to have them realigned, but will see. Again thank you for information."
"had my first partial set fitted, all bar 6 of my bottom teeth, 3 days ago, and reading through this, i would say you get what you pay for. i had at least 5 appointments for impressions getting them perfect before the technician would actually go ahead and make them. had 4 more teeth out weds, bottom plate in, 1 tiny adjustment and a lesson on fitting and care all within 45 minutes. unbelievable. the colour match is perfect and no way of telling they are false apart from 2 tiny wire clips. sounds too good to be true but it comes with a strong price. nearly double the highest quote on here but im not complaining. i have to live with them and hardly know they are there. planning is a major factor, if you can lose your back teeth in advance so most of the healing is done, only minimum reline is necessary in a month or so time. i wouldnt advise going too long with with teeth missing tho as the others move and set you back time with more impressions. as soon as im comfortable, the tops are going in, i was told it was a lot to handle all in one go. as the price is already set,you can tell this dentist actually cares about your personal experience"
"Ive just had a partial plate fitted (three teeth) cost me £460 privately, which for private treatment, depending how you look at it, is pretty good. At the moment it feels like I have a brick in my mouth and it\'s quite an odd feeling, but it time I expect I will get use to it."
"My NHS dentist has just quoted me £1400 for partial upper and lower dentures. When I asked about NHS ones at £198, he told me that he does not recommend them as they are ugly and ill fitting.A bridge for one tooth £1400 or one tooth inplant £2500. Where do us poor senior's get that type of money??"
"i get a full set of dentures fitted (upper and lower) next week 19/1/2009.it cost me £198 on the NHS."
"Have read all the comments and still can't find the difference between NHS dentures and private ones. Does the NHS actually pay the dentist the difference or is just a case of getting inferior quality teeth. "
"very useful information as just had top set "
"My wife needs a new set of dentures, she has had this,the first set for nearly two years and they are now a poor and uncomfortable fit. We have been told that she is not eligable for a second set from the nhs and will have to go private."
"Very helpfull, many thanks"
"I have been quoted £500.00 for a partial three tooth lower flexible denture. This seems a bit high and I\'m trying to find whether in fact it is exhorbitant"
"some of my teeth have fallen out and others are loose,and i am trying to decide whether to have all my teeth removed and dentures fitted,or have a bridge fitted! Bearing in mind i am petrified of the dentists and have to be sedated for any work to be done!"
"I have recently lost two three-tooth bridges in my upper jaw which both broke off, leaving roots. The first lasted from 1974 and the second from 1994, so I am not complaining. The roots are to be extracted on 3rd September and I wanted to know about immediate impressions as against ones taken at a later date. your article has given me all the information I required - Thank you!"
"i found this page very helpful, having just had dentures fitted. Experiencing all the above difficulties."
"thanks for the information"
"Dentures should be the last resort. I was foolish and lost most of them until I met one of those modern caring practitioners. Dentures doesn't mean you will never have any more sore gums. That is the beginning.I have had my last 6 teeth for 43 years thanks to him. This page is very informative. Excuse this mad keyboard."
"in answer to the person asking if it is necessary to visit a dentist to have dentures fitted, no - try a visit to the butchers"
"I have just had a top denture made to replace one I had due to losing teeth in a traffic accident when I was 18. Denture has 6 teeth at a cost of £345. They do take a few weeks to get used to as your facial muscles have to adapt. Mine were from a private dentist - I would always now recommend private dentists as they have more time for their patients & the treatment does not seem so rushed."
"Thanks for the information- a very helpful and concise page. Geoff"
"this was very helpfull but are private dentures better than nhs ?"
"Can anybody tell me how much it costs to get dentures fixed? Mine have just broken in two"
"what is the differance in nhs dentures and private "
"dentures i will be paying £198.00 for one tooth at the front upper is this correct "
"I have gum disease so my teeth are perfect and the gums hurt. My front tooth has moved so much I will have to have it out and have a plate with false tooth on I am terrified. Cant have wires or anything coz with perio the teeth can be sensitive."
"I would like to see how you arrive at the prices quoted for dentures, sounds like a rip off as are most things in this country. "
"i am just in my early fifties but recently had dentures made for the second time...first set in my middle forties, it really does take about three weeks to a month for them to bed in!! "
e clulow. n ireland.
"i have had most off my top and bottom teeth out and are waiting false teeth but after reading the web page i dont feel as bad now aboat haveing them done thanks "
"Is it necessary to go through a dentist to have false teeth made ?"
"the price of £194 for dentures is that for full set or half set uppers or lower ?."
"NHS Dental Guidelines We are only going on what the official government website says. Is the treatment for cosmetic reasons? You may want to try our forum to see if anyone else might know why you cannot have that treatment at your dentist."
"Having just been to a maxillofacial unit and told that NHS care is not available (need dentures) I am interested to read your site saying it is. Where? "