Many elderly people suffer from dental problems as a consequence of gradually losing their teeth. This, in turn, can lead to poor eating habits and inadequate nutrition. But the difficulties that the elderly face because of missing teeth can be overcome quite easily.
A dental clinic can custom-make a set of dentures, which will fit quite precisely and function practically as well as the teeth that they replace. Getting dentures can lead to a renewed ability to chew food in a satisfactory manner and an overall improvement in health. But how much do dentures cost? Here’s what you can expect to pay in Singapore.
- Average Cost of Dentures in Singapore
- Available Subsidies
- Benefits of Dentures
Average Cost of Dentures in Singapore
While the average cost for dentures is S$600 to S$800 per arch, we've seen some clinics offering as little as S$150 or as much as S$2,000 per arch. For people who are missing all of their teeth, they would need to get two arches to cover both upper and lower parts of their mouths. Because dentures are often highly personalized, prices can vary depending on the dentist and the patient. Your age, hospital, insurance and type of braces can change your final bill. Below, we show average cost of braces in Singapore and assess each key factor that influences this cost.
|Average Cost of Dentures (Per Arch)|
Cost of Dentures at Public Institutions
According to details available from the Ministry of Health (MOH), a number of public institutions have well-equipped denture practices. The amount that you would spend at a clinic at, say, the Jurong Medical Centre, would be in the range of S$521 per arch, a sum that includes the laboratory fee and GST. But you would need to pay additional sums for consultations, x-rays, and investigations. The comparable cost at the National University Hospital is significantly higher at S$676 per arch.
|Institution||Average Cost of Dentures (Per Arch)|
|Changi General Hospital||S$597|
|National Dental Centre||S$707|
|National University Hospital||S$676|
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital||S$600|
|Jurong Medical Centre||S$521|
|Khoo Teck Puat Hospital||S$650|
Of course, costs could differ based on the type of denture and the number of times that you need to visit the clinic. You should also remember that once you get your dentures, you would need to take good care of them. Many people think that the expenditure in getting a set of dentures involves only the initial cost. But you also need to make regular visits to the dentist to ensure that your gums stay healthy and that your dentures continue to fit comfortably.
Therefore, the total costs can add up to a substantial amount. There would be several visits to the dental clinic during the initial stages when you would be undergoing the routine checks necessary prior to getting your dentures. Subsequently, you would need to visit the dentist at less frequent intervals, which could be six months or even a year apart.
Cost of Dentures at Private Dental Clinics
Data compiled by the Ministry of Health on private dental clinics in Singapore reveals that there is a wide range of prices for dentures at private hospitals. For example, the Combined Dental Surgery, which charges S$400 per arch for full dentures, is actually cheaper than public institutions. Another private dental clinic, Implantdontics Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, charges an astronomical S$2,140 for the same service. But its procedures are carried out by specialists instead of general practitioners.
Selecting a clinic can be confusing. Most individuals are unfamiliar with dental procedures and usually put off dental work till it is no longer avoidable. The costs involved can also be a major deterrent. Recognising that high costs could prevent some people from seeking treatment, the Singapore government has introduced a number of schemes to reduce the financial burden of its citizens, which we discuss below.
Available Subsidies: Community Health Assist Scheme & Pioneer Generation
First, the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) is designed to help lower and middle-income Singapore citizens. Among its other benefits, it provides subsidies at participating dental clinics. There are various categories of CHAS beneficiaries. A household with monthly income per person below S$1,100 is in the “blue” tier and receives a CHAS card of the same colour. This entitles the holder of this card to a subsidy of between S$11 and S$256.50 per dental procedure. Those individuals with greater income get lower subsidies. Households with a monthly income per person of $1,100 to S$1,800 are in the “orange” tier. Their CHAS subsidy for a dental procedure is in the range of S$50 to S$170.50.
Secondly, the government has introduced enhanced benefits for the Pioneer Generation. These are Singapore citizens who were born before 1st January 1950 and who have been the nation’s citizens since 31st December 1986 or earlier. This category is entitled to receive benefits regardless of their income level. Selected dental services will be subsidised under the “CHAS for Pioneer Generation” program to the extent of S$21 to S$266.50 per procedure.
If you need further assistance in financing your or your parents' dentures, you could explore getting a personal loan from a bank. These loans come with around 12-15% of interest rates, and can be paid off in a manageable way. Furthermore, using cashback credit cards could help you save up to 5% by earning cash back rewards on your expenses on dentures.
|CHAS Blue||CHAS Orange||Pioneer Generation|
|Eligibility: Household Monthly Income Per Person||<S$1,100||S$1,101-S$1,800||All Pioneers|
|Eligibility: Annual Value of Home (Households with no income)||<S$13,000||S$13,001-S$21,000||All Pioneers|
|Dental Services Subsidies||S$11-S$256.5 per procedure||S$50-S$170.5 per procedure||S$21-S$266.5 per procedure|
Benefits of Dentures
A recent study conducted by the National Dental Centre Singapore and the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS Medical School found that dental health is a critical health issue for the elderly. The study involved nearly 5,000 Singaporeans aged 60 and above explored the link between dental health status and mortality. In particular, the study found that dentures can be quite helpful in boosting the elderly's health and longevity. For instance, associate professor Teoh Khim of the restorative department at the National Dental Centre said, “When you don’t have teeth to chew with, you tend to take a soft diet and eat less meat and vegetables, which could lead to nutrition issues.” Given that the study found that most toothless people have dentures and consequently do not suffer from nutritional problems, it's quite advisable for people to get dentures as soon as possible when they lose a meaningful number of their teeth.