What are dentures? How much do dentures cost?
Types, costs, advantages and disadvantages
Dentures are the umbrella term for the various options for replacing damaged or missing teeth. The dental speciality, which deals with the planning, production and insertion of dentures, is called prosthetics.
While minor tooth damage can still be treated with simple fillings, a form of denture is necessary for larger damage. The possibilities that modern dentistry offers are very diverse, and there are several therapies available for a specific problem, which often makes the choice of suitable dentures difficult.
Which is the right denture?
Since every prosthetic solution has its advantages and disadvantages and depends on the patient case, there is no general answer to which form of denture, whether fixed or removable is the better solution. Dental implants are generally considered a superior form of dentures, but they do not always have to be the optimal solution for the individual situation of the patient.
In general, it can be said that with small gaps with stable neighbouring teeth, both an implant and a fixed bridge are almost always a solution. In the case of larger gaps, for example, four or five successive teeth, a bridge can no longer be used, since an excessive load would act on the supporting abutment teeth. A removable or implant-supported denture should be considered here.
In the following, we briefly present the most important forms of dentures as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
What types of dentures are there?
When asked about the type of dentures, a rough distinction can first be made between fixed, removable and combined dentures.
In the following, we have put together the most important information on the most common types of dentures.
As its name suggests, fixed dentures – once used – are firmly anchored in the mouth and can no longer be removed by hand. This includes, for example, crowns, bridges and implants.
Fixed dentures are often preferred because they are most similar to natural teeth due to their high stability and comfort.
If you have fixed dentures, you can expect a shelf life of five to fifteen years. Dental implants – which are anchored in the jawbone and remain there like artificial tooth roots – are the exception here, in the best case they can last a lifetime. That is also why they have established themselves as a convenient solution and are increasingly the dentures of choice.
Types of fixed dentures: bridges
In order to restore a lost tooth with a bridge and thereby restore bite, speech and aesthetics, the neighbouring teeth are used as a kind of anchor, because the bridge is attached to them.
The advantage of bridges is that they are perceived by the patient as natural and not as a disturbing foreign body, as is the case with the full denture, for example. A disadvantage of most bridges is that the neighbouring teeth have to be ground to perform their anchor function and thus valuable tooth substance is irretrievably lost. Get more information on dental bridges here.
Advantages of dental bridges
- Sitting firmly in the bit
- Minimal treatment necessary
- Little effort compared to the implant
- A fixed grant from the statutory health insurance companies
- Functional and aesthetic
Disadvantages of dental bridges
- Grinding of healthy neighbouring teeth necessary / risk of death
- Overloading of the neighbouring teeth possible (up to tooth loss)
- Caries can develop on neighbouring teeth with crowns
- Bone removal possible in the replaced area
- Cannot be expanded
How much does a dental bridge cost?
Tripartite bridge restoration (two implant abutments with one pontic):
Prefabricated ceramic crown €1,950 – €2,400*
High gold (depending on current gold price) €2,300 – €2,750*
Zircon / individual ceramic veneer €2,650 – €2,950*
Bridge restoration for edentulous jaws:
Bridge restoration on 8 implant pillars €14,000 – €16,500*
* depending on the implant system
The costs for a bridge are very different, which is mainly due to the fact that a large number of different materials are available for this type of restoration – from steel to all-ceramic.
Types of fixed dentures: telescopic bridges
A telescopic bridge is the best choice if there is no longer enough stability in the jaw to hold a bridge. The prerequisite is that there are still at least five natural teeth in the jaw, even if they are not in an optimal condition. The telescopic bridge can be the method of choice even if the molars are missing and there is no possibility for attachment to abutment teeth.
The telescopic bridge has much higher flexibility than a classic, fixed bridge: also because other lost teeth can be easily incorporated into the telescopic prosthesis.
Types of fixed dentures: dental crowns
In order to obtain a tooth that has been so badly damaged as a result of caries or an injury that a filling or an inlay is no longer sufficient, the natural tooth crown can be effectively imitated with an artificial one.
A crown is a kind of long-term, artificial cap on the damaged tooth. It fits perfectly into the appearance of the bit and protects the tooth from further destruction.
There are many different types of crowns available. A general distinction is made between all-ceramic crowns without a metal core, all-ceramic crowns and all-cast dental crowns made of gold and other metal alloys. Some of these types of tooth crowns are rarely used because they are visible from the outside, such as the full cast tooth crown, which has a high gold content.
On the other hand, crowns with a veneer made of plastic or ceramic are common. These types of crowns are more aesthetically demanding and are hardly noticeable in the bit. Read more about dental crowns here.
How much does a tooth crown cost?
Prefabricated ceramic crown €750 – €950
High gold (depending on current gold price) €900 – €1,250
Single crown (zircon / individual ceramic veneer) €1,200 – €1,350
Types of fixed dentures: dental implants
Implants are probably the safest and most permanent way of restoring dentures. They guarantee a function like natural teeth, are easy to care for, ensure a firm bite and are not recognizable as dentures from the outside.
Since the beginning of implantology, however, there have been more than 200 different types of dental implants: They differ in the shape, nature and type of anchoring in the jaw. Many unconventional types are no longer used today; screw-like implants, which are gently anchored in the jawbone, are common in modern implantology.
A distinction is now made between standard implants made of titanium or ceramic, mini implants with a smaller diameter and longer zygoma implants that are inserted into the cheekbones. A distinction is also made as to whether the implant is in one part or consists of two parts, the latter variant being more widespread. You can check out this article for more information about dental implants.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants offer permanent dentures with the highest level of comfort – which also makes them a costly type of care. However, as different as the initial situation before implant treatment is, the costs involved are also variable. In addition, there is the actual treatment effort, which can be all the more expensive and more expensive if, for example, surgical connective tissue and bone build-up are necessary for several stages before the basis for the dental implants is given.
Read Part 2 here. Read Part 3 here.