What Are Dentures? (Part 2)

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If you missed part 1 of the series on Dentures, click here to read it! 

What Are Dentures

Removable dentures

Tooth gaps sometimes significantly impair the healthy functioning of the teeth – dentures such as dental prostheses are therefore not only aesthetically advisable if many teeth are missing, but also medically necessary if the jaw is to be stressed incorrectly and the healthy chewing function is to be restored.

In contrast to fixed dentures, removable dentures can be inserted and removed independently, which is a convenient solution, especially for cleaning. Removable dentures include full dentures (full dentures) and partial dentures.

Types of removable dentures: full denture

Full dentures also called complete dentures, are the dentures for an entirely edentulous upper or lower jaw. Colloquially, the full denture is simply called “dentition”.

A full denture makes chewing and speaking possible again, and it also ensures an aesthetic appearance. It makes a nonignorable contribution to the quality of life.

Full dentures gain their support through a precise fit on the jaw. A light film of saliva, which forms naturally between the prosthesis and the oral mucosa, presses it firmly against the latter and therefore generally holds reliably. The prosthesis can be easily removed for cleaning.

What does a full denture cost?

Full dentures are a relatively inexpensive solution for dentures – especially in contrast to permanent, fixed dentures such as dental implants.

However, the functional properties of a full denture can differ individually, which is why the costs for this denture are very different. So instead of the conventional plastic teeth, those made of ceramic can also be made; and the full denture for the lower jaw also differs in terms of costs compared to the one for the upper jaw.

What Are Dentures

Types of removable dentures: partial denture / staple denture

If the jaws still have natural teeth, but one or more gaps must be closed, a partial denture is recommended. While a full denture supplies an entirely edentulous jaw, the partial denture is recommended for the replacement of part of the natural teeth.

Partial dentures can be attached to the remaining natural teeth. It is not uncommon to do this with brackets. The healthy holding teeth do not have to be ground in order to be supplied with such a prosthesis, which makes this type of denture comparatively gentle.

Advantages of clip prostheses

  • uncomplicated to produce
  • manageable costs
  • minimal procedure
  • expandable if necessary

Disadvantages of clip prostheses

  • relatively complex in everyday life
  • restricted sound formation
  • less chewing ability than with natural teeth
  • relatively weak prosthesis hold (especially with full lower dentures)
  • visible brackets
  • possible damage to the supporting pillar teeth (overload, abrasion)
  • possibility of jawbone removal (especially with wobbling)

What does a partial denture cost?

  • Palate-free telescopic bridge on eight implants €11,000.00 – €13,500.00 *
  • Telescopic prosthesis / overdenture on six implants €9,800.00 – €13,000.00 *
  • Overdenture plus assembled connection elements (ball head anchor, locator) on four implants €6,500.00 – €9,000.00 *

* depending on the implant system

The cost of a partial prosthesis differs depending on the type, the material and the individual additional work.

Learn more about cosmetic dentures here.

Combined dentures

In addition to fixed and removable dentures, there is the so-called combined denture, which consists of a firmly anchored and a removable element. The principle is based on the fact that part of the denture is firmly anchored in the dentition, but the other remains removable, which is especially necessary for cleaning.

The combined dentures gain a firm hold because the healthy surrounding teeth are crowned. Connecting elements can be placed on the crown, but they remain flexible afterwards and can be removed for cleaning. Various connecting elements such as attachments, latches or push-button anchors are available, which are suitable for the provision of dentures depending on the individual situation.

Last but not least, combined denture solutions such as the telescopic prosthesis, which offers great comfort and stability, have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Combined dentures

Types of combined dentures: telescopic prosthesis

If there are still natural teeth in the dentition, one or more tooth gaps can be covered using a telescopic prosthesis. If more teeth are lost over time, a telescopic prosthesis can be easily expanded.

The telescopic prosthesis is subsumed under the combined dentures because it consists of a removable element that is permanently anchored in the dentition. In the case of the telescopic prosthesis, both elements are connected to one another via so-called telescopic crowns. The inner telescope, also called the primary crown, is firmly anchored while the outer telescope (the secondary crown) is placed in the prosthesis. The harmonious sliding of the inner and outer crown gives this type of denture its reliable hold.

Advantages of telescopic prostheses

  • expandable if necessary
  • relatively easy to maintain
  • relatively balanced pillar load (with a sufficient number)
  • high durability
  • can be combined with dental implants

Disadvantages of telescopic prostheses

  • healthy tooth substance must be removed from neighbouring teeth
  • pillar teeth can be overloaded (risk: early tooth loss)
  • caries can develop on the edge of the crown of neighbouring teeth
  • aesthetically demanding
  • relatively high costs

How much does a telescopic prosthesis cost?

Telescopic prostheses are easy to use making speaking and eating easier, and are easy to clean and are therefore often used. However, they are also not a very inexpensive alternative to dentures. 

What Are Dentures

Types of combined dentures: attachment prosthesis

In addition to the latch and push buttons, the attachment is a possible connection element for combined dentures. To guarantee the firm hold of the respective prosthesis, the neighbouring, healthy teeth must be ground in the first step and then provided with a tooth crown. This also applies to the so-called attachment prosthesis.

The attachment consists of two parts: a so-called matrix, which is fixed to the tooth crown, and a matrix, which is precisely inserted into the denture. This type of denture is reliably held securely by static friction.

How much does an attachment prosthesis cost?

Because this type of prosthesis restoration is complex to produce, the cost is also high. 

Advantages of attachment prostheses

  • aesthetic denture solution
  • securely anchored

Disadvantages of attachment prostheses

  • removal of healthy tooth substance necessary (risk of death)
  • relatively difficult to maintain with interconnected crowns (susceptible to caries)
  • pillar teeth can be overloaded (early tooth loss)
  • bone removal possible in the denture area
  • cannot be expanded
  • high costs (mostly low subsidy from the statutory health insurance)
Types of combined dentures: bar prosthesis

Types of combined dentures: bar prosthesis

This modern type of restoration with a prosthesis has a stable fit thanks to dental implants that are connected by a metal bar. This creates a fixed unit on which the removable dentures can be held.

Completely toothless upper or lower jaws can be reliably treated with a bar prosthesis. The removable bar can be easily cleaned regularly, while the dental implants remain in the jaw for as long as possible and take on the function of artificial tooth roots there.

How much does a bar prosthesis cost?

Bar prostheses are a reliable, modern and complex type of denture restoration and therefore cause comparatively high costs, which, however, depend on the individual cases and the number of implants required.

Read Part 3 here.

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