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What is a dental prosthesis / denture? Whether caused by an accident or just by age, gaps in your teeth are always annoying – especially when they are located in the visible part of your mouth! To help their patients out in such cases, many dentists recommend considering a dental prosthesis or a denture. Though dentures come in many...
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What is a dental prosthesis / denture?

Whether caused by an accident or just by age, gaps in your teeth are always annoying – especially when they are located in the visible part of your mouth! To help their patients out in such cases, many dentists recommend considering a dental prosthesis or a denture. Though dentures come in many shapes and forms, the vast majority of them more than likely fall into the following categories:  

Partial Denture – This type of denture is removable and can only be used for patients who have a sufficient number of healthy teeth left. A partial denture consists of a simple steel frame with fake teeth mounted on top of it and can be attached to surrounding teeth via built-in clips Though this anchoring mechanism is quite simple and effective, a denture’s clips can exert additional pressure onto healthy teeth and also potentially cause tooth decay at and around the covered areas. Additionally, clips do not look too aesthetically pleasing when used on patients’ front teeth. While more discreet anchoring mechanisms are available, they also come with the need for additional preparatory work such as, for example, putting crowns onto adjacent healthy teeth.               

Overdenture – A removable tooth replacement that is best suited for patients who cannot accommodate dental bridges due to too many missing teeth (i.e., not enough teeth to anchor the bridges). To insert an overdenture, a dentist has to first place crowns on several of the patient’s remaining healthy teeth which afterwards serve as anchor points (also known as anchor crowns) for the actual overdenture. This type of denture is fairly durable and also allows for very effective oral hygiene by the patient him- or herself. 

Full Denture (False Teeth) – For patients without even a single healthy tooth in their jaws, a full denture is often the only viable option. This denture type is made out of synthetic material and is held in place in a patient’s mouth solely by the suction power of the oral mucosa (mucous membrane of the mouth).  

When do I need a dental prosthesis / denture?

A denture becomes necessary when a patient seeks to replace one or more missing teeth but is not interested in any other potential tooth replacement option such as, for example, dental implants.

Partial Denture – As already mentioned, this denture type is only viable for patients who have a sufficient number of healthy teeth to serve as anchors. Also, it is the by far most cost-effective denture type and can be deployed very quickly within only a week. Therefore, a partial denture is an ideal option for patients who are unable to afford dental implants and who are looking for a quick and not necessarily highly-aesthetic solution.   

Overdenture – A very appropriate option for patients who only have 2-5 healthy teeth left in their jaws. Though this denture type is more expensive than a partial denture, it is still more cost-effective than dental implants and also more quickly deployable (within only 4 appointments in 4 weeks). As a result, an overdenture is a solid choice for patients with few healthy teeth who cannot afford dental implants and who are looking for a relatively quick solution.  

Full Denture (False Teeth) – A viable option for patients without any remaining healthy teeth that is, as all of the other denture types, significantly more cost-effective than dental implants. As long as a full denture does not evoke a patient's urge to gag, it is highly recommended for the budget-conscious treatment seeker.   

How much does a dental prosthesis / denture cost?

Governmental insurers reimburse for a tooth replacement as long as a dentist deems it absolutely medically necessary and as long as it is the most cost-effective option that is available to a patient – in other words, insurers pay for the simplest type of dentures that often do not look aesthetically pleasing. Should a patient, however, decide to go with a higher-value dental prosthesis, he or she will have to face out-of-pocket costs commensurate with the total amount of time and work spent by the dentist on diagnosis, denture manufacture, and denture fitting and placement. Nevertheless, the following guidelines can provide useful information prior to an appointment: 

* Partial Denture: € 400-700 (very often paid for by insurers – so no patient co-pay)

* Overdenture: starting at roughly € 2,000 for 2 carrier crowns and the prosthesis itself  
   > Prosthesis: up to € 850
   > Carrier Crown: € 700-900 each
   > Patient co-pay is difficult to estimate and depends directly on the exact placement of the prosthesis, the number of carrier crowns, and the used material

* Full Denture: up to € 2,000
   > Lower jaw: € 750-850 (patient co-pay: roughly € 500)
   > Upper jaw: € 700-800 (patient co-pay: roughly € 500)

We hope that you found this primer helpful and invite you to take a look at our blog for more interesting and hopefully helpful information.

All the Best & see you soon, Ace!

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