What's so bad about wearing dentures

From the age of 50 half of them wear dentures. If dentures are necessary, no one should go without them out of vanity and because they are still young. Dentures even help to maintain or regain the youthful appearance by filling the cheeks and smoothing out wrinkles around the mouth.

Tooth gaps have consequences for all teeth

Anyone who has a gap in their teeth after an accident or due to a diseased tooth should not wait long for the dentist to close the gap with a denture. If there is a tooth gap for too long, tissue shrinkage can result. The jaw, which is no longer exposed to any load, gradually degrades. This is what is known as atrophy, and it can affect your appearance. Of course, dentures are a cost factor that should not be underestimated. The statutory health insurances contribute to the costs with a fixed subsidy. This rose by ten percent from October 2020. Instead of the previous 50 percent, patients now receive a 60 percent subsidy for bridges, crowns, prostheses and the like. Those who have been to the dentist regularly receive up to 75 percent subsidy. The calculation basis is always the standard supply. This means that the dentures must be adequate, economical and functional. Those who want high-quality dentures have to bear the additional costs themselves. Patients can take care of their own private provision with supplementary dental insurance, which then also covers higher costs.

Direct effects in case of tooth loss

If several teeth are affected at the same time, this can impair the natural chewing function and the ability to speak. In addition, the remaining teeth can shift in such a way that they no longer fit together correctly. This can cause pain in your jaw and neck. The dentures not only have positive effects on the rest of the teeth, but also on the self-confidence of the person concerned. In the area of ​​the front teeth, tooth loss is particularly bad, because a tooth gap appears with every smile.

Types of dentures

Dentures can be divided into fixed dentures and removable dentures. There is also a combination of both.

fixed dentures

A tooth crown belongs over a tooth when it is largely damaged. It is placed on the tooth and glued. A bridge replaces one or more teeth. The adjacent natural teeth are given a crown, which then serves as a bridge abutment. In order for the bridge to be stable, a strong tooth with a healthy tooth root is necessary. The dentist anchors dental implants directly in the jawbone. A complete implant is composed of three parts: the artificial tooth root anchored in the bone, the abutment (connecting piece) and the actual denture, which is visible.

removable dentures

Partial or clasp dentures are common when there are insufficient ways to anchor the bridge. This is the case when more than six of the natural teeth are missing. These prostheses are attached to the remaining teeth using brackets. Patients who have no teeth of their own in either the upper or lower jaw, or who are completely toothless, receive a full denture.

combined dentures

Telescopic prostheses are partial prostheses that are attached to so-called telescopic crowns. The prosthesis can be removed while the crowns are firmly anchored; sliding prostheses have no visible fasteners. The crowns sit on abutment teeth on which the attachment is attached. The prosthesis is pushed over it.

Bar prostheses are firmly connected rows of artificial teeth. They are anchored on a jetty. The dentures are implant-supported and can be removed for cleaning. The natural, ground teeth or, if necessary, the dental implants serve as a counterpart for the dental prosthesis. This locks into place on the counterparts because hollow shapes are incorporated.

How are the costs for dentures made up?

The dentist always calculates the cost of the denture individually, depending on the dental necessity. Nevertheless, the costs can be estimated well in advance. Before the treatment, the dentist first creates a treatment and cost plan, which must then be submitted to the statutory health insurance. This contains an exact list of which treatment is planned, what it will cost and how high the patient's own contribution is.

If only one tooth is missing, the dentist has a dental bridge or an implant made in the dental laboratory; the costs are around 1,400 to 3,000 euros. If two teeth are missing, the patient receives a multi-unit dental bridge that costs between 1,400 and 2,100 euros. If there are no more teeth, only a full denture is possible, which costs between 600 and 1,200 euros.

Is it possible to save on dentures?

Regular visits to the dentist, which are documented in the bonus booklet, are important for cheaper dentures. This serves the health insurance company as proof that the patient has taken care of his dental health. The dentist also had the opportunity to identify and treat tooth damage at an early stage. This keeps the cost of dentures, which the health insurance company has to bear, as low as possible.

In any case, patients have to pay their own contribution. To keep this low, a price comparison can be worthwhile. Many do not know that there are no fixed prices for dentures. Dentists and dental laboratories have room to maneuver.

Anyone who takes out private supplementary insurance at an early stage can effectively protect themselves against the high co-payments if the treatments go beyond what is medically necessary.

This article was created in collaboration with the external editor S. Klinger.