Dentures to fix missing teeth

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Dentures to fix missing teeth

Age may indeed bring wisdom, but it surely is not gentle on one’s teeth as my grandfather had to discover when his right incisor broke in half without any forewarning and had to be removed. Though the gap in his tooth line was not very visible and he did not seem to mind the looks of it very much, the missing tooth did have an adverse effect on his ability to chew. “The right side does feel a little uncomfortable when I chew solid foods. Luckily, my left side is still fine but what will I do when that changes?” he used to repeat from time to time for a few weeks until my grandmother had finally grown tired of the constant nagging: “If the tooth gap bothers you so much, why don’t we go to a dentist to see if he can help you with some kind of prosthesis?” Since her idea made perfect sense, we made haste and were soon off to go meet a dentist. 

What is a denture or dental prosthesis?

After a thorough examination, the dentist finally arrived at a definitive diagnosis: “Since we only have to replace a single tooth, a partial denture should do the trick here.” This type of denture is removable and can only be used for patients who, like my grandfather, 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 also do not look too aesthetically pleasing when used on patients’ front teeth. “If you are interested in a virtually invisible option, we can take a look at a few more potential solutions.” said the dentist and explained that, 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.  

Dental prosthetics and dentures are part of the dental care spectrum

As already mentioned my grandfather did not care too much for a highly-aesthetic tooth replacement and placed much more value on the functionality, durability, and speed of deployment of a dental prosthesis. “Well then you are in luck.” said the dentist. “A simple clip-on dental prosthesis can take only a week to manufacture and is also significantly cheaper than other higher-value prosthesis and denture types and especially dental implants.” This all sounded good to my grandfather and he only had one more important question left for the dentist: “Alright, so if the partial denture is the best and cheapest option for me, how much exactly will it cost me?”     

How much does a denture or dental prosthesis cost?

Government 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. “Since optics do not seem that important to you, the cost of the partial denture that we’ll make for you will be relatively low.” said the dentist as he was walking us through the following rough orientation prices: 
  • Partial Denture: EUR 400-700 (very often paid for by insurers – so no out-of-pocket cost for the patient)
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. “Alright, this works. As long as I’ll be able to chew normally on both sides of my mouth, I really do not need a Rolls Royce denture. The Volkswagen version will do just fine.” my grandfather jokingly said to the dentist as he gave him the green light to start the denture fitting process. Only a week later, the brand new partial denture arrived and solved my grandfather’s chewing problems. All’s well that ends well.

Denture upper jaw

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