The third teeth – possibilities and costs
Prosthesis or implant? Fixed or removable? Professional tooth cleaning or vinegar bath? At some point we almost all face these questions.
The loss of teeth is a natural process and affects almost everyone throughout our lives. The result is the need for adequate dentures. In the vernacular it is often referred to as ‘the third party’. We like to think of this term as the removable prosthesis of our grandparents, which we found in the vinegar bath in the bathroom as a child. The third tooth, however, refers to any dental prosthesis, whether prosthesis, bridge or implant. The first teeth are the milk teeth, the second teeth are the permanent teeth and the third teeth are any form of artificial tooth replacement. The costs for dental prostheses are often enormous, which is why many Germans now take out private supplementary dental insurance.
What types of dentures are there?
For the third teeth you can choose – depending on the individual dental condition – between these variants of the dental prosthesis:
- Full prosthesis or total prosthesis (removable)
- Partial prosthesis (removable)
- Bridge (fixed)
- Implant (fixed)
Removable denture: full and partial denture
Dentists usually recommend this form of dental prosthesis for the third teeth when the fixed variants are not possible due to poor dental health. Whether a full or partial denture is chosen also depends on the prevailing dental condition.
Full denture: If there are no more fixed teeth, a full or total denture must be inserted. This is relatively simple and quick, because the prosthesis made of plastic with corresponding plastic teeth is simply adapted to the jawbone. It holds by suction power and saliva, which works like an adhesive. Unfortunately, this form of the third does not sit very firmly and problems can easily occur while eating.
Partial denture: As long as there are still fixed teeth in the denture, a partial denture can be fabricated and attached to the remaining teeth using clasps. These clasps are made of metal and are often clearly visible in the visible area. A partial denture is much more stable and more fracture-resistant. In addition to the clasp prosthesis described as a partial prosthesis, a telescopic prosthesis can also be used. A telescopic crown is placed on the remaining teeth (or implants) and firmly anchored. The removable prosthesis is then placed on this telescopic crown. It sits even more firmly and protects the remaining remaining teeth through more even loading. It also looks more aesthetically pleasing.
Fixed dentures: bridges and implants
If the condition of the teeth (and the wallet) allows it, a fixed denture is by far the better option for the third teeth.
Tooth bridge: With this type of dental prosthesis it is also necessary that there are still remaining teeth in the jaw. A bridge requires at least two abutment teeth to which the bridge is anchored. The disadvantage of a dental bridge is that at least two healthy teeth are required and must be ground. The natural tooth substance is lost. Implants can also serve as abutment teeth. In this case it is an implant bridge.
Implants: Implants are the latest and the best dental prosthesis for dental health. Individual tooth gaps can be closed with this treatment method without affecting the adjacent teeth. The use of the implant pin and later the crown also slows down the loss of bone, which is usually the result of tooth loss. Dental prostheses with implants and bridges sit firmly, have a pleasant wearing comfort and do not cause any disturbances while eating or speaking. The only disadvantage of implants with ceramic crowns is the price, because they are very expensive and are paid by the statutory health insurance only with the regular subsidy for a bridge. The rest is your own contribution.
How much does the dental prosthesis cost?
There is no general statement about the exact costs at the dentist you trust. All services that do not belong to the statutory standard care are calculated via the GOZ (Gebührenordnung für Zahnärzte). These private services are not supported by the GKV.
Since 2005, reimbursement by statutory health insurance has no longer been based on the treatment actually chosen, but on the standard care provided for this dental condition. Of this standard care (economic, necessary, sufficient), the SHI reimburses 50 to 65 percent, depending on the bonus booklet.
You will normally have to reckon with these dental prosthesis costs. (Photo: Daniel Seeger)
With a private dental supplementary insurance, the personal contribution can be significantly reduced, especially with expensive and high-quality dental prostheses. Given the large number of possible tariff options, health issues and acceptance guidelines, it is helpful to seek expert advice. Special recommendations and target group-oriented preselections facilitate the selection of the individually suitable dental insurance.
Daniel Seeger: Expert for dental insurances