Full dentures are the easiest way to restore an edentulous jaw. They correspond to the standard care of the statutory health insurance companies. This means that full dentures are the cheapest option for total dentures. Often, eating with removable dentures is not comfortable. Your teeth or a fixed denture offer significantly more support. Many patients, therefore, want an alternative or an attachment option for the removable denture. If you also have this wish, you can find out more about the topic here.
What are the options for restoring an edentulous jaw?
A prosthesis is a cheap and uncomplicated way to replace missing teeth.
If you want a higher quality denture, there are different options:
- The denture is attached to two implants and remains a removable denture
- The denture is attached to at least four implants in the lower jaw and at least six implants in the upper jaw and remains removable
- The dentures are attached to at least four implants in the lower jaw and at least six implants in the upper jaw and are fixed
The prerequisite for an implant-supported denture is a sufficiently high and wide jaw.
Alternative to full dentures: attachment to two implants.
If you are doing reasonably well with your full denture, this treatment is probably right for you. The existing full denture only needs to be modified. Then it can be attached to dental implants and thus gets more hold. Here, a few implants can be used.
The push-button prosthesis
At least two implants should be placed per jaw. After the healing period of two to four months, we can change the prosthesis. A connecting element, for example, a push-button, is attached to the implants. The counterpart is glued into the prosthesis. Your dentures get a firm hold via the pushbutton.
Since we use a reduced number of implants, the denture base must still rest on the gums. One then speaks of a combined denture. It is both implant and mucosal supported.
The bar prosthesis
An implant-supported bar prosthesis is technically more complex. Because of this, it is more expensive than push-button prosthesis. Full dentures that are held by a bar are mostly used in the lower jaw. The prosthesis lies on the gums. If the jawbone is very narrow, over two dental implants are needed.
During this treatment, a dental technician creates a bar that is screwed onto the implants. The lower jaw prosthesis has a groove into which the bar fits exactly. Since a bar prosthesis is an individual implant abutment, the costs are correspondingly higher.
Also, significantly more treatment steps are necessary after the implantation:
- Treatment step: implant impression
- Treatment step: bar fitting
- Treatment step: fitting of bar and prosthesis
- Treatment step: completion
Attachment of the dental prosthesis to four to six dental implants
If you are bothered by the size of your full denture and would like to do without a palate cover, at least six dental implants must be placed in the upper jaw. At least four are necessary for the lower jaw. With this number of implants, there is sufficient stability.
Now there are different versions of these removable dentures:
A removable denture that is attached to snaps
The most cost-effective solution for a palate-free, removable full prosthesis is a push-button prosthesis. To achieve qualified support, we must use at least six dental implants in the upper jaw. The bone in the lower jaw is more stable, so four implants are sufficient here.
After the healing period, we attach press studs to the dental implants. It incorporates the corresponding counterparts into the denture. The dentist can ground away all disruptive plastic edges and the palate covering of the prosthesis. This will make your third teeth significantly smaller and get a stable hold.
A removable denture that attaches to crowns – the removable bridge
The removable bridge is the most complex and expensive variant, but the most comfortable. These removable dentures fit almost as tightly as your teeth. The hold is good. The bridge remains removable.
After the healing period, small crowns are placed on the implants. The dental technician then makes a bridge that is pushed over the small crowns. This bridge is mostly made of metal and plastic. It is of higher quality than a pure plastic prosthesis.
A few appointments after the implantation are necessary to produce this denture:
- Treatment: implant impression
- Treatment: try on the small crowns and take an impression of the crowns in your mouth
- Treatment: Trying on the small crowns and the bridge framework
- Treatment: Trying on the small crowns and the almost finished bridge
- Treatment: completion
Fixed dentures with All-on-4 or All-on-6
This denture no longer counts as a prosthesis. All-on-4 or All-on-6 calls a dental prosthesis that is firmly anchored in the mouth. At least four implants are required in the lower jaw and at least six in the upper jaw. The fixed dentures have roughly the same hold as your natural teeth.
The same treatment steps are carried out as with a removable bridge, but with two differences: On the one hand, the fixed dental bridge is made from metal and ceramic. On the other hand, it is glued or screwed onto the implant crown at the last appointment.
Due to the high-quality material and the firm anchoring in the patient’s mouth, this variant is the most expensive option for a total denture.
Costs for implant-supported dentures
The cost of dental implants is not covered by health insurance. Since the standard care for an edentulous jaw is a full denture supported by the mucous membrane, it will always be on the cost plan for the health insurance company.
Regardless of which variant of the dentures described here a legally insured patient chooses, the health insurance company always pays the fixed allowance for this prosthesis. Statutory insured patients must pay for each dental implant out of their pocket. The own contribution to an implant-supported denture can quickly become extremely high.