How are dentures made

What are the differences in dentures?

Crowns: steel, gold or ceramic

A crown is an option if a tooth has been destroyed to such an extent that a filling is no longer possible. After taking an impression, the crown is made in the laboratory and then cemented onto the tooth. There are three types of crowns:

Full metal crown:

A full metal crown made of non-precious metal is provided in the posterior region as a service provided by the statutory health insurances (standard care). Cost: around 320 euros. The statutory health insurance funds cover 60 percent of this through the so-called fixed allowance. This subsidy stays the same even if the costs increase due to the use of gold or ceramics. According to experts, full metal crowns last up to 25 years.

Full ceramic crown

An all-ceramic crown looks the closest to a real tooth, is well tolerated and, depending on the composition of the ceramic, also significantly more durable than before.

Metal veneer crown:

With a metal veneer crown, a metal framework is completely or partially covered with a tooth-colored material (ceramic or plastic). A ceramic veneer is better tolerated than plastic. How long it lasts depends, among other things, on the type of ceramic. If a front tooth is crowned, the statutory health insurance companies pay for a tooth-colored veneer on the front and on the side, i.e. a metal veneer crown.

Bridges: anchor teeth must be ground


Bridges can be made entirely of metal or ceramic. A metal framework is also possible, the visible part of which is covered (veneered) with ceramic or plastic.

All-ceramic bridges now often achieve the same stability and durability as the metal version. However, since metal is much cheaper, ceramics are not a cash benefit. The health insurances assume basic care (so-called standard care) of up to 1,000 euros per bridge. They envisage a bridge as a solution for three or a maximum of four teeth missing next to each other.

The neighboring teeth serve as anchors on the bridge. For this, however, these must be ground and crowned. As a rule, 40 to 60 percent of the tooth substance is lost. A possible risk is damage to the tooth nerve.

End pillar bridge: The most common type is the "end abutment bridge", which is attached to the two existing teeth to the right and left of the gap.

Cantilever bridge: If a tooth is missing as a pontic on one side, for example at the end of a row of teeth, the bridge can only be attached on one side. In these cases one speaks of the "cantilever bridge".

Adhesive bridge: Glued bridges are possible for small gaps or as a temporary solution. This type of bridge is called "adhesive bridge". A metal framework is attached to the back of the adjacent teeth with thin adhesive plates.

Implants: The most expensive type of dentures

Implants are artificial tooth roots in which metal pins are drilled into the jaw (see illustration above). Strictly speaking, it is therefore not an artificial tooth, as the final tooth replacement in the form of a crown, bridge or fixed prosthesis has to be attached to the implant.

Implants are artificial tooth roots that are drilled into the jaw (see picture above). Strictly speaking, it is therefore not an artificial tooth, as the final tooth replacement in the form of a crown, bridge or fixed prosthesis has to be attached to the implant.

Implants are the most expensive option for restorations. A single tooth implant, including dentures, usually costs between 1,500 and 3,500 euros. If you have multiple implants, the costs can quickly run into five figures.

Implants are not part of the standard care of the statutory health insurance companies and are billed completely privately (according to the fee schedule for dentists GOZ).

Exception: implants are covered by statutory health insurances within very narrow limits. For this, there must be rare exceptional indications for particularly severe cases that are specified in guidelines. This is, for example, a generalized genetic failure of teeth or a particularly severe facial or jaw defect, triggered for example by tumor diseases or congenital malformations.

With the fixed subsidy, the health insurances reimburse half of what the basic care with a bridge or prosthesis costs. The difference must be paid by the patient.

Advantage of implants: healthy neighboring teeth do not have to be ground. Disadvantage: It is a surgical procedure that can be associated with risks.

Prostheses: when too many teeth are missing

Prostheses are used to maintain a closed row of teeth when too many teeth have been lost. Partial dentures are used when so many teeth are missing that fixed bridges can no longer be anchored. Depending on which connecting elements are used, one speaks of telescopic, attachment or bar prostheses. The simplest variant is a model cast prosthesis, which is attached to the remaining teeth with visible brackets and makes a crowning of anchor teeth superfluous.

Full dentures are held in place with suction, adhesive and adhesive when there are no longer any natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw.

Partial or full prostheses cost around 800 euros in the basic version (standard supply). The statutory health insurance funds cover 60 percent of this, with bonus booklet up to 75 percent and 100 percent for low-income earners.

Note: Fixed dentures are generally considered to be the better solution compared to prostheses, as they are more comfortable to wear, better durability and aesthetics, and the risk of gum damage and tooth decay is lower. However: prostheses are usually cheaper than fixed dentures.