The teeth, often overlooked, are a set of vital structures that offer both functionality and aesthetics. Damage or loss in this area can affect chewing, impede fluency in speech, and make social occasions uncomfortable. People with missing teeth feel self-conscious when in public. Some say that it can be hard to shake the feeling that no one will love them because of their teeth.
People who have missing teeth and are concerned about their self-esteem can talk to a trusted friend or therapist, as well as take further steps to improve their situation, including getting dentures. Speaking of dentures, not everyone is familiar with these dental aids and their procedures.
For example, who is most suited to provide dentures — dentists or denturists? Does insurance cover dentures?Such inquiries may have an impact on a patient’s decision regarding dental care. Answers to these questions and more are embedded in this guide. It provides a clear view of what to expect when getting dentures. Without further ado, let’s dig in.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are removable prostheses that are firmly attached to the gums to replace a tooth, a row of teeth, or the entiredental structure. They are custom made from materialslike nylon, acrylic, or metal, and are tailored to a person’s dental anatomy.
What’s more? These prosthetics are comfortable to use regularly and easily maintained. In contrast to older models that were conspicuous while worn, recent dentures have a natural appearance and texture that can be difficult to distinguish from the “real” teeth and gums.
Types of Dentures
Two types of dentures exist — partial and full. Choosing between these dentures is based on the severity of the dental condition as well as the patient’s budget.
Dental patients can wear partial dentures if only part of the teeth is lost. The procedure entails implanting a metal frame into the natural teeth and securing it with crowns in specific places. Partial dentures are cheaper when compared to their counterparts.
Getting a full denture means that either the upper or lower section of the teeth is missing or damaged. A denturist may fabricate an immediate or conventional denture, depending on the situation. A full denture can only be implanted when the remaining teeth are extracted.
Immediate Full Denture
The denturist inserts this sort of denture right after the original teeth are removed, after which there would be a need to realign it after a few months. Realignment ensures that the bone and gums don’t shift out of place due to the bone and gum movement.
Conventional Full Denture
Unlike an immediate full denture, a conventional full denture is not implanted immediately after removing the remaining teeth. Rather, the denturist will examine the patient’s dentition to take an imprint, which will be used to create a custom denture.
The patient’s gums would require time to recover, which might take several months, while the dental specialist fabricates the conventional full denture in the lab. This denture is highly effective and doesn’t require realignment.
However, staying without teeth for months can be disheartening for most people. Hence, not many prefer this option.
Dentist Vs Denturist
Finding the right type of dental specialist for fixing dentures can be confusing as both denturists and dentists perform almost identical tasks. Nonetheless, there is a clear distinction in specific areas. A denturist specializes in providing long-term denture solutions for dental problems, including tooth loss.
On the other hand, dentists diagnose and treat dental conditions, like cleft lip, oral cancer, tooth decay and cavities, to mention a few. However, when it comes to replacing or restoring lost teeth, they recommend denturists.
In the majority of instances, these dental specialists collaborate to provide the best tooth replacement options and follow-up treatment. The services provided by denturists are cheaper, compared to those of dentists.
Roles of a Denturist
Teeth are unique, much like fingerprints. Hence, a denturist would need to conduct a comprehensive examination to determine the best denture for a patient. Routine repair and maintenance on existing dentures are necessary as well. Other roles include:
- Taking imprints of the teeth, gums, and jaw
- Fabricating partial and full dentures
- Inserting and correcting dentures for ease of use
- Providing patients with dental care techniques
- Monitoring patients’ progress
- Performing administrative functions
- Filing insurance claims
Dentures are well worth the money because they are durable and efficient, even when used regularly.Depending on the type and grade of material used, they might cost anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000. Basic denture prostheses will cost between $600 and $1,500. Mid-tier products, on the other hand, vary from $1,500 to $3,000. Patients who want premium models will spend anywhere between $3,500 and $15,000.
The denture cost is also influenced by the patient’s requirement, denturist’s skill and experience, and aftercare program. This means that even with the outlined cost, the final fee varies from one dental patient and clinic to another.
What About Dental Coverage?
Most dental clinics work with insurance companies to reduce the cost of dental treatments. However, two insurance providers may not provide the same value, and if the patient is uninsured, some of them offer additional financing options.
Can Dentists Provide Dentures?
It is worth stating that a dentist can’t make dentures for dental patients. However, the dental specialist can take measurements and impressions of the teeth, gum, and jaw, which will be used by a denturist to create a denture prosthetic. Denturists specialize in dental repair and replacement. So, they are the go-to dental expert for missing teeth. The best part is that their services are affordable.
Replacing teeth is frequently a question of regaining self-confidence. Wearing the right denture makes a patient feel more comfortable and confident. However, due to the high cost of dentures, people without insurance might find this provision unaffordable. Fortunately, some denturists provide low-cost dental services.
Patients and denturists can use the growing market for low-cost dental prostheses to discover the finest dental care option. There is also dental insurance, which helps to pay a percentage of the overall cost of dental treatment and increases access to dental treatment. These provisions will have more dental patients with damaged or missing teeth smiling again.
*Photo by Hubi Farago