Crowns, Bridges & Co

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Crowns, Bridges & Co
Crowns, Bridges & Co
Video: Crowns, Bridges & Co
Video: Dental Crowns and Bridges Procedure at Cosmetic Dental Associates in San Antonio, TX 2023, February

Crowns, bridges & Co

Occasionally, the loss of tooth substance or entire teeth is so pronounced that conservative treatments are out of the question. In these cases, attempts are made to restore the natural function and aesthetics of the dentition by means of fixed dentures or removable dentures or various combination designs. Materials such as metal alloys, tooth-colored plastics and ceramics are used…


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  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Fixed dentures
  • Crown
  • Veneers
  • bridges
  • Removable dentures
  • Combined fixed-removable dentures
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Fixed dentures

Depending on the type and extent of the tooth defect, crowns, veneers (veneers) and bridges are available as fixed dentures. They are manufactured in the dental laboratory with an individual fit and attached to the teeth that have been pre-ground by the dentist. The patient cannot take it out himself.


A crown is used to completely cover or “conceal” a damaged tooth. In addition to strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve the appearance of a tooth or to give it a specific shape. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant. A distinction is made between partial and full crowns.

  • The chewing surface is redesigned with a partial crown, and one or more tooth cusps are stabilized by coupling. Substance that is still resilient is left intact. In addition to precious metal alloys with a high gold content, ceramic is increasingly used as a material. In principle, partial crowns are on- or overlays.
  • A full crown is required in the event of a massive loss of hard substance in a tooth or to restore normal position between the upper and lower jaw. It completely encases the remaining tooth substance of the natural tooth crown, so that the crown edge lies at or below the gum line. In contrast to a partial crown, all cusps are captured. Various ceramic materials are mainly used for full crowns. Electroplating crowns are made of ceramic (outside) and fine gold (inside).


Veneers are wafer-thin ceramic veneers for smaller incisal edge fractures, misalignments or discoloration, especially in the anterior region. They are mainly used in aesthetic dentistry. For conventional veneers, the enamel of the teeth concerned is partially ground off. With so-called non-prep veneers, in the ideal case, there is no need to sand down and thus to dispense with the loss of hard tooth substance. However, they are less suitable for color coverage and for correcting misaligned teeth.


Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are attached to natural teeth (so-called pillars) or implants that border the gap between the teeth. A distinction is made between fixed and removable bridges.

  • Fixed bridges are full crowns that are fixed to existing teeth using so-called bridge anchors, which replace missing teeth and restore the chewing function.
  • Removable bridges are used when there are larger gaps with a reduced number of remaining teeth or the abutment teeth are no longer stable enough to support a fixed restoration. They can also be called partial dentures. Removable bridges offer the advantage, among other things, that any repairs can be carried out outside the mouth.

Removable dentures

Dentures replace missing teeth and can be removed and reinserted by the patient himself / herself. Depending on whether some or all of the teeth in a jaw are replaced, one speaks of partial dentures and full or full dentures.

  • Partial denture: This is located on a metal frame that is attached to the natural teeth. Sometimes crowns on existing teeth are also used to attach the prosthesis. When partial dentures bridge existing teeth, they are also known as removable bridges or switching dentures. On the other hand, cantilever prostheses are only limited by natural teeth on one side.
  • Full denture: A flesh-colored acrylic base is attached to the gums. The base of the denture for the upper jaw covers the roof of the mouth, the base of the denture for the lower jaw is horseshoe-shaped to conform to the tongue.

A conventional full denture is placed in the mouth when the tissue has healed after all teeth have been extracted. The patient has no teeth during this healing process, which can take several months. Normally, however, no patient is expected to do this. For this reason, prostheses are usually made as a permanent temporary solution, usually before the teeth are extracted. These are called immediate replacements or immediate prostheses. A full denture that is immediately inserted is inserted immediately after the teeth have been extracted. However, it usually has to be adjusted for the first time after two weeks and then repeatedly over a period of several months, because the bony tooth support structure reshapes as it heals and loosens the denture.

Dental prostheses usually take getting used to because they feel bulky or too loose and can trigger increased salivation etc. Eating and speaking also require practice. If there are pressure points, inflammation or changes in the oral mucosa, the dentist should be consulted immediately. In addition, wear and tear of the dental prosthesis and age-related changes in the mouth and jaw area can be expected over time. An annual dental check-up is therefore recommended.

Combined fixed-removable dentures

  • Telescopic restorations: Removable bridges or partial prostheses are anchored with telescopic double crowns (telescopic prosthesis). The so-called primary crown is firmly cemented onto the tooth, the secondary crown is anchored in the removable bridge or partial denture.
  • Overdentures (synonyms: cover denture prosthesis, cover denture, overdenture, hybrid prosthesis, overlay denture): They are used to replace the teeth of a jaw. They consist of a removable element and one or more parts that sit firmly in the mouth. Overdentures have the same shape and size as full dentures and, like these, are carried by the alveolar ridge or the oral mucosa covering it. However, with an overdenture, there are still a few teeth that are completely covered by the denture.
  • Implant-borne removable prostheses (superstructure): A superstructure is a denture attached to an implant. This can be a crown, a bridge or a prosthesis. The implant itself is surgically inserted in toothless areas of the jaw and takes on the function of an artificial tooth root that is used to attach the superstructure.

Whom can I ask?

Your dentist will determine which types of dentures are suitable for you and advise you on all the options available. He / she will take care of all dental treatments; the dentures themselves are usually manufactured in collaboration with a dental laboratory.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs for a so-called indispensable - that is, for medical and not for aesthetic reasons - dental prosthesis and, if necessary, its repair will be covered to a certain extent by the social insurance carriers after the application has been submitted. The patient has to pay the rest himself / herself.

The proportionate assumption of costs is limited to simple removable denture forms such as plastic or metal cast prostheses and immediate replacement. The regional health insurances offer fixed prices in their outpatient departments for fixed dentures in the form of crowns and bridges. A cost subsidy in the strict sense is not granted. An exception are so-called clasp crowns. These serve to improve the hold of the prosthesis and are also taken over proportionally in combination with prostheses.

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