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The Chinese are fond of saying – Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile. But to adhere to this aphorism, you do need 32 pearly whites. If you have lost one or more teeth due to cavities or an accident, then it is easy to replace them using oral prosthetics.
Modern dentistry can perform miracles. Orthodontists can replace teeth using dentures and implants, fix crooked teeth in a jiffy with veneer, remove debris, and whiten your smile.
Previously they used to be called a bridge and were by far the most common dental treatment before root canal and crowning became the norm.
A partial denture is false teeth, one or several, made from hard resin, porcelain, and plastic that fits perfectly in the gaps left by missing natural teeth.
They hold on to the remaining adjacent teeth with a metal frame and clasp system. Do not worry, the clasps do not hurt the remaining natural teeth. For a few days, you get the feeling of something foreign in your mouth and then forget all about it and chew toffee to your heart’s content.
Dental prosthetics differ by design and material. It is the same with partial dentures. There are many variations available, all of which work using the same basic principle, a false tooth holding on to the neighboring natural one.
Don’t worry, your mouth is not going to look like a metal workshop. This type of denture has a thin metal strip that acts as a frame to hold the artificial tooth in place. The metal is covered by gum-colored resin and cannot be seen when you smile.
In the case of the front tooth replacement, the clasps that allow the framework to anchor to an adjacent tooth may be visible. It is durable and sturdy and easily lasts till due to age the anchor tooth wears out, causing them to release the clasp.
They are made of synthetic material such as nylon and slipped into your oral cavity and fixed in place by the dental surgeon. They are thin and lightweight as well as really comfortable.
Due to this reason, the use of this type of dentures is prevalent among young people who do not want any metal objects inside their mouths to be visible. Flexible dentures are removable, but it is not advisable to do so regularly since it causes them to lose shape.
These are single tooth prosthetics used temporarily during a dental procedure such as an implant. Flippers are unlike other types of bridges and have an artificial palate that is attached to the molars with hooks to hold it in place.
They are aesthetically pleasing but uncomfortable to wear. Since flippers are made of acrylic, they are least expensive, but it is not recommended to wear them for more than a few months.
You have access to variety in private practice that you do not have with the NHS. The price of dentures varies widely but is at an average of £200. Of course, if you are replacing more than one tooth, the cost is higher but not significantly.
Of course, the cost of the consultation, extraction of decayed/damaged teeth is extra, and the total would be at least £400. In private practice, you can also avail of implant retained dentures. These are dentures held in place by screw studs that are planted inside the gum.
Since it is a type of surgery under anesthesia, the cost is at least £5000 and requires several visits for the perfect stud implant. It is a more expensive procedure but one that is entirely natural-looking, durable and requires no anchoring to healthy teeth.
Flexible dentures perfectly fit into the mouth and need no clasps. They are priced at approximately £250 per tooth in private practice. As related above, the cost of consultation and removal of any tooth is extra.
Overall the cost of flexible dentures is almost the same as that of metal frame dentures, and it is only the design and material that is different.
The cost of dentures for a single tooth varies between £200 and 4000 depending on if it is made from a metal frame, flexible or implanted. The cost of dentures depends primarily on the number of visits and techniques used. The price of the material to manufacture the denture is quite small. That is why the price of metal frame dentures for three teeth may be £500 but the cost of one £200.
Also, there is a wide variation of price quoted among different dentists in private practice. Unlike eyewear and corrective lenses with established brands such as Bausch + Lomb and Zeiss, the dentist is the sole source of all dental prosthetics. The level of markup varies with the practitioner, and it is not uncommon to ask for and receive a discount.
Almost every citizen in the UK would require some type of dentures past their sixties. However, there is no special discount to assist the pensioners who have access to limited income. Dentures partial and full fall under NHS Band 3 and are priced at £270. However, when you consider that dentures last quite long, in some cases a decade, the price is not that high. Also, note that dentures rarely fail. It is bone loss in the mouth that leads to the gums diminishing in size and making the dentures too large to wear.
If you are buying from the NHS, the price is fixed. If you are looking at private dental clinics, the answer lies in leg work.
With the proliferation of private clinics, there is stiff competition, and most dentists would give you a discount to get you as a client. If you are opting for their service, be sure to ask about the warranty period and fitting charges.
It may require several visits to make tiny tweaks to the denture and get it to sit correctly. Those visits should be free of charge and included in the overall package.
All over the world tooth replacement is an expensive proposition. Unlike relatively cheap eyewear, dental work costs considerably higher.
However, nothing can be more confidence enhancing than a big smile, and a few hundred pounds is an amount well spent to attain it.
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