Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

Some Commonly Asked Questions About Dental Prosthetics and Appliances

Dental prosthetics refers to artificial teeth or other appliances; this would include dentures, dental implants, caps, crowns, and the like. These are very good ways of restoring your smile and even your ability to eat and talk freely when you're missing teeth or have damage to your teeth. If you're thinking about dental prosthetics and appliances, you want to talk to your dentist about your option and choices, but note a few questions you might have first. This can help you know where and how to start the conversation and even provide some answers to those common questions as well.

1. If I'm missing a tooth or teeth, do I need dentures?

Dentures are a very common type of dental prosthetic, but not the only variety. You might be a candidate for dental implants. These are false teeth that actually screw into the gum line and become permanent replacements for missing teeth. Depending on the number of teeth missing and the health and condition of your gums, this might be a good choice to replace those teeth.

2. Why is there such a variation in the price of dentures?

If you know someone who got dentures and the price they paid is very different than any price you've been quoted, note that getting dentures is not like buying a shirt in a store. That shirt is the same price for everyone because it's the same material and style no matter who is purchasing it.

However, dentures need to be fitted to your mouth in particular. This can mean lots of time shaping and molding them to fit your jaw line, and your dentist may recommend a different type of material than the one your friend had for their dentures. Some dentists are also much more skilled in creating dentures that look like real teeth and they may charge more because of the extra work they put into painting the dentures and shaping each one. Don't let your friend's dentures be your guide, but note how much dentures can be individualized for each person and this will explain those price fluctuations.

3. Can prosthetics be used to simply straighten teeth?

If you have a tooth that sits back from the line of the other teeth in your mouth, a cap or crown might be used to make it look more even. Your dentist might also advise a cap or crown for a crooked tooth; the tooth can be drilled down and the cap put over it so it looks straight. Rather than assume that braces are your only option for crooked teeth, talk to your dentist about cheaper, faster prosthetics instead.