A telescopic prosthesis replaces several or all teeth of a partially or completely edentulous jaw. Such a prosthesis is a combined dental prosthesis, which results in numerous differences from conventional designs.
- A telescopic prosthesis consists of a fixed and a removable part.
- Telescopic dentures are usually used when a patient has few teeth left in their upper or lower jaw.
- Telescopic prostheses have a similarly good hold and an equally appealing appearance as dental implants.
- Normally, the statutory health insurance only pays a fixed allowance, which corresponds to that of a removable denture with braces.
What is a telescopic prosthesis?
A telescopic prosthesis has two connecting elements that can be pushed over one another. Telescopic dentures are available both as partial and full dentures. While conventional removable dentures often do not hold up adequately, such problems do not usually arise with telescopic dentures.
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The construction of a telescopic prosthesis
With this type of denture, the natural teeth serve as a holding device for the dentures. It does not matter whether it is a telescopic prosthesis for the upper jaw or the lower jaw. The attending physician covers the remaining teeth (abutment teeth) with a telescopic crown. Doctors refer to the firmly anchored primary crowns as internal telescopes . The external telescopes (secondary crowns ), which are located on the removable part of the prosthesis, can be attached to this. In this way, the telescopic denture is firmly anchored in the dentition.
While the primary crown is usually made of metal, dental technicians usually make the actual prosthesis out of plastic, but also out of ceramic, and here they mainly use zirconium (a mineral). Since dental technicians can adapt the color and light transmission of the material very well to that of the existing teeth, tooth crowns made of zirconium look very natural.
When is a telescopic prosthesis appropriate?
Telescopic prostheses are suitable, for example, for patients for whom dental implants (for example due to the high costs) are not an option. Telescopic dentures offer a comfort similar to an implant. This type of prosthesis is usually used when there are only a few teeth in the corresponding jaw section. If the jawbone is sufficiently strong, it is even possible to use a telescopic prosthesis in a toothless upper or lower jaw. Several implants serve as primary crowns.
Telescopic prosthesis: the course of treatment
First, the attending dentist makes an impression of the patient’s teeth. After preparing the teeth for the primary crowns, he takes another impression. This serves as a template for the internal telescopes. Until they are completed in the dental laboratory, the patient receives a temporary solution . The doctor then places the primary crowns on the abutment teeth .
The specialist now takes an impression of the corresponding jaw, which forms the basis for the removable dentures with the external telescopes. Then he takes care of the alignment of the telescopic prosthesis so that the patient can chew and talk as usual. After a try-in , the dentist finally inserts the telescopic prosthesis . In addition, he discusses and practices the insertion and removal of dentures with the patient.
A follow-up examination is due a few days later . Here the dentist checks whether the prosthesis is sitting well or whether it is causing pressure points on the gums.
The advantages of a telescopic prosthesis
A telescopic prosthesis combines the advantages of a removable denture with those of implants. Since no braces are required to hold the denture in place, it has first-class aesthetics. It is just as well anchored as fixed dentures, but costs significantly less. In addition, the prosthesis can be cleaned like a removable denture, and it distributes the load more evenly over the remaining teeth than clasp dentures.
The disadvantages of a telescopic prosthesis
One of the disadvantages is that the dentist has to grind off substance from healthy teeth. In addition, the metallic primary crowns show up when the dental prosthesis is removed, which may not be desirable. Another disadvantage is that telescopic prostheses are more expensive than conventional removable dentures. These are mainly due to the high treatment effort, as the doctor has to make two crowns per tooth.
The cleaning of a telescopic prosthesis
Whether telescopic prosthesis for the lower or upper jaw: like natural teeth, you should also thoroughly clean a prosthesis twice a day. Mechanical cleaning is generally recommended. Prosthetic tablets contain ingredients that can attack telescopic dentures. Special denture brushes are best, but you can also get good results with an ordinary toothbrush. However, you should avoid toothpaste , as it can damage the high-gloss polish of the plastic used. Use water, dish soap, or gall soap instead. It is also advisable to disinfect the denture once a month by bathing it in a mouthwash solution.
What are the costs of the health insurance?
Standard care includes removable dentures with brackets, for which the insured receives a fixed allowance. The insurance company pays the same amount for a telescopic prosthesis. The co-payment is accordingly higher than with a clasp prosthesis. Under certain conditions, telescopic dentures are also considered a health insurance benefit or receive higher subsidies, for example if the patient only has three remaining teeth.
Protect yourself against high costs with additional dental insurance
Depending on the material used, the number of crowns required and the resulting treatment costs, the cost of a telescopic prosthesis is between 3,000 and 10,000 euros. Since patients usually have to bear the majority themselves, additional dental insurance is worthwhile . Depending on the tariff, the policy covers up to 100 percent of the costs. Such supplementary insurance usually includes numerous other benefits, such as professional tooth cleaning (PZR) or treatment by an orthodontist.