Dentures – who covers the costs?

Losing a tooth or even several teeth can have a negative impact on the way you talk, on eating and on your well-being. Dentures promise a return to better quality of life and health. But who bears the costs?

An accident, illness, tooth decay or an inflammation of the jaw may lead to the loss of one or more teeth. Responsibility for covering the costs varies from one case to another. Accident or basic insurance often covers the consequences of an accident. This is referred to as a statutory benefit. But most dental treatments aren’t a statutory benefit and must therefore be covered by patients themselves – unless they have corresponding supplementary dental insurance.

How much do dentures cost?

Costs for dentures vary. It depends on the material, among other things: high-quality dentures made from ceramics such as zirconium are expensive compared with other materials, but they are extremely durable. And ceramic is visually almost indistinguishable from a real tooth. The cheaper version is made from plastic. But unlike full ceramic or metal, plastic is less robust and may become discoloured.

Another cost factor is the work involved in the procedure: a small filling is less laborious than a crown restoration. As well as the materials and outlay involved in the procedure, the costs ultimately also depend on the tariff item of the respective dentist.

Calculating the tariff item

The Swiss dental tariff is set by Swiss social insurance institutions and the Swiss Dental Association (SSO). The tax point value multiplied by the number of tax points equates to the cost of the respective service. A brief overview of the dentist pay scale/tariff can be viewed on the SSO website: sso.ch/de/tarif

Dentures: cost contribution in Switzerland and abroad

Helsana makes a contribution towards the costs of dentures, fillings, dental misalignments, orthodontics or maxillary surgery – in Switzerland* and abroad**.

More about COMPLETA coverage (for people up to the age of 20) More about DENTAplus coverage

* For dental treatment in Switzerland, we recommend opting for a dentist within the Swiss Dental Association (SSO) and, for orthodontic procedures, an expert with a Federal specialist certificate in orthodontics. More at sso.ch and swiss.ortho.ch.

** Costs are covered overseas:

  • if the dentist abroad has equivalent qualifications to those of Swiss dentists
  • up to the maximum set out in the currently valid fee tariffs published by the Swiss Dental Association (SSO)

What are the options for dentures?

Whether permanent, removable or combined dentures: find out about the best options and materials for your particular case from your dentist. The choice of materials depends on the stability, your aesthetic expectations and the cost. We have put together an overview of the different types of dentures commonly used for you here. Bleaching and dental jewellery are excluded from co-payment under supplementary dental insurance. Please note that the costs listed below are guide prices. Ask your dentist to provide you with a cost estimate in each case. And get a second opinion in the event of any uncertainty.

Crown

Crowns differ based on the material used (ceramic, metal or plastic), size (partial or full crown) and fixing (bonded or cemented). Crowns with metal are often used in the region of the posterior teeth since these can withstand high stress. Ceramic, the cheaper ceramic option CEREC or plastic are more commonly used in the visible areas of the mouth, because these materials are less visually conspicuous than metal. Purely ceramic restorations have the aesthetic advantage of being light-permeable and therefore most like the actual tooth.

How much does a crown cost?

A crown costs anywhere from CHF 1,500 in Switzerland. See “Calculating the tariff item” further above for how to calculate rates for crowns.

Pivot tooth or dental implant

A pivot tooth is referred to when the tooth undergoes root canal treatment and is anchored with a pin/pivot. But if the dental root is too badly damaged and needs to be removed, an implant can be used. The crown is fixed onto the implant. This requires an operation and replaces the natural tooth. A dental implant consists of titanium or ceramic. Before the implant can withstand any loading, it needs to heal and bind to the bone. This can take up to six months.

What does an implant cost?

Implant costs start from around CHF 4,000. You can find out more about this further above in the chapter “Calculating the tariff item”.

Dental bridge

A bridge is anchored in the teeth. It is used if one or more gaps in the teeth are to be filled. The teeth in front of and behind the gaps serve as anchor teeth and are fitted with crowns. Whether a bridge is more suitable than an implant differs from case to case. Your dentist can explain the advantages and disadvantages.

How much does a dental bridge cost?

Dental bridge costs can vary significantly. For instance, three-unit veneered metal-ceramic bridge costs start at CHF 4,500. You can find out more about this further above in the chapter “Calculating the tariff item”.

Partial or full dentures

Dentures are a removable dental prosthesis. Full or total dentures are often referred to by the term “false teeth”. Partial dentures can be fixed in the oral cavity with a brace, for example. This method has the advantage that the natural teeth do not need any additional treatment, i.e. they don’t need to be reshaped.

How much are dentures?

It’s difficult to give a price estimate for dentures. Removable dentures are cheaper than permanent ones. Prices vary depending on the dental situation. The number of teeth to be replaced plays a decisive role, as do the materials used in the prostheses and their fixing options (simple braces, attachments, etc.).

Inlays and onlays

An inlay is an inlay filling made of gold, ceramic or plastic. Caries can lead to a hole in the tooth. To restore the tooth and prevent further damage, the tooth can be repaired with drilling and a filling. An onlay is fitted on the molars in the event of moderate damage to the occlusal surface. Crowns are used for more severe damage.

How much does a filling cost?

Plastic fillings are available from CHF 300 depending on size. You can find out more about this further above in the chapter “Calculating the tariff item”.

Veneers

Veneers are wafer-thin coverings made from ceramic or plastic that are fixed to the tooth. This method is often used for fractures in the front teeth. Fixing veneers does not require as much dental enamel to be ground away as fixing crowns does. Veneers are therefore regarded as being more gentle on the tooth substance.

How much do veneers cost?

Porcelain veneers are available from CHF 1,400 in Switzerland.

Interested in dental insurance?

As a general rule, we require a health declaration for all supplementary insurance, with the exception of children under the age of 3. We make an exception with the DENTAplus LIGHT version too – people of all ages can take out this insurance without a medical examination or dentist’s report.

With DENTAplus BRONZE, you receive 50% of the costs up to a maximum of CHF 1,000 per calendar year.

Calculate premium

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DENTAplus
DENTAplus LIGHT
You get 75% of the costs up to CHF 300 per calendar year.
DENTAplus
DENTAplus BRONZE
You get 50% of the costs up to CHF 1,000 per calendar year.
DENTAplus
DENTAplus SILVER
You get 75% of the costs up to CHF 2,000 per calendar year.
DENTAplus
DENTAplus GOLD
You get 75% of the costs up to CHF 3,000 per calendar year.
DENTAplus
DENTAplus COMBI
You receive 50% of the costs up to CHF 1,000 per calendar year, provided that the dental expenses are less than CHF 2,000. If the expenses exceed CHF 2,000, you receive 80% of the excess.

When are dentures recommended?

If a tooth is damaged, it should be treated quickly and professionally. In some cases, root canal treatment can prevent the loss of a tooth. Dentures are recommended if part of the tooth or the entire tooth needs to be replaced. If a gap emerges as a result of the loss of a tooth, this can lead to tooth migration or inclination of the teeth. Dentures can help prevent further damage.

Good to know

The most frequent cause of tooth loss is caries or inflammation of the gums (periodontitis). Regular check-ups can prevent this. With dental insurance, Helsana contributes to the costs of dental hygiene and check-ups.

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