Category Archives: Dentures

Are Dental Implants the Only way to Get Pretty Teeth?

I went to a consultation for replacing my teeth. I asked for prices first. It was obvious from that my only option was dentures. I wasn’t thrilled, but I learned long ago not to get too upset about things which can’t be changed. However, it was quite an additional blow when he told me there is no way to get dentures to look natural. He told me that if I wanted natural looking teeth it had to be dental implants. I truly can’t afford implants. Is there anything kind of in between the two? Maybe it won’t look as good as dental implants, but won’t look as bad as dentures?

Ashley S. – Ohio

Ashley,

I don’t say this often, but I want you to get as far away from this dentist as possible. I don’t want to discourage you or make you feel like you can’t trust your healthcare providers in general. However, this dentist isn’t honest. He’s lying to pressure you into the more expensive treatment. I HATE that. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why implants are superior to dentures. He doesn’t need to make something up. Plus, it’s unfair to guilt someone into something they can’t afford.

If the dentist is skilled, dentures can look not just natural, but gorgeous. If your dentist says otherwise it’s more a commentary on his ability.

The stronger reasons to get implants is to protect your jawbone. If you can’t afford implants, that’s understandable. See if snap-on dentures are within your budget. It will give you some of the benefits of the ideal procedure without the huge price tag. If not, dentures are perfectly acceptable teeth replacement option.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Dentist Humiliated Me Over Need for Dentures

I am 28 years old and I think dentures are my only option. I’ve had dental problems my entire life, starting with my parents not taking me in for regular care as a child. I have tried to take care of my teeth. I brush at least twice per day and floss, but with so many problems already going on it doesn’t help. I also had hyperemesis gravidarum for three pregnancies and was sick all the time. I’ve been to several dental offices over the years and tried to fix what I can, though there was so much to do it’s hard to do it all. I could easily max out my insurance every January when it renews and still spend 20 years trying to fix it all. So, I’ve fallen into a routine where I only go in and deal with things when they hurt. I’m tired of living this way, always waiting for and dreading the next toothache, broken tooth, or infection. I want to have them all pulled and just get dentures.

Last week, I scheduled a consultation with a dentist and told him my plan. His repsonse humiliated me. He was demeaning and basically told me it was my fault that my teeth are the way they are. Then he told me I shouldn’t get dentures. I left in tears. I need help without being made to feel bad about my situation. How can I find a dentist who will help me?

Thank you,

Tara

Dear Tara,

Sorry to hear you’ve had such rough experiences. Unfortunately, some dentists lack good chairside manner. You’re also probably emotional about your teeth, which can make some things sound more critical than it’s intended to be. For example, “This didn’t happen overnight,” could easily be interpreted as “You let this go too long,” when really, the person means, “It’s going to take some time to fix too.” This, paired with the complexity of what you’re facing, can make it seem very overwhelming.

Before you take any steps, you should know that dentures are not the end-all and, especially at your age. You could be dealing with significant bone loss and facial collapse while you’re still in your 40s if your teeth are pulled now. Plus, the longer you wear dentures, the harder it is to get a set to fit well. So, you aren’t picking the easiest solution, even if it is the most economical one right now.

Your best bet is to try to put emotions aside and focus on finding the best solution for you right now. Find a dentist you feel comfortable with and have a frank, open discussion about your options. Save the teeth you can save because every tooth you retain will help prevent bone loss. Even if you wind up with a partial denture, those teeth will help make sure it fits you better and works better. As time goes on, you may be able to consider adding in implants for more support as well. Take baby steps and don’t beat yourself up. When your needs are extensive, you’ll need to build a roadmap to good oral health and that’s ok. Set a goal and work to it as best as you can, while being realistic about what you can achieve. A good dentist will work with you on this.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Help! My Grandaughter Painted My Dentures!

My granddaughter was staying the weekend. I dozed off with my teeth out. While I napped, she painted my dentures white with my white nail polish. I know she thought she was doing me a favor, but now they look quite weird and I don’t know how to get it off. Will nail polish remover work?

Alicia S. – California

Alicia,

Children really do the darndest things! You can’t get angry, because their hearts are usually in the right place. I guess your granddaughter knew that teeth whitening is all the rage right now and was trying to make you the hip grandma.

The one thing I don’t want you to do is use nail polish remover. Most dentures are made out of acrylic and most nail polish contains acetone, a chemical that dissolves or degrades acrylic. So, you can see the issue here. Nail polish that doesn’t contain acetone isn’t good for your dentures either. Your best bet is to first try denture cleaner and a denture brush. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to take them into your dentist’s office to let them work with them.

It seems like, aside from the paint job, you’re pretty happy with your dentures. I just want to make certain your dentist warned you of one side-effect of dentures, known as facial collapse. When your teeth roots are removed, your body begins reabsorbing the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. You’ll notice your jawbone begins to shrink. The best way to prevent this is to get dental implants. These provide a new root and signals to your body to keep your jawbone in place.

Give your granddaughter a hug!
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Is It Possible to Have a Pretty Smile After Dentures?

I’ve had dentures for many years. They’ve never been pretty, but I’ve tried to live with it. I’ve finally decided I want a pretty smile, but I’m not sure if it’s too late. I’ve got a friend who has dental implants and they’re beautiful. Can I get those after having dentures?

Lori E. – Pennsylvania

Lori,

First, I want to assure you a beautiful smile is possible whether you have dentures or dental implants. It’s not the type of tooth replacement that makes the difference, it’s the artistic skill of the cosmetic dentist you choose.

Whether or not you can have dental implants will depend on a few things. One is are you actually a good candidate for implants. You have to be in good general health. The second being you’ve had dentures for many years. That may mean that you no longer have enough jawbone structure to retain implants. You could still get them, but it would require you to get some bone grafting done first.

The biggest difference between dentures and dental implants are the implant itself. It is a stand-in for your missing tooth root. That means the implant is more permanent and will protect your jaw bone from disintegrating. You’ll find that you’ll like them better than dentures. They’ll feel like having your natural teeth back.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Finding Affordable Dentures?

I look after my brother and his teeth are really bad, to the point where I’m certain he needs dentures. He had a motorcycle accident about three years ago and suffered traumatic brain injury and has some cognitive issues as a result. I try to encourage his independence as much as possible, but I still have to oversee his care. At any rate, we’ve more or less seen to everything he needs, with the exception of his teeth. He wasn’t great about taking care of them before the accident and he certainly isn’t now. Plus, he broke a couple of them in the accident. Sadly, his medical benefits will not cover the dentures. It will cover his extractions and would help if we were restoring them, but it does nothing as far as replacing them goes. He’s got to eat somehow and money is very tight, as he’s on disability. What are our options here?

Thanks,

Beverly

Dear Beverley,

It’s very honorable that you stepped up to the plate with your brother. He’s lucky to have you overseeing his care.

As far as dentures go, there aren’t necessarily any tricks for making them more affordable, though you can certainly call around and ask for pricing. Perhaps what’s most important here, however, is finding a doctor who routinely works with people who have had a TBI. It really does take a special kind of person to care for those affected by brain injuries. If your brother isn’t particularly agreeable, he should be working with someone who has experience and patience. For the best possible experience here, focus on that first.

Alternatively, you may have some luck finding a supplemental policy for him. Many dental insurance companies offer solid plans that could cover as much as half of the cost of his dentures and might only set you back $30 or so per month. The only caveat to this is that you’ll want to be on the lookout for two major things with this. First, be aware that many have waiting periods for more extensive services, and they may not pay anything until you’ve had the policy for anywhere from 6 to 24 months. Secondly, you’ll need to be on the lookout for policies that have exclusions, such as a “missing tooth clause,” in which case they won’t pay to replace any teeth lost before the policy took effect or they may not cover dentures at all.

Many offices also accept payment plans or do financing through a program called Care Credit, which is like a credit card, but can only be used for medical treatments.

Start by finding the right doctor to care for him first. Once you have that squared away, then you can start looking into what insurance plans they accept or if they have recommendations for managing the costs of his treatment.

Teeth Fell Apart, but I Don’t Want Dentures

I don’t know what happened.  My teeth always seemed fine. My other dentist always bragged on me.  Then, I got pregnant. I was too sick to even function, let alone go to the dentist, but I thought missing one or two appointments wouldn’t be that big a deal. Then my husband got transferred. We moved. I got pregnant again. The second pregnancy was just as sick as the first one. Now, two children later, I finally visit a new dentist. He said my teeth are in horrible shape and many of them will have to come out. I was shocked! I ‘m too young for dentures. What can I do. He mentioned implants, but those were super expensive. What would you do in my place, and how did this fall apart so quickly?

Alicia – Mississippi

Alicia,

First, don’t beat yourself up too much. Pregnancies are hard on bodies. I’m guessing if you were sick, that included a lot of vomiting. There have been dental patients that vomit all 9 months, so I understand how trying this can be. Vomit is very acidic, which eats away at your tooth enamel. Combine that with lack of dental visits (no judging), it’s no wonder your teeth fell apart.

However, I’m a little surprised if your teeth need to come out that you never felt any pain during this time. It wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion.  However, what your dentist diagnosed is a reasonable result of what you described.

Yes, dental implants are expensive. But, if you can at all afford them, I’d highly recommend them over dentures, especially given your young age.

Dentures do not replace your tooth root, which causes you to lose jaw bone. In ten to twenty years, you’ll be into facial collapse and won’t even be able to wear dentures.

Dental implants protect your jaw bone by replacing the root. If you don’t have the money up front, most dentists work with Care Credit. It’s essentially a medical credit card.  It’s not like traditional credit cards.  You get to pick the terms. Some are even no-interest.

One suggestion for your next pregnancy. After vomiting, immediately swish some water around your mouth, then wait a few minutes before brushing your teeth. The water will help neutralize the acid.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

Can You Get Implants After You’ve Had Dentures for Years?

I’ve had dentures for most of my adult life. I’ve always been embarrassed about my smile. I’ve just gotten to the point where I’d like a pretty one. Is it too late? Can I get dental implants if I’ve had dentures for years?

Emmy Lou T. – North Carolina

Emmy Lou,

You can have a beautiful smile no matter what stage of life you’re in. In fact, with the right dentist, you could have had beautiful dentures. However, switching to dental implants is always a good idea.

Because you’ve had dentures for so long, you’ll likely need bone grafting done to make sure there is enough bone structure to integrate the implants.

After the bone grafting, you can have implants placed. As you go forward, make sure you see the general dentist first. Don’t rush to the oral surgeon. Many patients think that is the first step, but it’s the general dentist who determines the proper placement of the implants. If you go to the surgeon first, they’ll likely be placed in the wrong position.

As a beautiful smile is one of your goals, it will be important that you find a dentist that can do beautiful work. I’d ask your dentist to show you some samples of the smiles he’s done, so you can be sure that he or she can give you the results you’re looking for.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Brad Hylan.

 

My mom is freaking out because she had another tooth fall out.

I don’t know what to do for my mother. She has always liked the way she looked and as she gets older, things have changed. Now, she’s having issues with her teeth, which is really freaking her out. She has had a partial denture for a couple missing teeth and another one fell out near that location. Then, in a completely different area of her mouth, another one just fell out last night. Obviously her oral health is slipping, so we aren’t sure if a bridge will cut it. Budget is also an issue. Any pointers or advice so I can help calm her down and put her mind at ease?

-Whitney in Indiana

Whitney,

Of course, it is difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your mother in person. That said, when teeth begin to fall out, it is a symptom of advanced gum disease.

So, if that is indeed what is happening for your mother, a dental bridge will not be the ideal treatment plan because it isn’t likely that she really has any solid teeth left that would be able to support this type of treatment.

If budget weren’t an issue, dental implants would absolutely be the treatment recommendation. Dental implants are the standard of care to replace missing teeth because they function like natural teeth and are lifelike. They prevent bone loss around the implant site and are a permanent solution. But, a full mouth restoration with dental implants would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

At this point, keeping in mind that there are budgetary constraints, your mother may better candidate for complete dentures. This would entail extracting the remaining teeth. The major downside of this plan is that when the teeth are gone, bone loss will occur. If you’ve seen images of elderly with sunken in faces, that is what would end up happening to her as the years go by. The condition is known as facial collapse and if she’s concerned about her appearance, she will not like that. Although, depending on her age, it still may be the best option for her.

If she’s not ready to go to the extreme of having all of the remaining teeth extracted, there is another type of partial denture called a Cu-Sil partial. This type of appliance is similar to a complete denture, but it allows the natural teeth to poke through and they help secure it in place. It will provide more stability than a complete removable denture. But if she truly does have advanced gum disease, it may not be the right fit.  Although, as other teeth fall out, the Cu-Sil partial can accommodate the occurrence with an artificial tooth replacement onto the appliance.

Hopefully this information was helpful. It would be wise to meet with a couple different dentists to obtain multiple treatment plans. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

My denture is too hard!

I really don’t like the way my denture feels on the roof of my mouth. It’s too hard and feels fake. Is there such thing as a soft denture?

-Beatrice in Nebraska

There are dentures that are made with a flexible lining. If you have bony ridges or bumps on the roof of your mouth, complete dentures can be very uncomfortable. Many denture wearers report painful sores when that happens too. A soft denture will help with that but tends to be more expensive. Also, they don’t have as long of a lifetime and take more work to keep clean. But your quality of life is definitely worth it.

But there are not “soft dentures” because they require some firmness in order to provide function when you chew. So they cannot be manufactured out of completely pliable material.

Dental implants are an option you may be interested in exploring. You can combine dental implants with a hybrid denture implant restoration. This type of treatment plan would completely eliminate the portion that cover the roof of your mouth. Dentures prevent facial collapse and other common denture problems. They help provide stability and are a permanent solution.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I couldn’t afford dental implants. Now I’m having problems with my denture.

I should have trusted my gut. I really wanted to get dental implants to replace my missing teeth. But I honestly couldn’t afford them. So, I went with more affordable dentures. I knew from the beginning that they wouldn’t look natural. But I had no idea how terrible my quality of life would be. I have had so many denture problems, I don’t even know where to begin. They don’t fit right. I can’t eat normally or even talk normally. And they hurt! Am I doomed or do I have any other options?

-Bart in Florida

Bart,

Your situation is unfortunate. Don’t be so hard on yourself in choosing to move forward with dentures. You made the best decision you could at the time. Many dentists don’t always effectively communicate the possibility of ill-fitting dentures that can cause many problems.

It is possible that you will continue to adjust to them and your day-to-day quality of life will improve. Your first option would be to go back into the dentist to see if there are any adjustments that can be done to improve your comfort. Contact the dentist again and have an evaluation done. Sometimes even the smallest adjustment makes a world of difference to remedy denture problems.

It sounds like budget is an important factor for your treatment plan. Although, dental implants may not be an option for your financially, ask your dentist about a snap-on denture. This treatment will help stabilize your denture and keep it from slipping around. It is a lot less expensive than getting dental implants to replace every missing tooth. Depending on the budget you have available, dental implants will be placed to secure the denture. The more dental implants you have placed, the better.

Dentures can be made to look life-like and beautiful. So if you don’t like the way you look, you may want to see another dentist that is more experienced in the aesthetics versus purely functionality or lack of functionality, in your case. Sorry you have had to endure so many denture problems. Don’t settle with being unhappy. You deserve to have a better fitting set or to move forward with an improved treatment plan. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.