Category Archives: Partial Dentures

Am I too young to get a partial denture.

I’ll be honest. I think I’m too young to get a partial denture. I feel like the word “denture” automatically makes people think of old people. My teeth have been in bad shape for most of my life. I have several chips and some missing teeth. I can’t seem to find a dentist that has much empathy for me. There was one recent one that recommended a partial denture and I just expressed my thoughts on it. I don’t feel like a partial denture is a very permanent solution for my age. He seems set on doing multiple partials. Thirty-five years old seems to young for a partial.

-Rebecka in Minnesota


Different dentists have different philosophies on salvaging your natural teeth. Some will go to any extent to utilize whatever is existing versus recommending tooth replacement options.

You need to get over the stigma about something being called a partial denture. That said, there is a much better alternative to replace missing teeth called dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent solution that look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. They prevent bone loss around the implant site and look completely natural.

For chips and some missing teeth, it is difficult to give specific recommendations without having seen your case. There are many approaches that may be viable. Dental bonding incorporated with dental implants may be a better approach to someone at your age.

In your situation, it may be in your best interest to seek some additional opinions from implant dentists in your area. You don’t ever want to make a recommendation to a dentist that may push them out of their comfort zone. They have made a recommendation based on their opinion, philosophy and experience. So telling a dentist to place dental implants that doesn’t have the right training and experience could end up disastrous.

Hopefully this is helpful. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Is a Nesbit partial denture illegal?

I had a cracked root and the tooth was removed. I have a temporary appliance in now and I want to learn more about a Nesbit partial denture to replace it. But my dentist told me it is illegal here in Oregon. Have you ever heard of that? He cautioned me against swallowing or inhaling it. The appliance I have now has wire attachments and a large plastic piece. Can you provide any insight?

The Nesbit partial makes more sense to me because it isn’t made of metal, which I prefer. Do I need to drive out-of-state to find one. Is it illegal in other states to?

-Lauren in Oregon


That recommendation sounds a bit skeptical. To be completely transparent, I am unsure if a Nesbit partial denture is illegal in Oregon. That would be very surprising because I’ve not heard of it being illegal in any other state. That said, it does present some hazards and doesn’t come very highly recommended. So maybe your dentist was cautioning you of the potential dangers with the appliance. Although, that doesn’t necessarily make it illegal.

From what you have described, it sounds like your temporary appliance is a flipper partial which is comprised of a small plastic plate held in place by tiny wire claps. If that is indeed the case, it should continue to function adequately if it is well maintained. You don’t need to dispose of it because it could quite possibly last for several years. Although not an ideal solution for the long term, it still functions just fine.

If you are convinced that a Nesbit is the way to go, contact other dentists around town to get some more insight. It would be unheard of if you had to drive to a neighboring state. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


I need to replace a missing front tooth.

I haven’t been happy with my dentist, to say the least. Here’s the deal. I have a partial denture that contains five teeth. I’m missing one of the front teeth on it. It looks so bad. I complained and the dentist did it over multiple times. I still hate it. My insurance has already paid their part, so I don’t know if they will chip in anymore on the same procedure. Any ideas on how to help? Will porcelain veneers work to replace the missing tooth?

– Jason in Minnesota


When a partial denture is done by a dentist that values aesthetics and is experienced in using a trusted dental laboratory, it can look beautiful. Unfortunately, it sounds like this is not the case for you. Not every dentist values the way a smile looks, they are mostly concerned with the function.

As you know, with a removable partial denture, there are clasps that attach the appliance to the surrounding teeth. The clasps are sometimes metal and are visible. Many people with partials, hate that part because they can be seen when the individual smiles. Valplast partial dentures are much more aesthetically pleasing. You may be interested in learning more about them. They are made from a plastic material that is transparent and much more natural-looking.

The good news is that you do have options to improve the look of your smile. But it’s all about choosing the right dentist. Be sure to ask about cases that are similar to yours and ask to see their portfolio of work. If the surrounding teeth are in good shape and you’re solely interested in replacing the front tooth, a dental implant may be the best choice. It is a permanent tooth replacement that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants are expensive. And they are not fully covered by insurance. A partial denture is less expensive. When they are done by the right dentist, a partial can be made to look beautiful. So don’t completely rule them out if they are done by another dentist.

You may also require a combination of treatments. If you are looking for a smile makeover, than porcelain veneers incorporated with a dental implant, may work really nicely. It’s all about finding the best cosmetic dentist in your area. Because all of these treatment would need to blend in with one another.

Bottom line. It sounds like you’ve given your current dentist a fair chance and he has fallen short. Consult with a cosmetic dentist or an implant dentist with a heavy focus on aesthetics.

Hopefully this has provided some options you would like to consider.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.


My partial denture failed.

I wasn’t the best at going to the dentist and I put off some crowns that I needed. When I finally got around to getting them, the teeth were so bad they had to be extracted. I wish I could say that I learned the first time around, but I didn’t. Sadly, I only have three natural teeth left on top. I ended up with a partial denture. Over time, it failed. So now I’m hearing about affordable dental implants. Can I get something like that now?

I’m in worse off shape than I was years ago. The partial denture ruined one of my good teeth from the clasp. So, I’m being told that it needs a root canal and crown. But after seeing the price, I’m really interested in getting rid of it and hopefully getting implants if I can figure out a way to afford them. Please tell me that full dentures aren’t my only option at this point.

– Jeff in Texas


Sorry to hear that you have had a tough time with your oral health and that the partial denture failed. It likely wasn’t the clasp that caused your partial denture to fail. But ill-fitting appliances can cause all kinds of problems. They need to fit well in order to evenly distribute the weight of the force that occurs during daily chewing, etc. The root canal and crown may work well if you would consider a new partial denture.

Affordable dental implants can be incorporated with a denture which may provide more stability. A dental implant is surgically implanted into your jaw so it will anchor the tooth in place and if the denture is bonded to it, you may be much happier with the result. You will need to meet with a reputable implant dentist. Don’t let cost drive your decision or you will end up with more problems and expense in the future.

So it would be wise to consult with an implant dentist you can trust and that has a successful track record with cases like yours. Then, you can explore the varying options you have beyond dentures. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

I hate my partial denture. It’s ugly.

I have a partial denture because I’m missing several teeth. So the partial is actually for five teeth. I think it looks terrible. I have been back in complaining about how ugly it is and it has been redone three separate times. I still hate it. It sticks out and doesn’t blend in at all. I don’t think my insurance will keep paying for it to be done over. Do you think I can get porcelain veneers? I want my smile to look beautiful but am not sure what to do because I’m missing teeth.

-Beatrice in Indiana


When a partial denture is done by a dentist that is passionate about aesthetics, it can look beautiful. Not just any general dentist will do beautiful, natural-looking work, as you are finding out. The dental laboratory is also an important part in getting the right look. Since you have given your dentist multiple opportunities to get it right and it hasn’t worked out, it may be time to see a dentist with some cosmetic dentistry training or at least an eye for aesthetics.

One option that helps to cover up the clasps that are inevitable with a partial denture is called a Valplast partial. These look more natural and lifelike and do not have the metal components.

Porcelain veneers will  not work to replace missing teeth. But it is possible to incorporate them into a smile makeover, along with dental implants. Implants are the ideal treatment to replace missing teeth. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. You may want to seek a second opinion with a cosmetic dentist that is experienced in placing dental implants. Unfortunately, it sounds like your current dentist may not be the right fit to get the look you are going after.

Regarding your dental insurance, it is unlikely that dental implants or porcelain veneers will be fully covered. Also, most insurance companies will not cover the same treatment for five years. For example, if you had a crown done, they expect it to have at least a five year life. So you are correct in that they probably wouldn’t cover another try with the partial denture. It all depends on your budget and what your desires are regarding appearance.

Partial dentures can have problems, but they also can be done to look natural and beautiful. But it sounds like it’s time to find another dentist to work with.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Unhappy with Snap-on Smile.

I decided to get the snap-on smile and am not happy with it. I have always had a gap in front, right by my canine tooth. It really irritates me with how it looks. So my childhood dentist told me to give the snap-on smile a try. But I really am disappointed with it. It looks super fake to me, it’s big, and makes my teeth look bulky. All the research I’ve done says that I will not be able to get a refund. This purchase was a good bit of money for me though, so I feel like I need to at least wear it. Do you know if anything can be done to slim it down? Any insight would be appreciated.

– Gina in Missouri


Sorry to hear you have had a negative experience with the snap-on smile appliance. It is possible that your dentist may not be artistically inclined. For cosmetic dentistry it takes a lot of training beyond dental school for beautiful results. It would be good to discuss how you are feeling with your dentist to see if anything can be done to improve it. As far as a refund, it will be very unlikely. So hopefully your dentist can work with it.

Many general dentists come from a more functional mindset than cosmetic dentists. They are used to fixing a dental problem instead of focusing on beauty. As far as the bulkiness, this is actually a common complaint for snap-on smile patients. This is because it snaps over your teeth so it isn’t the most natural looking. The snap-on smile is good for a temporary time period or occasion, like a job interview, wedding, or graduation.

For a missing tooth, a partial denture or flipper partial may be a better solution. This kind of appliance snaps in place in the mouth and replaces the missing tooth or missing teeth with artificial teeth. This approach will not add anything over the top of your natural teeth. You may be able to talk to your dentist about this as an option. And since you were so unhappy with his original recommendation, maybe he would be willing to discount it or not charge you for it. Who knows, maybe your dentist is just starting out with cosmetic dentistry or maybe you are the first snap-on smile case that he has done. He may also be unhappy with the result. It never hurts to ask.

Best of luck to you!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Dental implants vs. removable partial dentures


I currently have removable dentures and I am sick of them! I have been missing several upper teeth for over 20 years. I am considering dental implants and was wondering if that would be a good way to go even though it has been many years?

Currently I have nine teeth missing on top and three missing on the bottom.

– Dolores in Minnesota


Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are a permanent solution that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth used to.

There are three main problems when it comes to removable partial dentures and they are outlined below.

  • First off, they can place additional stress on the the teeth that are used to fasten them in place. Over time, patients can actually end up loosing those teeth that they are attached to. This is especially frequent in individuals that are missing many upper teeth as you have mentioned.
  • Removable partials also trap food particles in the clasps that are used to attach them to the teeth. This means that tooth decay can become a serious problem in those areas.
  • Patients also complain of the discomfort caused by removable partial dentures. The upper partial sometimes covers up your palate. In these cases patients have complained of having issues with gagging.

Dental implants will not present any of these problems that you are facing with partial dentures. There is some healing time during the two main parts of the dental implant procedure. And although they tend to cost more, the quality of life you will experience will be well worth it.

When searching for an implant dentist, it is imperative that you proceed with caution. Many dentists make the claim to be implant dentists and in actuality may not have any additional implant training to speak of. And since the designation is not a regulated field within dentistry you need to research the dentist and really look into their credentials and experience with dental implant cases.

It is also quite possible that you may require bone grafting. This step will need to happen before you get the implants placed and is largely due to a condition called facial collapse. What happens over 10 to 20 years of not having teeth is that your body resorbs the jawbone to be used elsewhere in the body. Bone grafting will build the bone back up so the implants can be surgically implanted.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related link: dental implant failure