Tag Archives: removable partial denture

I Want to Extract My Tooth. My Dentist Wants to “Save” It

I’m so tired of messing with one of my stupid teeth. First, I was a toothache. My dentist thought it was fine. Then, a few months later, I developed a cavity. We filled the cavity. A few months later, it got a completely different cavity. My dentist wants to do a crown. I’m so tired of this tooth. I want to just take it out, but my dentist thinks it’s better to “save” it. Why is that so important? It’s not like the tooth people see is going to be real anymore.

Phil – Washington


I’m going to side with your dentist. Let’s say you extract the tooth. Then what? Are you just going to leave a gap there? Even if the tooth isn’t a front tooth, which would affect your appearance, that gap will cause your other teeth to shift. This will cause bite problems and may even lead to TMJ.

But what if you replace it instead of leaving a gap? Okay, the best replacement is a dental implant. It will require surgery and months of healing. Then a crown. Not to mention the thousands of dollars it costs. If you decide to get a removable partial denture instead, that’s easier–initially. But, it’s removable. You have a tooth that moves, comes out, gets food under it, and is uncomfortable. Fun, huh?

Neither of those options sound better than getting one crown. If you talk to patients who’ve had their teeth extracted, they’d tell you they wish they could have saved the tooth.

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


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.

What is the best way to fix teeth that have broken off?

I am wondering what the options are for my mother. Her two front teeth are broken. The roots are still in her gums. Are a dental bridge or partial denture her only choices? Or would it be a possibility to get root canals topped with crowns?

– Sherri in California


It is difficult to make specific recommendations for your mother, without having seen her case in person. Generally speaking, root canals are possible. It all depends on exactly how much of her natural tooth structure is remaining. A post may be required with the root canal to support the porcelain crown that goes on top.

Many dentists will recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth, because they are a permanent solution. So, you may have to look around for a dentist that is interested in trying to save what’s left of those teeth. It would be wise to find an implant dentist in your area that is experienced in dealing with traumatized teeth. Discuss your interest in saving the roots and be prepared to talk through the possible treatment plans. Dental implants are now considered the standard of care in similar situations. Sometimes, a post may end up fracturing the root. Then, there will be additional issues. So, it may be in your best interest to see a couple different dentists and listen to their treatment plans.

A dental bridge or partial denture may also be options worth exploring. It all depends on your budget, the philosophy of the dentist, and your mother’s desired results. Sorry that the answer isn’t completely straightforward. With broken teeth, there are many factors to be considered.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Will my health insurance cover dental implants?

I have some serious problems with my teeth and existing dental work. It’s time for dental implants. I’m missing several teeth in back and I have a dental bridge that’s over 30 years old. I would love to get one of those dentures that is permanently placed with implants for my entire upper arch of teeth. Also, I have gum disease, so I am currently getting scaling and root planing. I was interested in a partial dental appliance, but I ended up gagging when I tried it. I also hated that I couldn’t eat normally with it.

I was wondering if I could have this dental work covered by my medical insurance? I think it would be considered a medical condition, since I am in such terrible shape.

-Betsy in Washington


Dental implants have many benefits over other treatments like the removable partial denture you have mentioned. Gagging isn’t something that is talked about too often, but it is not uncommon for denture-wearers or for partial dentures. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone, so there is no extra hardware in your mouth. If you have a heightened gag reflex, having anything with a plate will not be ideal.

It sounds like you recognize the pros of choosing dental implants. Unfortunately, it is not likely that your health insurance would cover the treatment. Many times people will pose the question and pursue the thinking that their teeth are indeed affecting their overall general health. So, it is understandable that you would request that your medical insurance cover the fees.

But, almost all medical insurance plans have exclusions. Dental problems, issues and conditions are almost always excluded from your health coverage. Although this may feel unfair, if it was included, even a small cavity could be considered affecting your overall health. There are some instances where medical insurance would cover dental problems or damage that occurred from an accident. For example, if you broke a tooth during a fall, it is possible that your medical insurance would cover that cost. But other than that, you are likely going to have to personally cover the cost. Some dental insurances will help offset the cost of dental implants, but even many dental insurance exclude dental implants because there are lesser expensive alternatives available.

You may be interested in discussing more affordable options with your implant dentist. Many will work with you on an affordable payment plan or you may possibly be interested in financing the treatment plan. Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

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.


Missing Several Teeth: Are Dental Implants an Option?

I’m missing several teeth for various reasons. A couple got knocked out in an accident and another one got decay under the crown and there wasn’t enough tooth left to save it (so I’m told) by the time we realized there was a problem. I want to start replacing them and I have looked into dental implants. They’re quite an investment, but my doctor says they’re best. Are dental implants my only real option since I’m missing several teeth?


Dear Connor,

Dental implants are probably the best option, whether you’re missing several teeth or just one. The only caveat to that is that certain health conditions and habits, such as smoking, may preclude them as an option. The biggest advantage to them is that they work just like your natural tooth and anchor into the bone. This makes them very strong and helps you retain the bone in your jaw. With other types of restorations, the body begins to reabsorb the bone where the tooth was. The reduction of bone makes people look older, and leads to that puckered look people associate with aging. This bone loss condition is called facial collapse.

You didn’t specify whether the teeth were together or not, but there is a myriad of ways dental implants can be used to replace several missing teeth at once. Sometimes, a bridge can be created, with the dental implant serving as an anchor and a natural tooth serving as an anchor, while other times one on each side of the gap may be placed to anchor the bridge. With bridges, the teeth between the anchor teeth are made to match perfectly, so it will still look natural and it will be strong. However, you may still lose some bone over time in the areas between the anchors. You may also be able to use them in conjunction with a partial or a denture.

If cost is a concern, it’s a good idea to discuss these options with your dentist first. If you find they’re not an option, you may be a candidate for a standard bridge or a partial. A partial will probably be your least-expensive option, though a lot of people find they’re not happy with the fit sometime after, plus an ill-fitting denture can cause sore spots and make it difficult to eat. It just doesn’t feel “natural.” However, eating will still be easier for you than it likely is now, and a partial will help you smile for confidently as well. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but dental implants are likely the best choice if it’s within your means to get them.

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.


Why can’t my teenage daughter get a dental implant?

My daughter has grown up with a missing tooth. She is a teenager now and you can definitely see it when she laughs or smiles. It breaks my heart that she is self conscious about it. It wasn’t knocked out or anything, her permanent tooth never came in. She desperately wants to get it fixed with a false tooth. When we talked about it with our dentist, he told her no. He said she may not be done growing. I want to do what’s right and best for her. But I cannot seem to help her move past this. She is devastated and embarrassed and won’t take no for an answer. Can I try a different dentist?

-Karen in Wisconsin


I don’t have to tell you how tough teenagers can be. Especially, one that is having a cosmetic issue they are convinced is the solution to her problem. Your dentist diagnosed the situation properly. It is important that your daughter’s jaw is completely done growing for the dental implant to be successful. If the dental implant is placed too early, it will not expand as the jaw grows. Then, your daughter may potentially have serious problems down the road.

A dental implant is indeed the best treatment to replace a missing tooth. It just sounds like the timing isn’t quite right yet. She does have other options in the meantime. Have you discussed any other treatments with your dentist? A partial denture or dental bridge are possibilities for the short term. But a dental bridge will require preparing the two adjacent teeth and may not be best in the long run.

Ask your dentist for a consultation to see what he recommends for the time being. He is the most familiar with your child’s case and specific issues.

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.