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Dr. Finnk,

Hello. My question regards adjusting to new dentures. A friend of mine has recently gotten dentures and realized that she cannot taste spices like she used to nor feel them at the roof of her mouth. Do you know if there is ways others have gotten around this? Can someone request to have holes drilled in their upper denture in such a way that it doesn't capture particles and/or bacteria? Thank you.

Dear Ashlee,

There are ways to get around loss of taste.  But they usually involve the placement of implants to hold the dentures, so that the palate covering of the denture can be removed without, and the denture remain secured to the upper jaw.  An upper denture is made to cover the palate so that it can retain itself by vacuum to the upper jaw.  Placing holes in this part of the denture, or removing the palate from the denture will expose her palate to the food she is eating, but it will make the denture very loose.  I have had several patients insist that I remove the palate, despite my warnings.  They prefer to taste their food, and put up with their loose upper denture. Or they ultimately get implants placed to secure the upper denture.

Your friend can make requests, but it is up to her dentist to help her through this period.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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