QUESTION: I recently had some dental work done after pulling 6 teeth the dentist said we'll fit you for upper and lower partial. I asked her if I could get some that I could eat with,she recommended the flexible partials. Since then I have been told by another dentist absolutely not the flexible ones for eating with,the ones with metal in them are better for eating with. Since I've had the upper and lower flexible partials I've had headaches the bite is off on the left side of my mouth.I can only wear them about 4 hours a day. And can not eat with them still in my mouth.I feel like I was completely mislead, I paid 3,600 for them and when I wear them it hurts my mouth. Isn't the Dentist responsible for this, shouldn't I get some kind of refund or partials that I can actually wear and eat with? Thank you
ANSWER: Dear Lorraine:
I am so sorry to hear of your troubles with your dentures. Unfortunately, you are NOT the first one to pose this question to me, and you will not be the last.
Traditional removable partial dentures used to be a work of art. Dentists spent a career perfecting impression technique in order to capture the anatomy of the remaining gums and teeth. As insurance companies and medicaid drove prices down, making traditional metal based removable partial dentures has become a lost art and became completely non-profitable for the dentists. The only people who actually make metal based removable partial dentures are Prosthodontists (the dental specialist in restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry), and they typically charge a substantial fee for them. Many quality general/family/cosmetic (all the same) dentists also take the time to make a nice denture, but, again, will charge you for the service, and are becoming a rare breed.
With the advent of flexible plastic materials, the precision in making a hard, metal based denture was not necessary, since the flexible denture materials are much more forgiving. Since they require much less chair time to make, they have made dentures more affordable and increased access to entry-level dentistry by many individuals, who previously could not have afforded dentistry.
I understand your position, and unfortunately, there is not much that you can do. In dentistry, medicine, law, etc. there is no guarantee of performance. It is, unfortunately, up to the consumer to find out what is being delivered and who will the deliver the best result for them.
Since you were not happy with the work delivered to you, you should go back the dentist and ask her to work with you to resolve the issues. There might be some adjustments that she might be able to make in order to fix the bite problems and the fit.
Aside of that, there is not much more to do.
If you are not satisfied, I recommend going for a second opinion from a Prosthodontist and see whether fabricating proper, traditional removable partial dentures is a proper thing to do in your case.
Incidentally, one of the reasons that many dentists are shying away from the traditional metal based dentures is that the time required in making them is not as cost effective as dental implants and many patients choose the implant option as the way to go. You should consider that as well. It will cost you more upfront, but will give you a much better "bang for the buck" in the long run.
Best of luck,
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QUESTION: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. The sad thing is i did go back several times to try and get them to fit better. I do have an implant on the upper left side of my mouth, when removing my upper partial from my mouth i grab the spot that is not as tight which happens to be right where the implant is at, when i went to get my second opinion the dentist wittenesed this himself. He told me that there was no reason to put an implant where mine was at, he said," that was nothing more then a money maker on the dentists part. I did complain to the "Board of Dentistry", they said the work done met the standard of care. What it came down to was I needed more proof. Thank you so much, I no I've taken up enough of your time so please don't think I'm expecting a answer back.
I am so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, you have very little recourse, since, you picked that dentist and the work was done with your consent.
You will know better next time. I suggest, as always to go to a Prosthodontist, if you can, and make your mouth a priority. Do not go and get what the insurance will pay. GO and interview a dentist to make sure that the treatment philosophy aligns with your needs. Same goes for ANY professional.
Best of luck,