I recently had two teeth removed, and one of them was a wisdom tooth. The other tooth I may have cracked myself by grinding my teeth in my sleep. So, I had one cracked tooth that felt like two teeth fighting in place.
I am a freelance writer living in Manila, the Philippines, so I don’t have the same medical care option I had in New York City.
I went to a general hospital here last year to get a wisdom tooth removed. They generally only have medium-grade to low-quality anesthetic here. It wears off in less than an hour. That quack dentist drilled into my tooth and I could feel it. And then he had the nerve to say I wasn’t feeling any pain.
I had another tooth that needed removing, but I was damned if I would let that guy do it.
I then went to another dentist in a nearby mall earlier this year. The place is called Dental City. My dentist was Dr. Perez, a diminutive polite woman. She had all the right equipment and I didn’t feel a thing as she removed my other cracked tooth.
Unfortunately, I now have a three-tooth gap in my mouth on the right side of my jaw. Dr. Perez gently held my shoulder after the procedure and said to me, “Sir, I’m afraid you need dentures.”
As long as I don’t smile widely, it isn’t visible. I am always on guard to hide it.
I’m only 46! Is this the age where you begin denture shopping and comparing the grip strength of denture creams?
I’m nowhere near being able to afford dental implants. And getting dental implants is a multi-step, multi-week process, even when they are affordable.
Should I start wearing removable partial dentures until I get implants? Would you?
Are removable partial dentures an affordable option for a year or two?
What Are Removable Partial Dentures?
Removable partial dentures are partial dentures that aesthetically replace one, two, or several missing teeth.
Let’s compare with full dentures to add context: full dentures are full mouth false teeth replacements. Full mouth dentures are used by people who are missing all 32 teeth.
Removable partial dentures are for people who are missing just several teeth. However, those missing teeth create an aesthetical unpleasant gap and difficulties in eating properly.
Removable partial dentures are made of a variety of affordable materials like rigid or flexible plastic, resin, or acrylic. However, these removable partial dentures usually have metal or plastic bridge components that are designed to grip adjoining teeth or gums for a firm fit.
There is a kind of removable partial dentures also known as “flippers.” They are basically a mold made in the shape of your upper mouth or part of the jaw featuring the missing teeth.
What you should understand is that removable partial dentures are usually a temporary stopgap. A dentist will size you for removable partial dentures until your get an implant, or fixed partial dentures.
Fixed partial dentures last longer, are smaller, and are designed to have clasps or attachments designed to hang onto healthy teeth to keep them in place.
You could consult with a dentist to wear removable partial dentures long-term or to get more than one set.
The cost for removable partial dentures, depending on the material used, can cost anywhere between $300 to $1,000.
So, depending on how many teeth you have missing and the stipulations of your dental plan, removable partial dentures can be affordable.
You could probably afford removable partial dentures if you have a dentist who would allow for a partial payment plan.
You can wear them as a temporary stop-gap before getting implants.
They are affordable.
They will improve your dental aesthetics and ability to chew.
You don’t need denture cream to keep them in place.
They can scrape or aggressively rub against your gums or healthy teeth as you wear them.
Dentures are a sponge for bacteria, fungus, and all of the food particles leftovers from eating. You need to stick to a daily schedule of thoroughly cleaning your dentures as prescribed by your dentists.
You must remember to brush your teeth every day. Dentures can cause significant plaque buildup on teeth.
You should remove your dentures before sleep. Also, you must brush your dentures separately from brushing your natural teeth.
If you wear removable partial dentures with metal clasps that hook to healthy teeth, the metal clasps may be visible when you smile.
It may take time and practice before you are comfortable eating with your removable partial dentures.
Talk to your dentist to discuss your options relative to the kind of removable partial denture you want to consider.
Weigh your options carefully before making a final decision.
As for me, I don’t know yet – I’m still weighing my options.
Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business.