Questions and Answers about Dentures
Dr Keith Cohen answers online readers’ denture related questions including what to do with dentures that don’t fit, how to handle dentures that break or feel unstable as well as denture costs
Dentures keep breaking
Q: My husband had a partial flexible denture made at a laboratory. The teeth on it broke off and he had to make another, which he paid for again. Two days later, another tooth broke off followed by two more! We called the laboratory and they said they would get back to us, but never did. My husband has a bite problem and after paying for two dentures, we cannot afford to pay for another. Can you advise us on what to do?
A: As people have different mouths, dentures that suit one person might not necessarily suit another for reasons like the number of missing teeth, different thicknesses of material, bite forces / location. You can either choose another dentist for a second opinion or write to the laboratory providing details of your dissatisfaction and take further action against them.
Cost of NHS dentures
Q: I am 67 years old. How much would I have to pay for a full set of dentures on the NHS?
A: The fee for a set of complete dentures on the NHS is currently £198.
More advice from Dr Keith Cohen
*NHS check ups; ulcers
*Discoloured milk tooth; osteoporosis and dental implant; white patch on gums
Dentures do not fit
Q: After getting a great set of dentures, I find that there is no way they will stay in position. My dentist has tried numerous things, including some kind of filing to adjust the shape. So far, the cost has been £200 but the denture seems big and out of shape. Can you suggest something for this?
A: The mouth can vary in size and shape, so in certain cases it may be technically difficult to get a good result. I suggest that your dentist refers you to the ‘prosthetics’ department of a dental hospital or a private specialist (although it could be significantly more costly).
Lower denture difficulties
Q: I recently lost my remaining lower teeth and I find that the lower denture is not quite stable. I have heard of ‘denture clinics’, which offer mini implants and more satisfactory dentures. Your comments on the advantages offered by these rather expensive options would be received gratefully. Also, how can someone find recommended clinics offering these options?
A: Complete lower dentures are usually a source of discomfort and looseness. Mini implants or dental implants are the most beneficial in your case. Mini implants are smaller and less traumatic to place, however, there is not as much research on this solution. They may be weaker and might not last as long as conventional implants, even though they are less expensive. You can use various types of attachments to clip the denture onto the implant, but these need routine maintenance. Eventually, you will have to make a new denture, although existing dentures can be modified in some cases. Any type of implant work is complicated, so you would require an experienced dentist. There are many postgraduate implant qualifications that you can look for, or you can also contact a General Dental Council registered specialist.