After spending $1200 for an upper partial denture, I regret not getting dental implants. I can see in some pictures that when I smile, depending on the lighting, the metal shines like silverware. It is so embarrassing. Now I am self-conscious. I have asked my dentist this question and got a negative response from him. But will you please tell me if it is possible to replace the metal clasps with plastic ones that match my gums? If not, can a dentist cover the clasps? – Thank you. Ty from Colorado
Unfortunately, altering the metal clasps on your partial denture will cause them to become inflexible around your teeth. And they might break. Also, adding anything over the clasps will make them thicker. If they still wrapped onto your teeth, the clasps would be uncomfortable and irritate your teeth and gums.
But our dentist can reduce the shine on the clasps with a micro-etcher instrument. Light sandblasting can change the metal to a matte finish. If our dentist does not have a micro-etcher, his laboratory can work on the clasps. You should be able to get the work done for little or no fee.
An Alternative to a Metal-Clasp Partial Denture
For our readers who need a new partial denture: Ask your dentist about partial dentures with clear or pink plastic clasps. Valplast and DuraFlex are two brands of partial dentures with plastic clasps that are less noticeable. Although they are not as sturdy as metal, they will still secure your dentures without detracting from your smile.
If your dentist does not offer plastic-clasp partial dentures, you can consider finding one who does. If you prefer your dentist, ask in advance if the lab can reduce the shine on the metal clasps while making your partial denture.
Dental Implant vs. Partial Denture
How does a dental implant compare with a partial denture? Consider the differences in longevity, support, reliability, and cost.
- Longevity – A partial denture lasts five to ten years, depending on the quality. So, if you have already invested $1,200 for a partial denture, consider getting dental implants when it is time to replace the denture. Although dental implants can last a lifetime, you need to replace the dental crowns on the implants every 10 to 15 years.
- Support – The artificial tooth root of an implant makes it stand alone—securely in your jawbone for support.
- Reliability – Dental implants are the most effective way to replace missing teeth because they function like natural teeth.
- Cost – You will need one implant for each missing tooth. Prepare to spend much more on dental implants.
Cosmetic dentist Mohamed Imam, DDS of San Antonio, sponsors this post.