Category Archives: Dentures

Is It Best to Get Tooth Extractions and Dentures?

If I lost most of my upper teeth, is it best to keep them or get them extracted for dentures? I’m currently wearing a cheap partial denture for my top teeth, and I’ve worn partial dentures since 2001. I’ve always hated the feel of my partial denture. Will a complete upper denture be more comfortable than my partial denture? I really don’t want to spend more than $6000, but I think it’s worth it because I am only 58 years old, and I am socially active with sports and non-profit organizations. Thank you. Winston from NJ


Dr. Burba would need to examine your mouth, teeth, x-rays, and other diagnostics to give you an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. But we will provide you with some principles to consider.

Should You Get Tooth Extractions and Dentures?

Whether you should get tooth extractions and dentures depends on how many teeth remain, their condition, and how keeping them would affect your oral health.

It is better to save natural teeth

  • It is usually best to save natural teeth that will not harm your oral or overall health.
  • When most of your upper or lower teeth are missing, the forces of biting and chewing stress the few remaining teeth.

A complete upper denture is more comfortable than a lower one

Salem Snap on Denture
Snap-on Dentures
  • Suction keeps a full upper denture in place, so it does not move around as much as a lower denture.
  • A well-made upper complete removable denture is gentler on your teeth than a partial denture and a few remaining natural teeth.

Your jawbone shrinks when all your teeth are missing.

  • Teeth stimulate and preserve the jawbone. When all your teeth are missing, the jawbone shrinks.
  • When your lower jawbone shrinks, sharp ridges form and make wearing a denture uncomfortable. An upper denture—even with severe bone loss—is more comfortable.
  • Within 10 to 20 years, you will lack enough jawbone to support your facial muscles, and your face will sag.

What Can You Expect from Treatment Options?

Remember, Dr. Burba is basing his explanation on the information you provided. You will need to schedule an appointment with an implant dentist for an examination and 3-D CT scan to determine your treatment options.

  • Best clinical treatment – A dentist can replace your missing upper teeth with an implant-supported denture. Although the cost will exceed your budget, a snap-on denture is the most affordable implant denture. Dental implants will anchor your denture and stimulate your jawbone to prevent further shrinkage. Your denture will feel stable and comfortable.
  • Alternative treatment – Your dentist can extract your remaining upper teeth and replace them with a complete removable denture. It will look and feel better than your partial denture. It will be easier to speak and eat with a complete denture. If your budget allows it, a dentist can place two or more dental implants to secure your denture in the future.

Schedule a consultation with a dentist who has advanced implant and cosmetic dentistry training. Your denture will look natural, and if you decide to get implants, you will get quality results.

The Salem, Massachusetts, dentists at Burba Dental Partners sponsor this post.

Will Dentures Change My Face?

After a two-year battle with gum disease, my periodontist and dentist recommend a lower denture. The periodontist has my gum disease under control, but I have lost so many teeth that saving the few remaining ones would weaken them. I am an active 56-year-old and concerned about how dentures will affect my facial appearance. I have seen pictures of long-term denture wearers, and their faces sag. Is a wrinkled face unavoidable with dentures? Thank you. Perry from Maryland


Thank you for your question. We understand your concerns about how dentures will affect your facial appearance.

Will Dentures Change Your Face?

When you wear dentures, facial changes can occur from missing all your teeth. But the dentures are not the source of the changes. Tooth roots stimulate the bone, so when all your teeth are missing, the bone will shrink due to lack of stimulation. The pressure from a denture resting on the jawbone makes the bone shrink faster. According to an article published by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, missing teeth cause the bone to shrink twenty-five percent in the first three months and up to fifty percent in the first six months.

How Can You Prevent Facial Changes If You Need Dentures?

You can prevent facial changes with dentures by getting dental implants to support your denture and stimulate your jawbone. Implants are artificial tooth roots that a dentist surgically places in the jawbone. The implants and your bone will fuse, and your dentist will attach a denture to them. Two implants can support a denture, but six to eight implants will give your denture better support and stimulate a wider area of your jawbone.

Will You Need Bone Grafting?

Advanced gum disease can destroy gum tissue and bone. A consultation and 3-D CT scan reveal your oral anatomy and bone structure. After reviewing the CT scan, your implant dentist will determine if you need bone grafting to support implant overdentures. Without grafting, your facial muscles will lack support, and dental implants will not last.

Schedule a consultation with a dentist with advanced implant and cosmetic dentistry training for long-lasting implants and a natural-looking smile with dentures.

Dr. Randy Burba, a Salem, Massachusetts, accredited cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post.

Will I Need Bone Grafting for Dental Implants?

I think I will need bone grafting for dental implants. I lost most of my teeth to disease and injury and probably need extractions. I’m guessing, though, because I’ve only seen my family dentist about this. Although my dentist says he can do the implants, I am not confident that he has enough experience. I am not comfortable. How will a dentist determine if I am a candidate for bone grafting? Thank you. Rochelle from Denver


Thank you for your inquiry. Your decision to get dental implants will improve your oral health. And you are wised to be cautious when choosing an implant dentist.

Will You Need Bone Grafting for Dental Implants?

You will need bone grafting for dental implants if your teeth have been missing for years and do not have enough bone volume to support implants. Your dentist must take a CT scan to measure your bone volume.

What Is Dental Implant Bone Grafting?

Dental implant bone grafting is a procedure that builds up jawbone volume. When your teeth are missing, your body takes minerals from your jawbone in those areas and uses them elsewhere. As your jawbone shrinks, it will become challenging to support dental implants.

Snap on Dentures
Snap-on denture

Whether you need implants to replace individual teeth or to support a snap-on denture, it may require bone grafting to give implants enough support. The bone grafts need to heal before your dentist places implants.

Bone sources for dental implant grafting

Bone grafting for dental implants can come from your bone—perhaps your hip or below your knee. Other bone sources included a tissue bank or artificial bone.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implant Bone Grafting?

An implant dentist will need to take x-rays and a CT scan to reveal your oral anatomy, bone volume, and bone health. But you are probably a candidate for implant bone grafting if the following is true:

  • Good oral health
  • Good overall health, including free of gum disease
  • A non-smoker

How to Find a Dentist for Implants

Look at dentists’ websites and review each doctor’s biography for post-graduate training in implant dentistry or partnership with a specialist in implant surgery.

After identifying two or three dentists who meet the qualifications, schedule consultations to discuss details about your case. You can prepare questions and take notes to compare dentists’ qualifications and whether you liked their interaction with you.

Best wishes.

The Salem, Massachusetts, dentists at Burba Dental Partners sponsor this post.

Could I Get Dental Implants and Not Dentures?

I have advanced periodontal disease and have lost seven teeth as a result. My dentist is starting to suggest dentures but I want to know if I can get dental implants instead?


Dear Avery,

illustration of a dental implant in three stages

Dental implants are always the best option in tooth replacements. In most cases, if you are in good general health you will be a candidate for dental implants. Your case is a little more complicated with your gum disease, so you will need one extra procedure.

As you can see from the image above, it is important that there is enough bone structure there for the dental implants to integrate with. This is what helps keep them stable and attached to your jawbone. Your periodontal disease has led to a loss of that bone, which is why your teeth are falling out. In order to have a successful outcome with your dental implants you will want to get your gum disease under control and then have some bone grafting to build back up the missing tooth structure.

As tooth replacement options go, dental implants are far superior to dentures. Even the best fitting dentures reduce your chewing capacity by 50%. On top of that, when your teeth are removed your body recognizes that and begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body. After ten years or so, you will no longer have enough jawbone to even retain your dentures. This is known in dental circles as facial collapse.

Implant Overdentures

Implant Overdentures
Implant Overdentures

It is way too expensive to do a one-to-one ratio of teeth to dental implant when you are talking about replacing all of your teeth. In those cases, implant overdentures are recommended. This uses between four to eight dental implants on each arch, depending on your budget, and then anchors a pair of dentures to them. This still gives you all the advantages, protection, and security of dental implants, at a fraction of the cost.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Why Does My Partial Denture Rock When I Chew?

I went directly through the lab my dentist uses to get my new partial denture. My old partial lasted eight years until I broke it. I bypassed my dentist for the new partial because the lab does a good job, and I knew it could save the lab and me some money if we cut out the middleman. Well, the partial has too much plastic backing that it is uncomfortable, and the plate is too short, so the partial rocks when I chew. The lab tried several times to fix this issue, but they told me that I needed to go through my dentist if I wanted anything different. Why would they agree to do my partial denture if they don’t want to get it right? – Thanks. Dennis W. from Indiana


Thank you for your question.

It is illegal for a lab to make a partial denture, complete denture, or any restoration without a prescription from your dentist. Although you asked the lab to make the partial denture for you to save money, they should have refused. But the lab knows the legal requirements, so they are primarily at fault.

What Causes a Partial Denture to Rock?

Partial denture for lower front teeth
A cosmetic dentist can take accurate impressions of your mouth for a denture that fits well

If the framework of a partial denture is distorted, the appliance can rock. A dentist takes an impression of your mouth, makes an accurate model of your teeth, and transmits the information to the lab to make your partial denture. Lab techs do not receive training to take impressions, so they cannot make a precisely fitting appliance without your dentist’s help.

If you want a refund, you can tell the lab that you will report the issue to the state dental board. They will probably agree to refund you. Afterward, please return to your dentist or the dentist of your choice to make a new partial denture that will fit well, be as comfortable as possible, and not rock when you chew.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post.

Will Facial Sagging from Missing Teeth Improve with New Dentures?

Will facial sagging from missing teeth improve with new dentures? I am 52 years old and missing all my teeth. I wore dentures for four years, but after a mishap, I could not afford new ones. I already can tell that my bone is shrinking and wonder if getting new dentures will improve the sagging. Hopefully, I will get some good news from you. Thank you. L. Sellers

Hello, L. Sellers,

Thank you for your question.

Will Dentures Improve Facial Sagging from Missing Teeth?

Dentures will improve facial sagging from missing teeth if you receive implant dentures. Also, if you have experienced a lot of bone shrinkage, you may need grafting to build up the bone to support your facial muscles and dental implants.

What Causes Facial Sagging When Teeth Are Missing?

When all your teeth are missing, your face will sag as your jawbone shrinks. Why does your jawbone shrink? Consider the facts:

  • Tooth roots stimulate and preserve the jawbone.
  • When your teeth are missing, jawbone stimulation stops.
  • Your body begins to resorb the bone and use the minerals from it elsewhere.
  • With less jawbone to support your facial muscles, your face starts to sag.

How Can You Prevent Facial Sagging?

You can prevent facial sagging when all your teeth are missing by supporting your dentures with dental implants. Implants are artificial tooth roots that stimulate the bone and limit shrinkage. Two to six dental implants can support a denture. A denture can snap onto two implants or screw onto four or more implants.

Snap on Dentures
Snap-on denture

So, rather than new dentures preventing facial sagging, bone grafting and implant overdentures are the solutions. But please do not shop around for the lowest cost. Cheap implants can loosen, get infected, and fail. Look for a dentist with advanced training who will use a three-dimensional CT scan to plan for and place your implants precisely.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post. Please read why our patients think we provide some of the best dental care in the Boston area.

The front teeth in my snap-on denture are too big

Concerned senior woman, perhaps because her snap-on denture teeth are too big

For more than a year, I saved for implant dentures. Snap-on dentures were the most affordable, so I found who I thought was a good dentist. The implant placement went well, and I wore temporary dentures until the healing was complete.

Twice, I told my dentist that I was concerned that the front teeth in the denture were too big, and I wanted to be sure that the permanent denture would not look the same. My dentist said that the teeth looked fine, but we could get the permanent denture the way I liked it.

After a lot of discussion about the permanent denture and a try-in, I am convinced that somehow my dentist switched back to the denture with the buck teeth. I paid too much money for a snap-on denture with buck teeth. If my dentist will not cooperate, can I ask for a refund? Thank you. Janice from New Haven CT


Thank you for your question. We are sorry that you invested your time and money into a new smile that does not complement your face. Yes, your dentist is responsible.

We suggest that you make a list of what you do and do not like about your snap-on denture. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your concerns. Ask him if he is either willing to correct what you do not like or issue a refund. And you are entitled to a refund because the denture you received does not match the agreement you had with your dentist.

Preventing Denture Teeth from Being Too Big

A cosmetic dentist will ensure your denture teeth are not too big but complement your face. The wax try-in allows your dentist to check these factors:

  • Your facial appearance and profile
  • Lip fullness
  • Your bite
  • Your speech

Although you mention that your dentist did the try-in, it seems that he was not attentive to your concerns. If you think that your dentist will not cooperate, it is best to see a cosmetic dentist for a second opinion?

Will You Need a New Denture to Replace the Teeth?

A dentist can remove your snap-on denture, drill out the teeth, and reprocess the denture. The revision will improve your smile and help your snap-on denture feel comfortable.

Even if you decide to stay with your current dentist, consider getting a second opinion and documentation of the work that a dentist must complete to correct the denture teeth. You can take the information back to your dentist to support your discussion about the issues you want him to fix.

Best wishes for a stress-free resolution.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, Massachusetts, sponsors this post. Read about how we strive to give our patients some of the best dental care in the Boston area.

How do I know which denture implants to choose?

I’ve worn full upper and lower dentures since 2003. My jawbone is shrinking, and my dentist recommends implants. But my dentist would refer me to a periodontist for the implants. I thought about implants in the past, but now that my facial appearance is changing, I am considering them more seriously. I plan to finance the work and complete payments within two years. After researching all the options for denture implants like the snap-on denture, all on 4, all on 6, or implants with bone grafts, I am confused. Then I looked at prices online and found some dental tourism practices in Mexico (not my preference), Portugal, and Costa Rica that charge 40-50% less than the U.S. for denture implants. What can help me decide with denture implants to choose? – Thank you. Karson


Thank you for choosing our office for your question. Knowing which implant denture option to choose begins with a 3-D x-ray and exam. An implant dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist would need diagnostic studies before recommending options for stabilizing your dentures. Only then can you decide on a type of implant dentures.

How Do Implant Dentures Work?

Implant dentures work by support a full arch of teeth with dental implants. You will need at least two implants to keep a denture in place. But four to six implants will increase the stability. You can get implants for an upper or a lower denture—or both.

What Determines Your Choice of Implant Denture?

Several factors can determine your choice of implant denture, including:

  • The level of stability you want
  • Your jawbone quality and volume
  • Your oral and overall health
  • Your implant dentist’s skill, experience, and offerings
  • Your budget

Your implant dentist will explain the differences between types of implant dentures including:

  • Snap-on denture
  • Mini implants
  • All-on-4 dental implants
  • Fixed implant dentures
  • Removable implant dentures

What About Dental Tourism for Implants?

Before signing up for dental tourism for implants consider a few factors:

Implant denture - available in Salem, MA from Burba Dental
  • Dental implant standards vary among countries throughout the world
  • Think about how you could verify the credentials and experience of an implant dentist in another country
  • How does the foreign dental practice handle follow-up care?
  • What will you do if you experience complications?
  • Who will restore the implants with your final denture?
  • Have you considered all the financial costs involved with dental tourism?
  • How can you verify the reputation of a dental practice in another country?

The Academy of General Dentistry published an article on dental tourism that includes Center for Disease Control (CDC) reminders about what to research before seeking dental care outside of the United States. For each country and facility that you are considering for dental care, research the following:

  • Medications
  • Infection control
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Standards by which facilities are measure

Schedule Implant Denture Consultations

Before you choose a provider or a type of implant denture, schedule consultations with at least two skilled implants dentists with post-graduate implant training. Talk openly with the dentists about your options, concerns, and thoughts about dental tourism.

Burba Dental Partners of Salem, MA sponsors this post.

Should My Dentist Refund My Money after Not Providing on Time?

I told my dentist I was moving to another state, but needed to replace my snap-on denture. In deciding whether or not to replace them now or wait until I move, I asked him how long it would take if I did it through him. He told me three weeks. That was do-able so I went forward with it. On week NINE it finally came in! But, it didn’t fit with the snap fixutres. He sort of forced it on. By the next day, I was in agony. I couldn’t even eat bread without pain. I was able to take it off, but it was not easy. I called to schedule to come in they told me my dentist was on vacation but I can see another one. I agreed. He told me the ‘holes’ were not properly done and the whole thing would need to be re-done. At this point, I am out of time. Is it unreasonable to just ask for a refund and do it at the new office? I can’t really drive back and forth for this?


Dear Lance,

Snap on Dentures

Your dentist entered into a contractual agreement with you when he said the denture would be ready in three weeks. When they weren’t, he broke that agreement. He did not just barely miss the deadline, either. He was a full six weeks late and even then it was not a usuable denture. So, yes, he should definitely return your money without any fuss. I would not let them “fix” it. You will be better served moving onto the other dentist.

Now, I say he should return your money without any fuss, but we all know that humans are sometimes unreasonable. I would start by just asking politely. If he doesn’t respond as he should, you have a few options.

First, tell him you will have to leave a review letting others know about the poor service and result you received from his care. Marketing research shows that a majority of patients check online reviews before deciding whether or not to see a specific care giver. In that same vein, you could offer to let patients know how accomodating he was when it didn’t work out the way you both hoped as a means of making him look better if he does cooperate.

Second, threaten to go to the dental board. I don’t know any dentist who is excited about the prospect of their name and practice being brought before the board.

Thirdly, if you paid through any dental insurance, you can contact the insurance company and see if they’ll help resolve it.

I am sorry this happened to you. Most people get Snap-on Dentures as a means of having more affordable dental implant options. When this is the result, it can be very discouraging. Make sure after you move, the dentist you choose to re-do these has advanced (post-doctoral) training in dental implants. These procedures are not adequately taught in dental school.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Do Dental Implants Look Better Than Dentures?

I had dentures made a few weeks ago and they look awful. My dentist insists they’re fine, but I think my old messed up teeth even looked better. I did dentures to save money. Now I’m thinking maybe if I got the dental implants instead, they’d look better. Is that true or would it just be more money for the same ugly teeth?


Dear Monica,

Implant Overdentures

I’m glad you wrote. While I think dental implants are a good change. It is not for the reasons you would think. Whether or not your new smile looks beautiful or even just natural does not depend on whether you had dentures versus dental implants. The thing that makes the biggest difference is the cosmetic skills of the dentist doing your procedure. You could have a stunning smile with dentures and an ugly one with implants or vice-versa.

What you need is to find a skilled cosmetic dentist. The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited. I would start there. While you could just have dentures re-made more beautifully if you can at all afford dental implants I am going to highly suggest you get them. There are serious long-term consequences to dentures that I hope your dentist warned you about.

The Danger of Dentures

When your teeth were removed, you body recognized that you no longer had any tooth roots in your jawbone. In an effort to be as efficient as possible with your body’s resources, it immediately began to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body where it perceived they would be more useful. While an excellent method of resource conservation it will result in your jawbone shrinking.

After about ten years, your jawbone will shrink so much that your appearance will be aged by decades. Even worse, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to retain your dentures, leaving you without a way to chew your food.

The way to prevent this is by getting implant overdentures. This takes between four to eight dental implants and anchors a denture to them. The dental implants serve as prosthetic tooth roots and signal to your body that you have teeth and need the minerals in order to retain your jaw.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.