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FAQ:  Denture Partials



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Partials FAQ Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Drill holes in teeth for partials? My Dentist is supposed to be taking impressions for my partial.

They did the first impression and the second time I went for my next impression, my dentist drilled holes in my teeth to anchor my partial.

Then she said I needed to have some cavities filled before she could finish my partial. I thought this was unusual. I am afraid that these holes will result in decay if she waits to finish my partial.

Is that normal to drill holes in teeth?

Also she did an exam but no xtays were taken and she told me I have 8 cavities. If they are so small how can she tell by sight without xrays?

I am concerned about I have never had this many cavities. Can medicine you take regulary cause your teeth to decay? ....Visitor from OH

Answer:
It has been acceptable to drill the teeth to make rests for the metal partials.

The rests should be in the outer hard enamel part of the teeth, so this shouldn't hurt them.

I have not used metal partials in many years; just don't like them. I have used Valplast for many years, and now use something called Sunflex.

The Valplast partials are made of a flexible, gum colored base with no metal and there is no need to make rests on the teeth.

Sunflex is made of nylon, again with no metal rests. I find that the fit is more comfortable, I don't have to cut the teeth, and they don't put any pressure on the remaining teeth like metal partials can do.

I don't know how far along you are with paying for the partial, but assume that the final impression has not been made, so you may be able to request something different. The rests should be OK like they are, or can be restored with white filling material.

About the cavities, I use x-rays and a laser cavity detector to confirm decay. This is called Diagnodent and is very accurate. You may want to seek another opinion before you go further with the partial.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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