My dentist says I am allergic to the metal in my partial denture plate. She says my only option is to replace it with a $4,200 dental bridge. I got the partial last November to replace my bottom right first and second premolars. My tongue and beneath my tongue started burning within a few days. My lips burn, too. I told my dentist that I could not afford a dental bridge, so she gave me a lidocaine hydrochloride solution to rinse my mouth. It only numbs my mouth for 15 to 20 minutes, and the burning returns. I think that her solution is an insult. Is a bridge my only alternative? – Thanks. Gianna from TX
A lidocaine hydrochloride rinse does not resolve your concerns. Your dentist’s offer of a dental bride as the only solution to your reaction to a metal-based partial denture is unacceptable.
What Are the Alternatives to a Metal-Based Partial Denture?
Acrylic or thermoplastic resin partial dentures are alternatives to a denture with a metal base. Valplast partial dentures are thermoplastic resin dentures and are more durable and flexible than acrylic. We cannot find reports of allergic reactions or sensitivities to thermoplastic resin, but we cannot say that the material is reaction-free.
Get Allergy Testing for Dental Materials
We suggest seeing an allergist for testing to determine which metals provoke a reaction and whether you may react to acrylic or thermoplastic resin. You can ask your dentist or another dentist for a list of the materials in an acrylic or thermoplastic resin denture to determine your sensitivities. If you know what causes a reaction, you can avoid those dental materials.
What Metals in a Partial Denture Can Cause a Reaction?
Nickel is a common allergen. Some people may react to oral appliances that contain cobalt, copper, or chromium. As mentioned, allergy testing is essential to help you identify and avoid potential triggers.
Should You Get a Fixed Dental Bridge or a Partial Denture?
Although a fixed dental bridge is a reliable alternative to a partial denture, don’t accept a bridge if you cannot afford it. A dental implant is the most effective way to replace a missing tooth, but it is also the most expensive option. A dentist who cares about your well-being and respects your preferences and decisions about what you can afford will explain your treatment options for dentures and the costs.
After your allergy testing, consider getting a second opinion from a skilled dentist to discuss your tooth replacement options. Read our related post about partial denture allergies.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana, accredited cosmetic dentist and Academy of General Dentistry Fellow, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Finley and his team do to provide some of the best dental care in Monroe.