Category Archives: Affordable Dentistry

Is it Too Late for a Palateless Denture?

I have worn dentures for seven years and am ready to remove the palate from my denture. I wouldn’t say I like the hard palate of the denture against the roof of my mouth. It feels like a mouth full of plastic. I am not ungrateful. My dentist reminds me that it is better to have dentures than no teeth at all. If I must wear dentures, maybe there is a way to make them more comfortable. My dentist needs to be more helpful, which leads to the question, why is he still my dentist? Long story. I would like to know if dentures exist with a soft palate and if it’s too late because I’ve worn dentures for so long. Thank you. Ethel from Decatur, GA


The palate of a complete denture is firm to fit well and remain stable when you chew. When “soft” refers to a denture, it means relining (reshaping) the denture with soft materials.

Facts about a soft denture reline:

  • As the shape of your ridge shrinks or changes shape due to missing teeth, a reline helps your denture fit more snugly
  • It resurfaces the upper portion of the denture that touches the roof of your mouth and gums
  • It prevents the denture from rubbing on your gums and making them sore

What Is a Palateless Denture?

A palateless denture is an implant denture that does not cover the roof of your mouth. Instead, dental implants support the arch of denture teeth.

Implant dentures can relieve the discomfort of a hard denture palate.

  • Placing dental implants for a denture – An implant dentist or an oral surgeon can place as few as two implants in your jawbone to support your denture, making them more affordable for many dental patients. However, four to six implants provide maximum stability.
  • Improving denture comfort – Although implant dentures cost more money than completely removable dentures, they restore your chewing efficiency and make you feel more like your own teeth.
  • Preserving jawbone – Dental implants stimulate your jawbone and help prevent facial collapse.

You can schedule an appointment with an implant dentist to discuss your options. It’s not too late, even if you need a bone graft in areas of low bone volume to stabilize dental implants.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.

I Can’t Afford a Replacement Tooth After Extraction

My right bottom first molar is severely infected and decayed. I need a root canal or extraction, but my second molar on that same side is missing. If I get an extraction, will a snap-on smile be less expensive than a dental crown while hiding the missing tooth? – Thanks. Gracie


We understand your concerns about the cost of tooth replacement. Hopefully, the following information will help you understand what’s best fo your oral health.

Snap-On Smile After Tooth Extraction?

A Snap-on Smile is the worst option for concealing a missing tooth after extraction. Its purpose is to make your smile look better for a special occasion, but it does not look good. And it is not strong enough to function as a tooth replacement for a molar. If you wear a Snap-On Smile daily, it will wear out quickly.

Effects of Extracting a First Molar When the Second Is Missing

You mentioned that you already lost your second molar. If your dentist extracts the first molar, you will have no molars on the right side.

  • Chewing – How will you chew without molar teeth unless you stick to a soft diet?
  • Unstable oral appliance – Without a tooth behind your first molar, even a partial denture will not be stable because it needs to clasp adjacent teeth for stability. It’s like a table with legs only in the middle and one end. The table’s weight will make it fall toward the end, which has no support. An oral appliance will add twisting force to the supporting teeth and weaken them.
  • Tooth loss – Early tooth loss will cause your teeth to shift. And although orthodontic treatment could realign your teeth, you would also need dental implants with many missing teeth.

Root Canal Treatment to Save a First Molar

Root canal treatment saves your natural tooth, avoids an uncomfortable oral appliance that will not have enough support, and saves the expense of extraction and a dental implant.

Ultimately, a dentist will examine and x-ray your teeth before explaining your treatment options. If saving your natural teeth is an option, we recommend doing so. Ask the dental office about making dental treatment affordable with options that may include payment plans or completing dental work in phases if possible.

Dr. Miranda Lacy, a Plano, Texas dentist, sponsors this post.

How Can I Get a Cheap Smile Makeover that Looks Good?

How can I get a cheap smile makeover for chipped and blotchy teeth that looks good? I am deciding between online veneers for my teeth or dental bonding veneers. I wanted porcelain veneers from a dentist, but I had two consultations and got quotes of almost $2,000 per veneer. My dentist also gave me the alternative of bonding on my eight front teeth for $750. I don’t want to pick the cheapest option and have it fall off my teeth, but how do I decide if I’m on a budget? – Thanks. Miguel


We will explain the differences between dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and online veneers.

How Can You Get a Cheap Smile Makeover That Looks Good?

A smile makeover that looks good and is healthy for your teeth will not be not cheap. However, if you focus on cost, you can find a dentist for dental bonding or porcelain veneers, but you increase the chances of the work looking fake and not lasting. You will need to have the cosmetic dentistry work redone, costing you even more money.

Composite Veneers vs. Porcelain Veneers

An advanced dentist can rejuvenate chipped, blotchy teeth with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. We explain the differences. The costs depend on several factors, including the condition of your teeth, where you live in the U.S., and the cosmetic dentist’s experience and fees.

Composite veneers

You can expect the following with dental

  • Materials: Dental resin (plastic) and glass
  • Process: Layering selected composite by hand on each tooth, and then sharpening, hardening, and polishing it
  • Longevity: Five to ten years, depending on the quality and how well you take care of it
  • Stain resistance: It is porous and absorbs stains with time
  • Tooth preparation: Lightly etching the tooth enamel
  • Cost per tooth: $400 to $700 or more

Porcelain veneers

  • Materials: Dental porcelain
  • Process: Taking impressions of your teeth to make custom veneers and bond them to the fronts of the affected teeth
  • Longevity: Eight to 15 years or more for high-quality veneers
  • Stain resistance: Resists stains
  • Tooth preparation: May require removing tiny amounts of tooth enamel for a precise fit
  • Cost per tooth: $1,500 to $4,500

What About Online Veneers?

When you buy veneers online, they are one tray that fits over your teeth. Although you will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab to process the veneers, they are not a long-term solution. Online veneers cover your teeth and wear out quickly if you wear them daily. They will not improve the flaws in your teeth or restore your oral health.

Schedule a consultation with at least two cosmetic dentists to discuss your options. Be prepared to invest in quality cosmetic dentistry that lasts. You can ask the dentists about payment plan options to make care more affordable.

Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

Why Does the Cost of Porcelain Veneers Vary So Much?

I don’t understand why the cost of porcelain veneers varies so much. I did my homework and had consultations with dentists for 8 porcelain veneers. One dentist quoted $1200 for each porcelain veneer, and another quoted $3000. Why the vast difference? I also saw a more affordable dental special for $800. How do I know which one to go with? Thanks, Becky


Thank you for contacting Dr. Lacy’s office.

Why Does the Cost of Porcelain Veneers Vary?

The cost of porcelain veneers varies for several reasons, including the following:

Photo of a single porcelain veneers, from affordable Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Choose quality porcelain veneers
  • Where you live in the country – As the cost of living varies in different states and cities, so does the cost of goods and services, including dental fees.
  • Type of porcelain veneers – The porcelain veneer type and quality a dentist uses can affect the cost. High-quality veneers last 20 years or more if you and a skilled cosmetic dentist maintain them well. No-prep veneers may cost less than veneers with a custom fit and color that a master ceramist crafts.
  • The dentist’s skill and experience – A cosmetic dentist with advanced training and skills will have higher fees than a dentist with little experience. The costs will be higher if the dentist uses a laboratory specializing in beautiful, customized porcelain veneers instead of a discount laboratory. But the results will be superior to discount veneers.

A comparable illustration is a new car. The cost depends on your budget and the features you want. You can get an economy car, a mid-range car, or a luxury car. Your location, budget, wants, needs, and the manufacturer determine the cost of the vehicle.

How Can You Choose a Dentist for Porcelain Veneers?

A reasonably fair way to compare the cost of veneers is to compare dentists with similar skills and experience, who practice in the same state, and who provide the same types of veneers. Ask to see patients’ before-and-after cases of veneers. Even then, you must carefully research the results you can expect.

Many dentists offer affordable financing or payment plans to help you pay for quality care.

Will I Need Another Root Canal?

Hi. Will you please let me know if it sounds like I need another root canal? In 2017, a dentist completed a root canal on my upper left molar. The tooth started occasionally hurting in the spring, but it has hurt daily since August. Last week it got worse, so I took ibuprofen. Do I need to see a dentist within the next week or two, or can it wait? I am supposed to travel at the end of next week. I don’t want this to interfere with my travel plans, but I am concerned about what can happen if the treatment extends beyond my departure date. Thank you. Jessica from Toledo, OH


Thank you for your question. Although Dr. Lacy would need to examine and x-ray your tooth for an accurate diagnosis, we can explain what may be happening.

What Should You Do If You Feel Pain in a Root Canal Tooth?

If you feel pain in a root canal tooth, it is likely a symptom of root canal failure. Infection is usually the source of most toothaches, including a tooth that had root canal treatment. Only a dentist can confirm the status of your tooth with an exam and x-rays.

What Causes Root Canal Failure?

Root canal failure can occur if any infected tissue remains in a tooth. Your tooth may feel better at first, but the infection will linger. Channels in a tooth can be curvy or challenging to see, so a dentist may miss them or fail to clean them out thoroughly. Unless a dentist has advanced training and instruments for challenging cases, they may miss some of the infection. Most dentists refer challenging issues to an endodontist (root canal specialist).

How Is Root Canal Failure Treated?

A dentist or endodontist treats root canal failure with repeat root canal treatment. After taking an x-ray of the tooth, the dentist or endodontist can do the following:

  • Identify the area of infection
  • Use specialized tools to remove it
  • Sanitize the tooth
  • Fill it with a root canal filler material

A dentist will take impressions of the tooth to create a custom crown to protect it because root canal therapy weakens a tooth. Endodontists may perform root canal surgery (apicoectomy). An apicoectomy accesses the root tip through your bone and removes the infection.

Schedule an Appointment for an Exam

If you are concerned about the timing of treatment and whether you can complete it before traveling, seeing a specialist will help you get an accurate diagnosis. An endodontist’s skill and instruments will reduce the risk of needing a third root canal procedure. Search online for a board-certified endodontist and schedule an appointment soon.

This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Call her office to learn more about financial arrangements and how she makes dental care affordable.


My Snap-On Denture Teeth Are Too Big


We understand your disappointment with trying to stabilize your denture and getting results that detract from your smile. Your dentist is responsible for correcting the issue or giving you a refund. You can start with a list of what you do and do not like about your snap-on denture and approach your dentist another time with your request. Some patients succeed by reporting the issue to the state dental board or consulting with an attorney.

Why Causes Denture Teeth to Be Too Large?

Your denture teeth can be too large if your dentist does not take impressions correctly or makes mistakes with the try-in of a wax model of your denture. During the try-in, your dentist should check how the denture affects these aspects:

  • Your facial appearance
  • The fullness of your lips
  • Your bite
  • Your speech

Will You Need a New Denture to Replace the Teeth?

Whether you need a new denture to replace the teeth that are too large depends on the condition and quality of your denture. If your dentist’s cost is 40% less than other dentists, he may have sacrificed quality for the price. A skilled cosmetic dentist may be able to drill out the denture teeth of a quality denture and make the corrections. Otherwise, you may need a new denture. Either way, your denture will look and feel better, and you will feel more confident about your appearance and smile.

Even if you decide to keep your current dentist and give him another chance, consider getting a second opinion from an advanced cosmetic dentist. You can take the second opinion dentist’s documentation to your dentist to support your concerns and the corrections needed. Speak with the advanced cosmetic dentist about how to make treatment affordable if you need a new snap-on denture.

Best wishes for your dentist’s cooperation and a reasonable resolution.

Plano, Texas, dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.



Can I Trade in My Partial Denture to Save Money on Dental Implants?

My partial denture annoys me, and I wonder if there is somewhere I could trade it in for dental implants and save money. I knew the partial would be uncomfortable, but it’s almost unbearable. It is nearly three years old, but it is almost like new. It is so painful that I only wear it when I leave home. The metal clasps on them keep digging into my gums.

I’ve returned to my dentist three times for adjustments, but the denture still hurts in the same place. I wear the partial for two missing teeth. I wonder if the metal part of the partial denture can be saved or if it has value as a trade-in. What are my options? Also, is there anything I can do to adjust the partial myself without breaking it? Thanks. – Ken from Nashville


Dental implants are the most effective way to replace missing teeth, but unfortunately, a three-year-old partial denture would not have trade-in value. You will not find a dentist who will discount dental implants because you have turned in your uncomfortable partial denture. Still, your situation is not hopeless. You have several options:

  • Schedule an appointment for a second opinion to see if a dentist can adjust your partial denture to increase comfort until you can get dental implants.
  • Schedule a consultation with an implant dentist and ask about the dentist’s financial arrangements for making implants affordable for you.
  • Consider a dental bridge as an alternative if dental implants are not within your budget.

Do not try to adjust your partial denture. You can damage it and cause more harm than good. If you alter a partial denture too much, you will not be able to wear it. You will need a new one or be obligated to choose an alternative.

We suggest finding two experienced implant dentists and scheduling consultations with them. You will get more information on how implants can benefit your case, the cost, and how to get them affordably without sacrificing quality and getting cheap implants that do not last.

This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

My gums are bleeding and I have dental anxiety

My gums bleed when I brush my teeth. I have dental anxiety and am afraid that I know I have gum disease because of canceling dental appointments for the past three years. Things are probably worse than they would usually be because I am diabetic. Now I will need sedation and deep cleanings. The thought of it is increasing my anxiety because I already have too many medical bills. How long can I expect treatment for gum disease to last? Ramón from TN


Thank you for your question. Dr. Lacy would need to examine your teeth and gums and take x-rays to determine the extent of your gum disease.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without diabetes for these reasons:

  • High glucose levels can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.
  •  Saliva flow in your mouth decreases when you have diabetes, causing bacteria-producing acid to linger in your mouth.
  • Germs in your mouth will travel into your bloodstream. And your body’s immune response can unleash molecules that can increase blood sugar levels.

How Gum Disease Progresses

Gingivitis, or the beginning stage of gum disease, can cause your gums to swell and bleed. It can lead to periodontitis, or advanced gum disease and cause your teeth to loosen. It can even spread to the jawbone.

  • Your dentist can check your teeth and gums more frequently.
  • Your hygienist can perform regular deep cleanings to remove plaque from your gum pockets.
  • Your dentist may prescribe fluoride rinse or prescription toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • You may need advanced care from a periodontist (gum specialist).

How Long Will Gum Disease Treatment Take?

How long gum disease treatment takes depends on its severity and how your dentist or periodontist must treat it. You may need only a few weeks of treatment, or treatment can be spread out over a few months. After an examination, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan for you.

Getting Gum Disease Treatment If You Have Dental Anxiety

If you have dental anxiety, your dentist can use sedation to help you relax during gum disease treatment. Depending on your anxiety level and the care you need, your dentist will explain the options. You can ask our dentist about financing options to help you pay for dental care over time.

This post is sponsored by Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Will My Chipped Tooth Grow Back?

My girlfriend keeps nagging me about a chipped tooth that happened a few weeks ago. I hurt when it first happened but now only every now and then does it bother me. I think she is embarrassed by it, but it doesn’t bother me. Is this something that a dentist needs to fix, or can I leave it alone and save the money for something else?  Will a chipped tooth grow back? Thanks. Logan from SC

Logan – Thanks for choosing our office for your question.

Will a Chipped Tooth Grow Back?

A chipped tooth will not grow back. Although tooth enamel is the body’s most rigid tissue, it is not living. So, your tooth will not repair itself.

Do You Need to Have a Chipped Tooth Fixed?

Whether you need to have a chipped tooth fixed depends on the extent of the damage. A chipped tooth can worsen. Stress on the tooth from biting hard food can cause further damage. It is best to have your tooth examined by a dentist to determine if internal damage to the tooth needs treatment.

Chipped tooth before-and-after photos
Dental bonding repairs chipped teeth seamlessly

If there is no internal damage to the tooth and it is structurally sound, a dentist can repair it with dental bonding. Cosmetic dentists apply dental bonding by hand to fill in the missing space seamlessly. An experienced cosmetic dentist can manipulate bonding to match the color and translucence of your natural tooth. A dentist can complete the treatment in one visit—usually in less than an hour.

Although you are not concerned about the appearance of your tooth, at least have it examined to ensure that the damage is only cosmetic. You can find a cosmetic dentist willing to make treatment affordable for you.

Plano, Texas, female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

I think my root canal filling is coming out

Man holding the side of his face - portraying need for an affordable dentist

In 2007, I had an injury that impacted my mouth. My dentist did root canals on two teeth. Above five years ago, the crown broke off one tooth and left a hole in the tooth, which the dentist patched with a filling. I haven’t seen a dentist in several years, but now the tooth hurts. When I eat, it is painful, and the pain travels up my cheek into my eye. The tooth doesn’t feel smooth anymore when I run my tongue over it. I think the cement is coming off. I cannot afford a new crown, but it seems that I need to see a dentist. Are antibiotics an option for delaying a new crown? Thank you. Manny T from Dallas


Thank you for your question.

 Dr. Lacy would need to examine your tooth and an x-ray for an accurate diagnosis. But your description sounds like the tooth is infected. So, yes, see a dentist right away.

Painful Tooth with a Root Canal Filling

An exposed root canal filling allows saliva to enter and wash out the dental cement, which keeps the filling material in place and seals out bacteria. Your tooth can become reinfected. Pain or swelling in your cheek or upper jaw can spread to your eye.

Although antibiotics can control the infection, they will not remove it. And taking antibiotics for an extended period can result in an antibiotic-resistant infection. Only repeat root canal treatment can remove the infection. The longer you wait, the more the infection will spread.

A dentist will examine your tooth to determine if a temporary filling is enough to preserve it or if getting a crown is the best protection.

What If You Cannot Afford a Dental Crown?

If you cannot afford a dental crown, talk with your dentist about ways to receive the treatment you need. Many dentists offer financing or payment plans. Keep in mind that if your dentist recommends a crown to protect your tooth and prevent further infection, delaying the crown can lead to more costly problems.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.