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by Abigail Van Buren

Refusal to Replace Missing Tooth Eats at Man's Partner

DEAR ABBY: My partner recently lost one of his lateral incisors. He got a prosthetic tooth to wear until he gets an implant, which looks fine if he wears it. The problem is, it isn't comfortable. He can't eat with it, and he often prefers to leave it out. He also does this at home.

We live in a major metropolitan city. Having missing teeth is just not acceptable. Aside from it being bad for his dental health, he looks like a jack-o'-lantern when he smiles, which is extremely unattractive. I feel it's socially and professionally detrimental. Every time I broach the subject of moving forward with the implant, he responds with fierce opposition, which inevitably ends in an argument. Any advice? -- THAT'S THE "TOOTH" IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR TOOTH: It would be helpful to understand why your partner fiercely opposes moving forward with the implant. Is he afraid it will be painful? Is the problem that he doesn't have the money? If it's the former, he should talk to his dentist so his fears can be allayed. If it's the latter, perhaps he can talk to the dentist about payment options, or you can help him pay for the implant.

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