A Guide to Broken Dentures
Patients with conventional dentures will say that chewing and talking can already be a difficult task. If you have broken dentures, these tasks can be even more challenging, if not impossible. As with so many things in life, your dentures have probably broken at the most inopportune times. No matter what, you will want you’re dentures repaired as quickly as possible.
Below we will explore why and how dentures break. We will discuss repair options and replacement options that would enable you to avoid conventional dentures altogether.
Why do dentures break?
There are many reasons for broken dentures. In fact, they often break because they simply don’t fit correctly. Dentures need to be replaced regularly to accommodate your changing facial structure. Because there are no longer tooth roots in your jaw, the bone that once supported your teeth will begin to disintegrate and your jaw and facial structure will change. Seven years is usually the maximum amount of time you should keep a set of dentures. When dentures do not fit correctly, they are much more prone to breaking.
Dentures also break because there is nothing stronger than your natural teeth. Dentures are made from acrylic, metal, or a combination of the two and, unfortunately, deteriorate over time. Through constant handling, talking, chewing, etc. combined with being in a moist environment, the metal or acrylic materials simply break down and become more susceptible to stain, wear, cracks, and breaking.
How easy are dentures to repair?
The ease of the repair really depends on the severity of the damage on your broken dentures. While a cracked denture can usually be repaired by bonding it back together, a broken denture can be more challenging. It is possible to repair a broken denture, but the strength of the denture will be compromised. An impression of your mouth may need to be taken to repair the denture. The impression may also be used to make a new denture should yours be beyond repair.
Cracked teeth or tooth loss in a denture can usually be repaired by a dental laboratory. They can match the existing shape and shade of the surrounding teeth so it blends in flawlessly. In the case of a small chip, your dentist may be able to smooth it out in the dental office without having to send it to the lab. However, this is dependent on the size of the chip and where it is located on the denture.
Where can I get dentures repaired?
It is a good idea to visit your dentist directly for any concerns you have regarding the fit or damage done to your dentures. When dentures are made, impressions are taken of your mouth, and sent to a dental laboratory where the denture fabrication is created.
If you have broken dentures, going to your dentist will be the first step to determining what needs to be done and how long it will take. A dentist will be well equipped to advise you on the course of treatment. They also have connections with specific labs that they know do good work and have a quick turnaround. Once a course of treatment is determined, the doctor will adjust the denture in the office or call the lab to have them pick up your case. Depending on the severity of your broken dentures, sometimes labs can get the denture back by the end of the day or by the next day.
Most repair options, unfortunately, require you to be without your denture. Because of this, dentists and labs work together closely to get it back to the patient as soon as possible. Because Lincoln Family Dentistry offers emergency dental care and work with labs right here in Lincoln, Nebraska, we can assure you that we will get your denture back to you as timely as possible.
Can I repair my dentures myself?
It is not recommended that you try to repair your broken dentures yourself. While we understand it may seem like “desperate times call for desperate measures”, you could actually do more harm to your denture, even if you use an at home denture repair kit.
Lincoln Family Dentistry offers emergency dental care. We make sure to allow time in our day to see emergency dental patients. Same day or next day appointments are available, as well as an emergency number if it is after hours. We would much rather a patient call with a broken dentures emergency, than try to repair it at home and end up having to wait longer for the damage to be fixed by the lab.
How should I care for my dentures?
It is important to care for dentures properly at home. Handling them with care and keeping them in tip top shape will help you get the most out of the denture you have.
Remove your dentures carefully over a safe area. Dropping your denture on the tile floor or into an empty sink is a likely way to break it. An excellent solution would be to remove the denture over a soft area like a rug, or fill your sink with water and lean over it as you remove your denture.
The other crucial step in caring for your denture is to keep it clean. This is important not only for the denture itself, but also for the health of your mouth! Without teeth, it is still imperative to have a good oral hygiene routine to prevent infection or the development of a fungus such as thrush. Use a soft bristled tooth brush with tooth paste to clean any remaining natural teeth. Use a toothbrush or gauze to clean your tongue, palate, and gums. Use a denture cleaner to clean your dentures to rid them of bacteria. Make sure you do not sleep with your dentures in. Your palate needs time to breathe without your denture in place.
Are there any alternatives to conventional dentures?
Yes! Gone are the days that conventional dentures are the only solution to replacing your natural teeth. Even if you have had conventional dentures in the past, you may be eligible for another option that can help you smile more and feel confident when eating and talking.
An implant retained denture is an excellent option available to patients today. An implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. When there is just one tooth to be replaced, an implant is placed and once it has healed nicely into the bone, your dentist will cement a beautiful, natural looking crown over the top of it. It functions as a natural tooth would and in most cases, will never have to be replaced!
For a patient desiring implant retained dentures, multiple implants are placed in the mouth by an oral surgeon. You will wear temporary dentures while you wait for the implants to heal and your permanent dentures to be fabricated by the dental laboratory. Once the oral surgeon sees that the implants have integrated well into your bone, the permanent implant dentures will be secured over the top of your implants by your dentist. There are two options available to you: snap in dentures and permanently fixed dentures. Snap in dentures can be removed. They still fit much more securely than conventional dentures and can actually use your current dentures, with a few small modifications. Permanent fixed implant dentures cannot be removed and give you the most security when eating, speaking, and smiling.
Check out the “What is a flexible partial denture” video