Many patients find dentures excellent replacements for natural teeth. Over time, however, they may need to be adjusted or remade from normal wear. Dental professionals advise patients against fixing dentures themselves because they could damage the denture beyond repair.
At Osuna Dental Care: Chris Y. Kim DDS we can help you with fixing dentures in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and dentures can get damaged. This may not only be uncomfortable but also cause injury to your mouth. We may be able to help. Call us at (505) 884-1989 to schedule an appointment today.
How Dentures Get Damaged
Though dentures will last for many years, some damage is inevitable and occurs gradually with regular wear. The mouth and jaw change over time which can cause dentures to fit poorly. It is possible for improper fit to damage dentures, as misalignment may cause undue stress to the devices when the patient bites down.
Furthermore, metal clasps, more common in dental bridges, can come loose or break off. Some dentures get damaged suddenly from an impact. The American Dental Association recommends dentures be evaluated by a professional when the prosthetic teeth are cracked, broken, or missing.
Patients may find it beneficial to use denture adhesive to help get used to dentures. Dentures should be checked for fit when they become loose and need more adhesive to stabilize. If dentures fall out, the impact could damage and crack them.
“The mouth and jaw change over time, which can cause dentures to fit poorly.”
Tips To Care For Dentures
As fragile items, dentures must be adequately taken care of to prevent damage. Good habits increase the longevity of dentures and bridges. The American College of Prosthodontists recommends treating dentures like fine china. Patients should follow these guidelines to take care of dentures:
- When washing dentures, hold them over a folded towel or basin of water. If dentures get dropped, it will soften the impact
- Use denture brushes and cleaning products approved by the ADA
- Soak dentures in a solution or jaw of water when not being worn. Otherwise, they run the risk of being dried out
- Refrain from using hot water to clean dentures. Hot or boiling water can warp dentures
- Clean your dentures every day. Patients should brush their gums, tongue, and palate to remove plaque before inserting dentures
- Use adhesive to help dentures remain stable in the mouth
- Get dentures adjusted when the fit seems off. Dentures that fit correctly are less likely to fall out
- Keep dentures away from pets and children
“Good habits increase the longevity of dentures and bridges.”
What To Do When Dentures Get Damaged
Accidents still happen despite all precautions. If dentures are damaged, the patient should make an appointment with a dental professional for repairs or adjustments. Fortunately, there are proactive steps patients can take until they can get to the dentist:
- If the dentures break, gather all of the wires and parts to take to the dentist’s office
- Use dental wax as a temporary barrier if wires are rubbing against the gums
- Do not continue wearing damaged dentures. Soak the dentures to keep them moist
- Place the dentures in the case to transport them to the dentist’s office
- Do not use over-the-counter glues. Not all such products have been approved for human use
The amount of time it takes to fix dentures depends on many factors. If the dentures cannot be repaired immediately, patients may want to discuss other options with their dentist while waiting for their repair. Some patients have a spare set of dentures just in case the regular set gets damaged.
“Fortunately, there are still proactive steps patients can take until they can get to the dentist.”
Fixing Dentures at Home
Most dentists advise against patients fixing their own dentures at home. Patients should approach these repairs with caution and only use them as short-term solutions. The patient risks damaging the dentures further or introducing unsafe chemicals into the mouth. The best course of action is for the patient to call our team right away for advice on a temporary fix while waiting to see the dentist.
Just as one should never use over-the-counter glues on dentures, The American College of Prosthodontists does not recommend home repair kits for denture repair. However, if a patient chooses to use a home repair kit, they should make sure that it is FDA-approved for dental use. Make an appointment to see our team as soon as possible, as these kits can only offer temporary solutions.
“The American College of Prosthodontists does not recommend home repair kits for denture repair.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I repair my own dentures?
A. You may be able to address minor, temporary fixes to your dentures, but only dental professionals can tackle any significant issues. Trying to fix dentures yourself can only damage them further. It is safer and more affordable to bring your dentures to our office.
Q. What can I do if a tooth falls out of my dentures?
A. If you lose a tooth from the denture, try to save the tooth. Make an appointment with a prosthodontist for repairs. If you cannot find the tooth, there is no need to panic. The denture lab that offers repairs will typically have replacement teeth.
Q. What do I do if I damage my dentures?
A. Do not wear damaged dentures. Call your dentist and ask for an appointment to fix your dentures. Damaged dentures are uncomfortable and can harm your oral health.
Q. Can I use superglue on my dentures?
A. Do not use any non-ADA approved glue to fix your dentures, even if it is just temporary. The bond will not hold well, and it is not safe to have these glues in your mouth. Plus, some types of superglue are water-soluble, which means that saliva will dissolve the bond.
Q. Why do dentures become warped or cracked?
A. Dentures lose their shape over time when they dry out. They may also crack after being dropped onto a hard surface. Placing dentures in hot water can cause them to warp. When dentures do not fit, contact a professional.
Q. How long should my dentures last?
A. When dentures are adequately taken care of, a set can last up to 10 years. The American College of Prosthodontists recommends getting your dentures evaluated when the prosthesis is over five years old. If the prosthetic teeth are cracked, broken, or missing, instead of fixing dentures, replacement may be necessary.