What Happens If My Denture Breaks? - What to Do Next
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Table of Contents
- Different Types of Denture Fractures
- What Do You Do? Step by Step
- Repair Options - Home Repair Kits, Denture Replacement
- Potential Complications with Using Broken Dentures
- Break Prevention Tips
- More Preventative Ideas
- When to Talk to Your Doctor
Your dentures can break for various reasons, such as from the force of a hard bite or from gradual wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, fractured dentures may cause distress if they impact essential mouth functions, especially eating and speaking.
You should get professional help as soon as possible to minimize interruptions to your day-to-day living. A prosthodontist or denturist can fix the fractures and provide you with well-fitting dentures to restore your comfort and confidence.
Here’s a look at the critical steps to take when you discover you have damaged dentures, no matter what type of denture you have and what type of fracture you experienced.
Different Types of Denture Fractures
A denture can break in different ways that make it uncomfortable or unfit to wear. Common fractures include:
- A cracked or chipped prosthetic tooth (or more)
- A prosthetic tooth (or more) falls out of the acrylic denture base
- Denture base comes apart along the midline
- Denture breaks into multiple fragments
What Do You Do? Step by Step
Taking the proper steps can prevent complications related to wearing damaged or poorly repaired dentures.
Here’s what to do once you’ve noticed damage on your removable dentures:
- Stop wearing the dentures: It may be tempting to continue wearing broken dentures, especially if the fractured pieces are only partially separated. However, this can exacerbate the cracking and cause additional complications in your mouth.
- Gather the pieces: Put the separated fragments together. Your denturist can later assess the damage and determine what’s salvageable and what requires replacement.
- Call your denturist/dentist: You should speak with your dentist or the prosthodontist who made your dentures for advice on what to do next.
Repair Options - Home Repair Kits, Denture Replacement
You can either repair your broken dentures at home or visit your denturist for a professional fix or replacement.
When to See Your Denturist for Denture Repair
You should see your dentist, denturist or prosthodontist get the best denture repair results. They have the needed training, experience and laboratory equipment to produce well-fitting artificial teeth.
Professional dental solutions can help prevent chewing difficulty, sore spots and other oral complications associated with ill-fitting or poorly repaired dentures. Repair involves:
- Assessing the damage to determine the appropriate remedy
- Repairing by stabilizing the fracture fragments using suitable adhesives, wire placement, etc.
- Adjusting the denture after the repair to ensure a proper fit
- Assessing whether a new denture is needed
You may need new dentures if:
- Your old dentures fit too loosely because of significant gradual changes in your gum/jawbone
- The denture fractures are severe and irreparable
- You have already had more than one or two denture repairs
When to Use a Home Repair Kit
There are various models of home repair kits approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for fractured dentures. However, these shouldn’t be your go-to solution when you have a problem with your artificial dentures.
The FDA cautions that such products are only approved for emergency use. As such, you can attempt DIY denture repair only when professional reconstruction isn’t immediately available.
Seek professional dentures repair after your emergency DIY intervention
According to these organizations, long-term DIY repair of damaged dentures can cause various oral complications. These include:
- Faster loss of jawbone
- Persistent irritation and sores
Additionally, the ADA warns of the following problems from trying to fix or adjust your fractured dentures at home:
- You may exacerbate the existing fractures beyond repair
- Some over-the-counter adhesives used to stick denture fragments together can harm your health
- Complicated repairs may require special equipment not available with home repair kits
Over the long run, it’s safer and more economical to entrust denture repair to your dentist instead of attempting a quick at home.
Potential Complications with Using Broken Dentures
You shouldn’t wear broken dentures. They’re usually unstable and can cause various complications in your mouth, such as:
- Discomfort (irritation)
- Mouth Sores
- Inflammation of soft tissue
- Speech difficulty
- Chewing issues, which can impact your overall health
Break Prevention Tips
You can prevent damage by taking good care of your dentures and adopting the following measures:
1. Get high-quality dentures from a licensed denturist
The use of low-quality materials and poor clinical design can lead to denture fracture. To avoid these issues, visit a qualified denturist or prosthodontist and extensively discuss your design options.
Keep in mind that most high-quality acrylic and porcelain-based dentures last longer, but they cost more.
2. Avoid dropping your dentures
Dentures can break after falling. Multiple falls on hard surfaces may eventually cause structural issues that could lead to cracks or your artificial teeth falling out.
Always handle dentures with care when removing them from your mouth.
3. Adjust your dentures after some time
The changes that can occur in your mouth as you age, such as bone loss and the shrinking of gum ridges, may compromise the fit of your dentures. You may need denture adjustment after wearing the appliances for a long time.
Any poorly fitting denture is unstable and can break easily. Regular dentures check is necessary to address such issues on time.
More Preventative Ideas
Other preventive measures are:
- Use a soft-bristled brush when cleaning your dental appliances to prevent damage or bending.
- Avoid biting on hard food.
- Use recommended solutions to clean your dentures (toothpaste can be too abrasive, so don’t use it as an alternative cleaner).
- Don’t bite down to force your dentures into place.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
You should have regular dental checkups at least twice a year, especially if you wear dentures. Talk to your doctor or dentist if you experience any discomforts or dental changes that indicate denture replacement or adjustment.
These may include:
- Oral ulcers
- Chronic irritation
- Inflammation of oral soft tissues, such as gums
- When you’re unable to wear your dentures
- If your denture is loose and no longer stays in place
- If your denture is fractured
- If you lost one or more teeth that supported your dentures
- If you’ve worn the same set of dentures for more than five years
Complete Denture Repair: A New Classification System Based On a Survey. (August 2021). Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences.
Denture Facts. (2021). American College of Prosthodontists.
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. (October 2021). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Removable Partial Dentures. American Dental Association.
Denture Care and Maintenance. American Dental Association.