Getting dentures can be a big relief for someone who's been living with no teeth or with severely damaged teeth. Finally, you can flash a big smile again. You'll also find it easier to speak clearly, and although dentures don't have the bite power of your natural teeth, they definitely make eating easier than it is with no teeth. However, for all the good that dentures can do, they aren't indestructible. As a matter of fact, dentures can actually crack, chip, or even shatter if you drop them on a hard surface. And bathrooms, where most people put their dentures in and take them out, are full of hard surfaces, from tile floors to porcelain sinks. However, you won't necessarily have to buy new dentures. Take a look at what you need to know when your dentures break.
What You Should Do
First, make sure that you gather up all of the pieces of your broken denture. If the device is missing one or two teeth, these can usually be reattached pretty easily. If the denture is chipped, cracked, or broken in half, it can still be repaired. Dentures that have shattered into several pieces are harder to repair, but there's always a chance that it can be repaired if you have all of the pieces and they can be fitted back together exactly the way they were. Don't assume that your denture is done for and sweep the pieces into the trash – gather them up and put them in your denture case.
Once that's done, call your dentist right away. The sooner you can get an appointment, the better. Your dentist is the only one who can permanently repair your dentures, so the faster you get the broken device to the dentist, the better off you'll be.
What You Shouldn't Do
It's not uncommon to see superglue as a suggestion for denture-wearers who need to make a quick repair. It may sound like a good idea – if you can't get to your dentist or don't want to wait, superglue is readily available, so you can just grab it, glue, and go. But as tempting as this suggestion might be, there are some very good reasons not to try it.
For one thing, despite its reputation for being able to provide a permanent hold, your saliva can actually dissolve superglue. That means that at best, superglue would only be a temporary solution – you would still need to visit your dentist for repairs. Unfortunately, repairs might not be a possibility after you try to repair a crack with superglue. Professional denture repair only works if the pieces can be fitted together exactly the way they were before. Supergluing a crack could cause damage that prevents perfect alignment, which means that you'll end up needing to replace the dentures entirely. And that's not even the biggest problem with superglue – the biggest problem is the risk it poses to your health. Superglue can contain cyanoacrylate, a chemical that can release formaldehyde and acetic acid. These substances can cause allergic reactions and gum inflammation.
What You May Be Able To Do
Is there any short-term solution for a broken denture when you can't get to the dentist right away? Maybe. Many drugstores carry DIY denture repair kits. The question is whether or not you should try to use them. It really depends on what the damage is.
If your denture is only missing a tooth, or even a few teeth, it's probably OK to use a DIY repair kit to put them back into place. However, if you're dealing with a crack or a denture that's broken in half or into several pieces, you're taking a real risk when you try to repair it yourself, even using a kit intended for denture repair. Remember, if you can't align the pieces perfectly, you won't be able to get the denture permanently repaired later. On top of that, using the dentures with an imperfectly repaired crack can hurt your gums. The crack can interfere with suction or rub on your gums, leading to sores. Keep in mind that you're taking a risk if you choose to use a DIY denture repair kit for anything other than putting a tooth back in place.
Talk to your dentist about the possibility of a broken denture and the steps you can take to fix it. That way, you'll have a plan in mind in case it happens. For more information, contact a dental office such as Ideal Dentistry.