Dental restoration procedures restore the health, function, and appearance of a damaged tooth. Restorations can most notably treat tooth decay, oral infections, teeth chips and cracks, worn-down teeth, and teeth that are knocked loose in the socket or are lost entirely.Common dental restoration procedures include dental crowns, fillings, root canal therapy, composite bonding, porcelain veneers,…
When Is Denture Repair Out of the Question?
Denture repair is often needed when these prosthetic teeth are damaged or worn. Dentures are a trusted and reliable method of teeth replacement for patients who have lost many or all of their teeth. Over time or with sudden occurrences, oral appliances can get damaged. If not properly cared for, this damage can be exacerbated. Denture repair is less expensive than the alternative, which is a replacement. In most cases, a denture can be repaired, but sometimes the device must be replaced completely.
What to do when your denture breaks
Unfortunately, cracks and fractures in dentures do happen. The inevitable wear and tear that an oral appliance goes through from daily use can take a toll. The longer that a denture is in use, the more worn-down it becomes. The materials used to make dentures are strong but can still be damaged.
The most common cause for a cracked denture is improper fit. The fit is important not only in the functionality of dentures but the longevity as well. As dentures are used to chew and bite, the force of that bite can cause small fractures to form in the material. When the upper and lower dentures do not align correctly, this effect worsens. More pressure is placed on certain areas when the fit is not right, which can cause these areas to wear down quicker. Large breaks can then occur.
Smaller cracks can usually be repaired, and the patient can continue to use the dentures without issue. Larger breaks, depending on where they are in the denture, usually signify that it is time for a replacement.
How long do dentures last?
After about three years, dentures start to show wear. Most dentures are designed to last anywhere from three to eight years, depending on the type of denture and material. Thin dentures are very prone to cracks. Over time, even if the fit is right between dentures, the wear on the surfaces of the prosthetic teeth can lead to uneven chewing distribution.
Furthermore, the bone and gum tissue that supports a denture can change over time. Jawbone density begins to shrink under the denture. This can cause the need for a denture repair known as a reset, or refitting.
Can your dentures be repaired?
If the fit of the dentures feels slightly off and no big breaks have occurred, the dentist can usually perform denture repair that fully restores the device. If the problem is caught early on, it can be fixed. Severely misfitting dentures may not be able to be repaired, however. This type of denture repair can be done in the dentist office, as it only involves adding a small amount of back material to improve the fit. This process is known as relining (or basing).
If the problem is bigger than expected, the denture may need to be sent off to a laboratory for repair.
Prevent your denture from breaking
Dentures are made from a material called acrylic, a specialized, durable plastic material that is resistant to damage. You can make sure your dentures last as long as possible by taking a few precautions during use. When removing a denture, always stand over a towel or sink full of water to soften the blow, just in case it is accidentally dropped.
If you are ever having problems with the fit of your denture or if you notice any cracks, always see your dentist right away. When you catch the problem early enough, denture repair is possible instead of having to replace it fully.
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