Denture Repair: How to Fix Broken Dentures
Dentures are made of strong materials like acrylic (plastic) and metal, and are designed to act just like healthy natural teeth.i However, it's essential to care for them properly to keep them looking and performing at their best.
Despite their robustness, dentures need to be handled carefully when not in your mouth. If handled too tightly or dropped on a hard surface, they may break or be damaged.i, iii You should keep your dentures moist when they are not in your mouth, and be careful not to scrub them too hard when cleaning them, as it may scratch the surface.i, ii Well looked-after dentures should last you several years. However, over time they can suffer from general wear and tear and may need to be readjusted or remade.i
Broken, damaged or poorly fitting dentures can cause pain and gum soreness. If they’re not fixed or replaced, they can make it hard to chew food, lead to difficulties with speaking, and even cause mouth sores or infection.iv
The good news is that most dentures are made from acrylic resin, which is both durable and lightweight.iii If damaged, your dentist will determine if your dentures are repairable. With proper maintenance and regular consultations with your dentist, broken or damaged dentures can be avoided as much as possible – as can the oral health problems they can cause.
Breaking your dentures may be an inconvenience, but by getting them fixed promptly you’ll avoid further complications for your lifestyle and oral health.iv
How to Repair Dentures at Home
If your dentures break, crack or loosen, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.v There are over-the counter repair kits available – however, you should contact your dentist before attempting to repair the denture yourself.
Some denture repairs carried out by your dentist are straightforward, such as filling in small cracks and fractures, or removing stains.
Some damage is harder to fix. If your dentures are quite old, have broken several times or have become worn to the point of no longer fitting, you may need to have a new set made. Don’t be tempted to continue wearing broken dentures, as they may cause dental problems over the long term.iv, vii
Denture Repair and Replacement Costs
Whether you have partial or complete dentures, on the NHS, you can get them repaired free of charge.ix However, if it’s not possible to repair them, you’ll have to pay for new dentures.ix The current charge is £84.80 per NHS denture,x but you should confirm the cost with your dentist before moving ahead with the replacement.
If you have dental insurance, the cost of your denture replacement may be covered, but be sure to check this with your insurance provider first.
Avoiding Denture Repair: How to Look After Your Dentures
When it comes to dentures, proper maintenance is the easiest way to avoid repairs. Follow these tips to keep your dentures in the best possible condition.
Clean Your Dentures
Just as with your natural teeth, thorough cleaning and good hygiene are the best ways to keep your dentures clean, healthy and looking their best. A good cleaning routine (at least twice daily) can help to minimise plaque build-up and helps prevent food debris from sticking to your dentures.viii
When brushing your dentures, use a good-quality, non-abrasive cleanser. To help remove stubborn stains and plaque, soak them overnight in a denture-cleansing solution.ii, viii
Staining or discolouration can be minimised by following the recommended daily cleaning regime.
If stains persist, don’t be tempted to use a whitening toothpaste. Instead, soak your dentures overnight in a denture cleanser to combat stains. Some stubborn stains may require specialist cleaning by your dentist.
Storing and Handling Your Dentures
When not wearing your dentures, store them properly. Keeping them in a sealed container will offer some protection if they are accidentally knocked over. Fill your overnight storage container with a cleansing solution to help remove stains.ii
Always be careful when handling your dentures – especially when putting them in, removing or cleaning them. Try placing a towel over the sink or filling the sink with water when you hold your dentures. This way, if they drop, they won’t fall directly onto a hard surface, minimising the risk of damage.i, iii
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES YOU MAY LIKE
i. Dentures. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/dentures. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
ii. Denture care: How do I clean my dentures? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/denture-care/expert-answers/faq-20058375. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
iii. Dentures. Dentaly.Org. https://www.dentaly.org/en/dentures-false-teeth/#Acrylic_dentures. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
iv. Dentures. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dentures/. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
v. Dentures. Mouth Healthy. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dentures. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
vi. OTC Denture Cushions, Pads, Reliners, Repair Kits, and Partially Fabricated Denture Kits. https://www.fda.gov/media/72467/download. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
vii. Denture Repairs. Dentures.org.uk. https://www.dentures.org.uk/denture-repairs/. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
viii. Denture Cleaning. Oral Health Foundation. https://www.dentalhealth.org/denture-cleaning. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
ix. Understanding NHS dental charges. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/dentists/understanding-nhs-dental-charges/. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
x. Replacement dental appliances. NHS Business Services Authority. https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/help-nhs-dental-costs/replacement-dental-appliances. Accessed 07/09/2021. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.