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What to Do with Broken Dentures

Dentures are built to be durable—they need to withstand eating and chewing like regular teeth—but they don’t last forever. They typically last between five and seven years with a good denture-care routine.1 However, accidents happen, and broken dentures are a part of life. If your dentures break, visit your dentist for assistance instead of trying to fix the problem at home. Help to prevent broken dentures in the future by following these tips.

What Causes Broken Dentures?

A common reason for broken dentures is accidentally dropping them while cleaning, inserting, or removing them. Dentures can also break or fracture if they fit poorly or have tiny defects in their base, such as scratches and notches. Dentures with a strong, impact-resistant base are less likely to break when dropped. Even if you take good care of your dentures, they can still get worn down from repeated use and stress.2

How Can I Fix My Broken Dentures?

Even if your denture problem seems minor, do-it-yourself (DIY) denture repair is strongly discouraged. You might cause more damage to your denture if you attempt to repair it on your own. Some DIY kits can damage your dentures to the point of needing replacement. In addition, a lot of denture-fixing kits contain harsh chemicals that you don’t want in or around your mouth.3

The best way to repair your dentures is by bringing them to your original prosthodontist—a specialist highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, and bridges—or to your dentist. Since they made your dentures, they’ll be able to identify what’s wrong and repair them the right way. Getting your dentures professionally repaired ensures they fit correctly and prevents discomfort and chewing problems in the future.4

How Can I Prevent My Dentures from Breaking?

Taking care of your dentures will help them last longer and counteract the everyday wear and tear they face.

  1. In case you drop your dentures, clean and wash them over a folded towel or bowl of water. This will prevent your dentures from breaking if you accidentally drop them.5
  2. Never place your dentures in hot water—this can cause them to warp or break.6
  3. Don’t keep your dentures in overnight unless otherwise instructed by your dentist or prosthodontist. This will give your mouth and the surrounding gum tissue and bones a chance to relax and subsequently put less pressure on your dentures.4
  4. Like your natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned daily to remove lingering food and bacteria and prevent stains. Using a denture cleanser, gently brush the entire surface area of your dentures, including the part that touches your gums.5,6
  5. Soak your dentures everyday in a denture-cleansing solution. This helps remove any leftover bacteria, which keeps your dentures fresh and helps to prevent bad breath. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remember to rinse thoroughly before placing your dentures back in your mouth.6
  6. Avoid using bleach or other household products on your dentures to prevent damaging them.6
  7. Soak your dentures overnight so they stay pliable and moist and don’t dry out.6

How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?

Visit your dentist regularly so they can examine your dentures and make sure your mouth, gums, and tongue are healthy. If your dental team spots any problems, you can address them early on before they get worse.5

If your dentures break, crack, or chip, visit your dentist or prosthodontist as soon as you can. You may be able to get your dentures repaired that same day. However, in some cases your dentures may need to be sent off to a lab for repair. Either way, living without your dentures is uncomfortable, so the sooner the problem is addressed, the better.3

Source Citations:

  1. Facts & Tips: Dentures. Oral Health Foundation. Accessed 6/29/22.
  2. Complete denture fractures: A clinical study. J Indian Prosthodont Soc [serial online] 2009. Accessed 6/29/22.
  3. American Dental Association. Removable Partial Dentures. Accessed 6/29/22.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions about Dentures. American College of Prosthodontists. Accessed 6/29/22.
  5. Dentures. Oral Health Foundation. Accessed 6/29/22.
  6. Denture Care and Maintenance. American Dental Association. Accessed 6/29/22.