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Frequently Asked Denture Repair Questions
These are not the answers to all the questions out there, but it’s a good start. If you have ANY questions that are not listed here, please email us so we can add your question to this list. Don't be afraid to ask anything, maybe someone else out there has the same question in mind. With your help this list can only grow!
How can I prepare for a denture break and avoid being without teeth?
Even though dentures are fabricated from extremely durable materials – they will wear out, break, or a tooth may pop out. In fact it is frequently not a matter of “if” but of “when” it will become broken, lost, or damaged beyond repair. One can be assured that a problem will likely happen when least expected! Spare duplicate dentures can bridge the gap of being without a regular denture while it is being repaired.
What is a duplicate denture?
Duplicate denture is an exact copy of the original denture - same size and same shape. The shade of the duplicate denture gum area and teeth shade may slightly be different than original denture. Use of tea, coffee, nicotine, many denture cleaning solutions and other factors discolorate denture material and teeth over the time.
How long should I wear my dentures?
Your dentist will provide instructions about how long dentures should be kept in place. During the first few days, you may be advised to wear them most of the time, including while you sleep. After the initial adjustment period, you may be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and promotes oral health. Generally, it is not desirable that the tissues be constantly covered by denture material.
Should I use a denture adhesive?
Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with your dentist immediately.
How do I take care of my dentures?
Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or a basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures away from children and pets. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It's best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures. Some denture wearers use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid, which are both acceptable for cleaning dentures. Avoid using other powdered household cleansers, which may be too abrasive. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Look for denture cleansers with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. The first step in cleaning dentures is to rinse away loose food particles thoroughly. Moisten the brush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage. Dentures may lose their shape if they are allowed to dry out. When they are not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp. Ultrasonic cleaners are also used to care for dentures. However, using an ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
Can I make minor adjustments or repairs to my dentures?
You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to adjust or repair your dentures. A denture that is not made to fit properly can cause irritation and sores. Contact us if your dentures break, crack, chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose. At DentureRepairLab.com we can make the necessary repairs on the same day. A person who lacks the proper training will not be able to reconstruct the denture. This can cause greater damage to the denture and may cause problems in your mouth. Glue sold over-the-counter often contains harmful chemicals and should not be used on dentures.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade due to normal wear. To reline or rebase a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base. Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear. Dentures become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It's important to replace worn or poorly-fitting dentures before they cause problems.
Must I do anything special to care for my mouth?
Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
What is soaking?
Some people prefer to soak their dentures in a denture cleaning solution although it has been proven that brushing with a denture cleaning toothpaste is better than soaking alone. It is a personal choice, but if you do soak them, use a known brand tablet or powder with warm water. If your dentures have got metal parts, do not soak them for more than 10 minutes, and remember that continued soaking in hot water can bleach or discolor your dentures. Most soaking brands recommend brushing as well as soaking to ensure debris and plaque are physically removed.
My dentures are loose.... what should I do?
As the years pass, the tissue and bone may shrink slightly. As this happens your dentures will then loosen. Also, as you lose or gain weight, you may notice that the denture may loosen. Dentures can be relined to help them fit snug again. However, if their bases are too far gone, you may need to get a new denture. If your denture is more than a year or two old and you are using Fixodent everyday... your dentures are too loose and you could benefit from a reline. Relines are usually done same day and should be done every couple of years.
Should dentures be worn at night?
Under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove them at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of gums.
What causes dentures to break?
Dropping them is the number one reason for breakage. Dentures often crack from dropping them and then come apart later during eating, sometimes the softest foods or even during drinking. There are different grades of dentures that are made from high quality, high impact materials that will not break nearly as easy. Loosely fitting dentures also have a tendency to break easier during eating. Age can also cause dentures to weaken and break. Pets also love to chew dentures apart; keep them out of reach.
Are dentures affected by over-the-counter and prescription medicines?
Drugs can affect denture fit and wear ability. Some drugs can reduce the supply of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to chew and swallow. You probably answered questions about medications on your first visit to your denturist, but it is important to inform your denturist if your prescription changes or if you have added a new medicine to your regular medications. Read the information sheet that is available for most drugs to learn about any side effects that may affect your dentures. Talk to your doctor if you think the medication is causing difficulty with your dentures. In addition, regularly scheduled visits to your dentist; where you can ask about these conditions or any other change in your dentures or mouth will help keep you in tip-top oral health.
Can I do my own denture repairs?
Even if you are skilled at repairing cars or in the woodshop, do not attempt to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Improperly relined dentures can cause increased pressure on the jaw resulting in rapid loss of jawbone. Do-it-yourself reliners can irritate the soft tissue of your mouth. Worst case scenario, this do-it-yourself approach may cause irreparable damage, resulting in the need for an expensive set of new dentures.
What are my dentures made of?
- Acrylic - not bendable plastic which is usually colored to resemble the oral gum tissues.
- Metal - chromium cobalt or titanium alloy frame usually combined either with acrylic or flexible material
- Flexible - bendable resin, usually used on partial dentures or in combination with metal frames with flexible clasps*
* Clasp - a metal or flexible arm that extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on to a partial tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.
Can I glue my denture with super glue?
Glues often contain harmful chemicals and are not effective in the proper repair of dentures.
How long do dentures last?
Dentures are likely to need replacing every five years, because the shape of the mouth continues to change throughout life.
Should I use a fixative?
For short periods of time or special occasions, when extra confidence is needed, denture fixatives are useful. After use make sure that you remove all traces of fixative from both the denture and your mouth. In the long term, if dentures feel loose it is a first sign that you need a reline.
How often should I clean my dentures?
It is important to treat your dentures like you would treat your natural teeth. They should be kept as clean as possible to prevent further tooth loss, inflamed gums, or bacterial and fungal infections. We usually recommend that you clean them thoroughly twice a day, and after eating when necessary.
Is there anything I should avoid?
It is important not to use any type of bleaching product to clean your dentures. Bleaching can lead to weakening of the denture as well as making it look unsightly. Do not use very hot water to soak the denture. Again, it can weaken the denture causing it to break.
What if I have a metal denture?
Some commercial cleaning products can damage metal dentures. If your denture has clasps, you need to take particular care when cleaning to avoid damage.