Denture Repair 101: All Your Questions Answered

Your guide to everything you need to know about denture repair!

If you wear dentures, you know that they are an essential part of how you go about your day. They help you with eating, chewing and speaking. They even give you confidence when you smile. It’s probably hard to imagine life without them. Dentures are a great option if you need to replace teeth either from decay, gum disease or trauma. They are fitted to your particular mouth, and with the proper care, can last you a very long time.

But what if you find that your dentures need to be repaired? How do you know whether or not it’s time for your dentures to get the repair they need? In this denture repair article, we’re going to go over:

  • Why dentures need repair
  • How are dentures repaired?
  • Maintenance tips to help your dentures last
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Why Do Dentures Need Repaired?

What are some of the signs that your dentures might be in need of repair?

older man and woman looking at the xray of their mouth
Make sure you’re aware of the signs that your dentures need repair. Image courtesy of InterDent.

When you were originally fitted for your dentures, your dentist probably discussed the fact that as the years go by, they may eventually need to be repaired (or even replaced) at some point down the road. This is due to the fact that as we age, our mouths can change shape. While your dentures are designed to act just like your normal teeth, when any alteration to the shape of your mouth changes, this can cause your dentures to not fit very well. When your dentures no longer fit, they can become uncomfortable and start to slip around in your mouth and cause irritation. You may also find yourself trying to create extra suction to hold them in place, to prevent them from sliding or  falling out.

If this sounds familiar, it might be time to call your dentist, as the longer you’re putting up with ill-fitting dentures, the more likely it becomes that they may crack or break. Even though dentures are designed to be strong, there is a point where the flexing motion in your mouth creates too much tension and the denture could break. 

In addition to noticing that your dentures are causing irritation in your mouth, there are other signs that your dentures might be in need of repair such as:

  • You have difficulty chewing. If you find that you’re avoiding the side of your mouth where your dentures are—or you dread eating your favorite foods altogether — it could be because of the amount of discomfort you experience while chewing. If you notice food sticking more to your dentures or additional slippage when you chew, this could also mean it’s time for them to be repaired.
  • You notice small damages. When you take out your dentures for the evening and soak them, if you’re noticing small cracks or misalignments, this could be indicative that your dentures need to be looked at and repaired.
  • Your dentures have stains or there is an odor. It’s important to care for your dentures according to the instructions of your dentist. If you don’t, you may start to notice that there are stains or an odor to them. These are signs that your dentures probably need to be repaired. Make sure not to neglect the care of your dentures.

How Are Dentures Repaired?

When it’s time for a denture repair, leave it to your dentist!

dentist talking with patient in dentist office chair

It’s very important that if you’re experiencing any of the signs of ill-fitted dentures, you let your dentist know as soon as possible. If you just deal with it, the situation is not going to improve, and will only get worse. Remember, dentures can start to shift as a result of normal wear and tear, and it’s not something you did wrong. We should also discuss that although your dentures may need repair due to how your mouth has changed over time, they can also need repair if they are dropped on a hard surface. Take care when you’re removing them and putting them in each day for cleaning, and make sure you have a good grip on them when they’re out of your mouth.

If it’s time for a repair or relining, it’s crucial you don’t try to make repairs to your denture yourself. Make an appointment with your dentist’s office, and allow them to evaluate your full or partial set. If it is something they can do in the office with an in-house lab, they will. This is why when you notice something is wrong, call your dentist because the difference between a major repair and a minor one could be in how long you wait. 

Maintenance Tips for Dentures

Ways to keep your dentures in top shape

A hand holding a set of full dentures.
Show off a full smile with a complete set of natural looking teeth.

While you can’t always completely prevent repairs since our mouths do change—and dentures typically need to be repaired due to regular wear and tear—there are things you can do to ensure you’re getting the most out of them: 

Handle dentures carefully

We mentioned earlier that although dentures are strong, they can be susceptible to breaks if they are dropped or mishandled. When taking them in and out, consider putting a towel down over the sink or filling the sink with water and plugging it in case the dentures slip out of your hands. Also, make sure to handle your dentures with clean hands so you avoid passing any bacteria and germs to them.  

Get on a good cleaning schedule

Clean your dentures daily according to the instructions offered by your dentist. You’ll want to brush them with a non-abrasive paste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure to remove the remains of the adhesive as well. Try to make it a point to clean or wash off the dentures after each meal. When your dentures are not in, they should be soaked in either water or another type of denture solution recommended by your dentist.

Care for your palate and gums

Your palate and gums will also need to be cared for so that they stay clean and make a good base for your dentures to sit. This ensures that any food particles or bacteria are removed and rinsed away. 

Visit your dentist

See your dentist for your regular checkups at least twice a year. This gives them a chance to not only clean your teeth and mouth, but they can also inspect how well your dentures are fitting and functioning—and if any repairs need to be made. 

Remember to avoid…

  • Whitening toothpaste, which can contain peroxide
  • Abrasive toothbrushes and strong cleansers
  • Products that contain bleach
  • Hot water

Follow these tips and your dentures will be in good shape.

Remember to care for your dentures so that they can last for years in between adjustments. If you do think your dentures need a repair, contact your dentist as soon as you can. 

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