Dublin: 01 4551866
Waterford: 051 365999
Wexford: 053 9192999

Broken Dentures
The 5 Most Common Reasons That Dentures Break

Why is my Denture breaking?

As a denture gets older and older, it becomes more prone to breaking. The major reason for this is that as it ages, the fit becomes looser and looser. This often causes rocking of the denture while it is being worn.  Repetitive flexing like this weakens the plastic causing it to break. Alternatively, this flexing can cause the teeth embedded in the denture base to loosen and break out. You can prevent broken dentures by having them relined when they get loose or replacing them after 5 years.

5 key reasons that your Dentures Break

The most common reason for broken dentures is dropping them in the sink or knocking off the tap while cleaning them. Studies show that the denture may not break instantly when dropped, however, the impact can weaken a spot which leads to the denture breaking anything up to 6 months later.

Not Fitting
If your dentures are not fitting well the denture can rock in the mouth. Every time you chew, there is a levering effect going on with the denture and the force of your bite is not evenly spread because the dentures are not fitting well. Over time this rocking/levering weakens the it and causes broken dentures. You may notice a small fine line appear on the denture which then spreads to a full crack or break. The most common areas are between your 2 front teeth or the area of the denture that touches around any natural teeth you have left, these are the most vulnerable areas.

Isolated Teeth
There can be a risk with isolated teeth breaking off your denture. Although your denture is designed to hold this tooth, the force of your bite and constant chewing can add pressure to this small piece of the denture and cause it to break or snap off. You may decide to have a Chrome Denture made instead which would add considerable strength to this area, or consider a bridge or an implant in the future, if the problem persists.

Clasps Breaking
Clasps are usually made from SS or gold and designed to help retain your dentures, securing it around your natural teeth. Although clasps can be adjusted slightly by your dental professional they are not designed to be bent. Constant/regular removing and inserting your denture can put pressure onto clasps. Dentures with clasps should be taken out and put back in the mouth slowly and very carefully. Never bite your denture into place. If your clasp breaks, seek advice immediately from your denturist to ensure your denture remains stable and replace the clasp.

Your dentures are nearing 5 years old
Dentures are made from a man-made material which deteriorates over time. The life of a denture is considered to be 5 years. As the material deteriorates it can become weaker and cause broken dentures.

How is my denture repaired?

If your denture should break, there are a few things you should know.

Laboratories do NOT glue the broken pieces together.  If there is a nice sharp fracture line along which the pieces can be tightly reapplied, the lab tech uses wax to temporarily reattach the broken pieces.  Then he pours a plaster or silicone matrix inside your denture to capture the original internal anatomy.  Finally he entirely removes all the plastic for about 1/8 inch on either side of the fracture line and replaces it with NEW acrylic.  This makes the denture stronger than it was before.  The same process applies when replacing one or more teeth on the denture.  All the old pink plastic is removed and replaced with new pink plastic.

Do not attempt to repair the denture with glue! 

Glues that contain volatile solvents will melt the plastic around the edges and cause the repair to distort.  A distorted denture is impossible for a dental lab to repair.  Once the edges are melted, there is no way to put the denture together the way it was before it was broken.  It will always rock and cause miserable sore spots until you either get a new denture, or have it rebased. 

Super Glue, which won’t melt the edges of the plastic, has three major drawbacks. Super Glue is water soluble, and the repair is always temporary. Secondly, it is difficult to replace even sharp edges together the first time without some sort of dislocation. This means that your denture will suffer the same problems it would have if you used airplane glue. It contains substances that are not designed to be in the body and may cause harm or sickness.

Get your denture relined!

If the denture broke due to an ill fit, It will eventually break again for the same reason unless you have it relined or rebased at the same time as the repair.

The best thing to do with a broken denture is to go to your denturist with the separate pieces and let him or her look at it to see if it can be sent to the lab without an impression.  Even better, the denturist can stick the pieces together before sending it to the lab and then take an impression inside the temporarily repaired denture so the lab can reline or rebase it.  Our lab provides a one-day service on repairs, or repair/reline procedures, so you can make arrangements to collect it the same day.

Please Remember!

– Avoid trying to glue the denture yourself.
– The denture will not fit any better than before it was made.
– After your denture is repaired it may feel strange or odd. This feeling will subside. It generally takes over 1 hour for the denture to bed back in. – – When dentures are left out of the mouth for any period of time, the tissue breathes more freely as it is not restricted, the aerated tissue expands slightly to cause the odd feeling.
– Following your Denture repair, if there is anything you are unsure of or if you need to discuss a new denture, please call our office 01 4551866

Bevin MahonArticle by Bevin Mahon, B.Soc.Sc. Managing Director of Dental Tech Group and passionate about improving quality of life for our clients

Contact us on 01 4551866 or email clinics@dentaltech.ie to book a FREE denture consultation with one of our specialists.

You can find Dental Tech Denture Clinics in the following places:

DUBLIN – Whitehall House, Terenure, Dublin 6W – Call 01 4551866
WEXFORD – The Whitemill Medical Centre, Wexford – Call 053 9192999
WATERFORD – Waterford Health Park, Waterford – Call 051 365999

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