Many dental appliances, even dentures, require repair. The material they're made from can erode or fatigue. A denture fracture isn't unusual either, especially for an appliance that has been in function for some time. The longer a denture is worn, the more likely it will merit a visit to your dentist for denture repair.
Common Fractures and Breakages
The most common cause of fracture, as observed by Hawler Medical University, is poor fit. As you chew and bite with your denture, you apply a force that causes micro fractures in the denture material. If the upper and lower set don't align evenly, for example, you risk putting too much pressure on one area. Eventually a large break occurs, which may reveal a crack to let you know it needs to be fixed.
Impact fractures are likely as well, caused by dropping the denture or partial. This can break the denture at any point in the appliance, such as the teeth or even the pink region representing your gumline. The metal clasps of the partial denture can also suffer damage, and should not be put back in your mouth afterward. Luckily, dentures are made from materials allowing for denture repair.
How Time Factors In
Worn and thin dentures are very prone to breaking. Remember that dentures with an uneven bite can put excessive stress on the denture or partial in a particular site, causing them to break at that one spot. But it isn't just a bad fit that does this; worn teeth on the denture can lead to the poor distribution of your chewing forces. Over time, this can ruin an otherwise perfect fit, making it harmful to the denture as well as your own gums and bone in the oral cavity.
Approaches to Denture Repair
Relining or revitalizing the denture is part of the denture repair. Because the gums and bone under a denture or partial can change with time, they continue to shrink until the fit of the denture needs to be reset (often you don't realize it until it's too late). Provided you catch it early enough, your dentist can add back material to improve the fit. This is called relining or basing the denture or partial, and it can be done right in the dentist's office assuming large change isn't required. If it does call for more work, your denture will be sent to a dental laboratory. Regardless of what it needs, it is important that the product is evaluated by your dentist if it requires relining.
Dentures and partials are mainly made of a material called acrylic resin. The beauty of this material is that it is durable, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and, best of all, repairable. More acrylic can be easily added to the denture for reinforcing. It'll also bond to the fractured or broken area of the denture.
How You Can Help
When handling your dentures, don't assume you'll always have a firm grip; dentures can slip out of your hands quite easily. Avoid dropping the denture in the sink, or have a towel underneath it when cleaning it. Check it periodically for wear and fatigue to ensure its fit doesn't worsen without you realizing it.
When in doubt, see your dentist. If denture repair is necessary, he or she can provide this service in a short period of time. Just be sure to rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash like Colgate Total® Advanced Pro-Shield™ mouthwash each time your dentures are out, and the repaired item will have a fresh mouth to fit back into.