Denture Repair: How It's Done

Posted on: 18 April 2017


A denture is a removable dental appliance holding one or more artificial teeth. Dentures are made from materials which are susceptible to erosion and fatigue. Dentures that have been in use for a long period also tend to crack or break. Repeated flexing of the material while in use causes loosening of the artificial teeth embedded in the plate and they may even break off.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, Hawler Medical University, poor fitting accounts for 40% of denture fractures. Poor fitting cause teeth misalignment, which inflicts micro fractures in the denture material during mastication and this can eventually lead to a crack or a large break.

The bone and gums under a denture undergo a natural process of shrinkage over time, causing a misfit between these structures and the denture. As mentioned earlier, poor fitting does lead to a crack or a break. In order to prevent the denture from cracking or breaking, it is advisable to reline the denture as soon as it becomes loose. Relining is a process in which the dentist adds back material to improve its fit.

Relining may be done in the office of the dentist but when the denture is broken or requires more work, it will be sent off to a dental laboratory for repairs. The good news is that dentures are commonly made from acrylic resin, which is a repairable material.

More of this material can be added to the denture to reinforce it but when the appliance is cracked, a silicon compound or a plaster mix is poured into the denture to cast a mould of its shape. The plate is first reinforced by removing a thin fraction of the material from either side of the crack and replacing it with new acrylic. The denture is then remade to the same measurements as it was before. False teeth that have become loose from the plate are re-fixed after replacing some material in the damaged area with new acrylic to ensure a stronger bond.

It is sometimes possible to send a denture directly to a dental laboratory for repairs, but they will only be able to restore the denture to its original specifications. If the cause of the damage is a poorly fitting denture, you may have difficulty adjusting to the repaired denture. It is therefore advisable to have the appliance evaluated by the dentist before it is sent off to a dental laboratory.

General, dentures should be examined periodically to detect wear and fatigue and, if the fit has worsened, this should be brought to the attention of the dentist before a crack appears.