You’ve probably known someone who relies on false teeth for eating and speaking. This isn’t rare at all, of course; the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry predicts that by 2020, 37.5 million people will be wearing full dentures. Unfortunately, as useful as they can be for restoring day-to-day oral functions, they’re not indestructible. If you wear dentures in Tulsa, it’s important to know how they can break and how they can be repaired – as well as other options.
WHY DO DENTURES BREAK?
While dentures can break due to an accident – most commonly by dropping them onto a hard floor or an empty sink – there’s some damage that will simply occur naturally over time. For example, daily pressure from chewing, acidic foods and shifts in temperature can cause wear and tear that will, eventually, lead to fracturing. You can control these factors somewhat, but sooner or later they’ll take their toll.
Sometimes a “broken” denture hasn’t actually been damaged at all but has become too tight or too loose. This is because with all of your teeth gone, your jawbone slowly breaks down and changes the structure of your mouth. At this point, you’ll need to have your dentures refitted.
HOW CAN DENTURES BE REPAIRED?
You might be tempted to try and repair your dentures yourself, but that can ultimately do more harm than good. Instead, call your dentist; they’ll have the training and the tools necessary for the job, or they might work with a dental laboratory to fix the problem.
If your dentures don’t fit properly anymore, they can often be relined, meaning the dentist will add – or remove – material from the base.
In some cases, the damage will be too extensive, or the dentures will be too worn down to be worth saving. At that point, you’ll most likely need a replacement instead. Most dentures last about 5 to 8 years, assuming that you take good care of them.
IS THERE ANOTHER OPTION?
If you’re having trouble with traditional dentures breaking, there just might be another option in the form of implant-retained dentures. These are false teeth supported by metal posts that have integrated with the jawbone. This type of restoration typically lasts about 20 years or longer – far longer than traditional dentures. They also aren’t removeable, meaning you don’t have to worry about dropping them or the physical stresses of taking them in and out of your mouth.
Not all patients can get dental implants; your oral health will need to be evaluated so that the dentist can decide whether or not you should stick with traditional dentures. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about repairs and daily care; everyone deserves a full set of beautiful, functional teeth!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Terry Rigdon is highly regarded across the nation for his skills and is one of three board-certified implantologists in Oklahoma, meaning he’s got a lot of knowledge and experience in placing dental implants. He also offers dentures and implant-retained dentures for patients missing all of their teeth. To schedule an appointment at his practice, Rigdon Dental & Associates, visit his website or call 918-494-8666.