Causes of Denture Fractures & Denture Breaks
When your denture breaks, it’s not just an inconvenience, it can be a major interruption to your lifestyle..
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.
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 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.
There can be a risk of 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 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 the 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 that 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.
Care when cleaning your denture
One of the most common ways people break their dentures happens when they remove them for cleaning. Placing them on a hard surface where they can be knocked off or holding your denture over a porcelain sink with wet slippery hands are accidents waiting to happen.
Remedies: Using a folded hand towel or face washer in the sink while brushing, ensures the denture falls onto a soft surface if it happens to slip through your fingers.
Be sure to place your denture in its case when it’s not in use and be mindful of where you set it down when cleaning your mouth.
Nothing lasts forever. Not even your denture. As your denture ages, from approximately five years on, the acrylic material from which it is made becomes porous allowing bacteria to breach the barrier and break down chemical bonds. A weakening of the acrylic material results in making it more prone to breaking.
Remedy: When this happens, it’s time for a new denture.
Too many denture repairs
Like most things, dentures cannot be repaired ad infinitum. With each successive repair, the denture becomes progressively weaker. This is because the original construction of the denture involved heat cured acrylic which forms stronger chemical bonds. Subsequent repairs must be undertaken with less robust, cold cured acrylic making them more susceptible to breakage.
Remedy: The solution to this problem is to have new dentures made.
Breakage of partial dentures can result when changes in your natural dentition occur. Natural teeth are constantly shifting creating changing pressures on your denture. Denture breakage can result if these forces become excessive.
Remedy: Your prosthetist may be able to adjust your denture to mitigate the uneven pressures. If an adjustment isn’t an option, a new denture may be required.
The same situation can apply if your denture no longer fits snugly in your mouth. Constant flexing of an unsupported partial denture or rocking of the denture when you chew and bite, increases the risk of breakage.
Remedy: In this case, your prosthetist may recommend an adjustment or a denture reline of your denture to restore the fit and alleviate flexing. In some cases, a new denture is required.
Poorly designed denture
Dentures are generally designed and crafted to have adequate strength required for normal everyday wear and tear. However, wearing dentures that are poorly designed or incompatible with your mouth can cause them to fail and ultimately break.
Remedy: In some cases, the denture can be altered to remedy the situation. However, in other cases a new denture is the only solution.
Inserting denture incorrectly
The metal clips (clasps) which secure your partial denture to your natural teeth can bend or break as a result of shrinking gums making the denture flex when eating, or when excessive pressure is exerted on the metal clasps because of poor fit or persistently inserting the denture into your mouth incorrectly.
Remedy: Always seat the partial denture into its correct position in your mouth using your fingers only. Attempting to ‘bite’ the denture into position places unnecessary force on the clasps forcing them to follow a path not designed for them which may cause them to become loose or break.
Regular denture maintenance and denture relines will ensure a good denture fit and help avoid broken clasps.
With a little care and forethought, you can expect to get the most from your dentures. Having a yearly maintenance program can often mean avoiding problems like ill-fitting dentures before they develop. Cracks can be detected, and small repairs made before becoming problematic.
Regular denture relines maintain a snug fit and prolong the life of your denture. Taking preventative measures when cleaning and storing your dentures can avoid unfortunate and inconvenient accidents.
Can I super glue my dentures?
Warning: Do not attempt to repair your denture yourself. Use of incorrect glues can be harmful to your health and often unsuccessful, costing you more in the long run for repair because of the need to remove unsuitable glues.
Further, if you incorrectly position the tooth your bite may be negatively affected causing discomfort and ill fit.
Your dentures represent a considerable financial investment in your appearance, lifestyle and health. It makes good sense to look after them. Where possible, prevention is always better than cure.
Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org