Dentures are a fantastic invention that only improves with time as they find new ways to make them feel more comfortable and look more natural. They are also relatively expensive items, which is why you take great care to protect them. When one breaks just as you are preparing to go out of town, you may think you can fix it yourself. But, there are several reasons why this is not only risky but more expensive in the long run.
Why People Try to Fix Dentures Themselves
There are several reasons why people might risk the DIY solution to denture repair.
- It’s Just A Small Crack– Sometimes, we look at a tiny crack or chipped tooth and wonder if a such minor damage is worth the time and expense of returning it to our dentist’s office.
- Going Au Naturale– Going toothless in public can be embarrassing. You might restrict your activities to your home and avoid people if it makes you uncomfortable. Wearing a face mask was a great option in 2020, but it is becoming less popular.
- Limited Diet– Being toothless also limits your diet to softer foods until they return your dentures.
- Expense– Dentures are molded to fit your mouth, making no two pairs the same. They’re not something we can get at the corner drugstore. If your insurance copay is high, you may look for other options rather than paying more out of pocket.
Why Would Repairing Our Dentures Be Dangerous?
It may seem like an overstatement to call DIY denture repair dangerous. However, glue, cement, and epoxies are usually toxic. Your saliva, the same substance that breaks down your food, can also erode the toxic chemicals you might choose to put your dentures back together. These chemicals can not only leave a bad taste in your mouth, but they can be harmful to your health.
How Could Repairing Dentures Myself Be More Expensive?
Your DIY repair could look great when you’re done. Nobody will notice, right? The unseen problems may not come until you put them back in your mouth.
- The Glue Doesn’t Hold– The glue you can buy on the general market doesn’t stand up to constant immersion in saliva. As it breaks down, your dentures will fall apart again. In addition to swallowing toxic chemicals, you’ll end up replacing the dentures anyway.
- Misalignment– Even tiny misalignment issues can cause painful rubbing on your gums, the roof of your mouth, or the inside of your cheeks. It also means pressure from chewing isn’t distributed evenly. The uneven pressure can cause the damage to spread and glue to fail. It can also cause uneven wear on the rest of your dentures (or natural teeth if you have partial dentures) because the teeth aren’t lined up properly. Instead of repairing one half, you may end up repairing both or needing dental work on your natural teeth.
- Spreading Damage– Breaking a denture tooth takes some force. Whatever happened to break one tooth may have also caused microfractures in the rest of the plate. A professional will inspect the entire denture for structural integrity. This way, minor damage gets repaired before it can spread.
- Denied Claims– Your insurance company knows that self-repair can lead to more costly repairs down the line. If you take matters into your own hands, they might deny any warranty, repair, or replacement claims that result.
- The Repair Causes More Damage– Using improper tools can cause damage to the surfaces of the denture plates and teeth. Damage can make it harder to adhere the teeth to your gums, cause mouth sores, and harbor bacteria.
What Do I Do If My Dentures Are Damaged?
- Call for a same-day dental appointment.
- If you can’t get an appointment immediately and there isn’t an emergency walk-in dentist in your area, take the earliest appointment available.
- If you’re in a bind and need teeth for one or two days before they can be repaired, there are emergency denture repair kits at various well-known chain stores. Remember, repair kits are meant for temporary fixes. The fix will fail if you wait too long. Try to choose a repair kit that is FDA-approved to avoid toxicity issues.
Can They Repair My Dentures In-House?
Some dentist’s offices can repair dentures right there in the office if the damage is slight. If there is extensive damage, expect them to outsource the repair. Denture repair can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on how busy they are.
While being toothless is inconvenient, a professional repair is the safest solution. It will last much longer than anything you can do at home. The technician will check for unseen damage and ensure that the surface is buffed smooth for maximum comfort and aligned correctly to prevent further damage to the dentures or your natural teeth. And this is the perfect time to treat yourself to a bit of rest and relaxation, catch up on your reading, or binge your favorite Netflix series with a bowl of soft ice cream. Your teeth will be back before you know it.
Dentures are a fantastic creation that improves with time as researchers discover new techniques to increase their comfort and naturalness. When one breaks as you are getting ready to leave town, you might believe you can fix it alone. Take a look at this infographic to learn the five DIY denture repair fails.