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How Does a Dentist Perform Denture Repair?
Sometimes denture repair is necessary to ensure the proper custom fit of dentures. When these dental appliances suffer damage or do not fit correctly due to normal wear and tear, they no longer provide patients with the expected look and function.
Denture users who notice a crack, chip or damaged wire or who find that their dentures do not fit as well as they used to should make an appointment for repair right away. Continuing to use damaged dentures can not only cause further damage but can impact oral health as well, possibly injuring gums and any remaining teeth.
How dentists perform a denture repair
Many factors influence what kind of denture repair is needed or if replacement is required. Patients may believe the damage to be superficial when it is actually more serious. Likewise, the damage may appear to be extensive when it is, in fact, simple to repair. For this reason, it is essential to have a dentist evaluate a damaged denture.
Dentists must first determine the nature of the damage
The first step dentists take is examining the denture and the patient’s mouth. Patients can describe the problems and point out any cracks, chips or misshapen wires. Patients can also indicate places on their gums or teeth where the denture causes pain or irritation. The dentist will determine how extensive the problem is and whether repair is feasible and what it will entail.
In-office repairs are often possible for small problems
Minor chips or cracks in a denture’s teeth may be simple to repair on site. Once the repair is complete, patients can often prevent future problems by handling and caring for dentures exactly as the dentist instructs. Careful storing of dentures when patients are not using them can help protect against damage.
Bigger fixes may require the dentist to make dental impressions
Greater damage to a denture or significant changes in a patient’s gums or jawbone may prompt the dentist to create new dental impressions before attempting the repair. This step helps ensure that the repaired denture will fit properly and stand up to everyday use. If the dentist has to make impressions before repairing a denture, the repair will take longer.
Off-site denture repair may be necessary
Major repairs may require sending the dentures to a special lab with the appropriate tools. Some dentists recommend that patients have a spare denture to wear in cases where a broken set must be sent away. Patients may choose to keep their old denture after getting a replacement so they will have it on hand should their primary pair need extensive repairs.
Attention to good dental hygiene can help prevent the need for some denture repairs. It is easier for patients to notice damage to clean dentures, and the regular handling builds familiarity with how dentures in good repair appear. If there is a break or other type of damage, prompt repair helps ensure a longer-lasting appliance and a more comfortable fit.
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