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Coastal Dental Service Jacksonville Florida

Understanding Denture Repairs

When your denture is repaired all that is accomplished is returning it as closely as possible to its pre-fracture condition.   What must be considered are basically two factors:

1)                 If your denture fractured due to an accident, and the break was clean; and you have not attempted a “home repair”, then it is very likely that it can be repaired very accurately to its pre-fracture condition and function.

2)                  In instances where your denture is older, and possibly worn &/or ill-fitting, or if it fractured due to a functional wearing issue, then the repair is less likely to be able to be accomplished optimally.  Remember, a repair will not address the defect that existed prior to its breaking – a repair does not ever correct the problem that allowed or created the fracture; it only puts it back together as accurately as possible under the circumstances of the condition of your denture before it fractured.   In other words, if your denture was old, ill-fitting and worn before it broke, it will still be that way, and maybe even worse after it is repaired.   In instances such as this, a repair will, hopefully, merely just buy time until you can have another set made.   In this case, your denture will still be prone to fracture again --- not due to a defect in the repair, but due to the fact that the factors that allowed it to fracture have not been addressed.   In these instances, if your denture breaks again relatively soon after the initial repair, you should understand that your denture should be replaced, not just re-repaired – again because the factors that allowed it to break have not been addressed by simply putting the denture back together. 

You must always remember that dentures simply do not break for no reason -- there is always a reason your denture broke.   If your denture broke because you dropped it, then the reason for the fracture is generally pretty easily rectified --- simply take care to not drop it again!  If it broke during function or just wearing it, the reason will need to be corrected [just repairing it does nothing about correcting the problem].   Many times a tooth can break out because of an awkward way you closed on it --- often from a natural tooth (or a denture tooth) in the opposing arch coming into a traumatic contact with the fractured tooth – or you could break it from biting on some hard or tough food (such as an un-popped popcorn kernel, hard bacon, peanuts, pizza crust, or from chewing meat off of a bone, etc.).   Sometimes the denture base will fracture and the cause will be the same or possibly that the denture has failed due to thinness due to lack of space in your mouth.   Regardless of the reason, a licensed Dentist should adjust these type of repairs after the repair.   Sometimes a denture will fail simply due to the fact that it is old, worn, and out of alignment.   The correction for this problem is simple to accept the fact that your denture has outlived its usefullness, and will need to be replaced.   Sometimes it is not convenient to replace the denture at that time due to either finances or other personal factors.   Sometimes the denture can be adjusted to relieve the stress placed on it, but this certainly will not fully correct the defect of an old and worn out denture that is simply beyond its useful life.   Repairs in this category are almost certain to re-occur --- and sometimes when the denture is so bad the repair won’t hold up at all --- due to no fault of the repair process, but due to factors of the denture itself.

          For these reasons, after your denture is repaired, it is entirely possible that it may require the attention of our staff dentist to adjust it so that you can utilize it again.   The likelihood your denture may necessitate adjustment depends largely on its pre-fracture condition and needs vary widely between individuals.    If this becomes necessary in your case, the dentist will advise you of these factors and reasons when recommending a new denture.

          Many times a patient asks if we can repair their broken denture.  The answer is always, of course, we can; but the real question is how effective will the repair be?

          Sometimes, it is just not possible to effectively repair a broken denture due to its pre-fracture condition and/or factors contained in the opposite arch.  Often this cannot be accurately determined before the repair is attempted, and in these situations, we just simply do the best we can under the circumstances.   Regardless, because of these variables, we cannot be responsible for repairs that do not return your denture precisely to its pre-fracture condition and/or comfort and function.   We will try to advise you if we feel that a repair will be less than ideally effective and give you alternatives, and possibly you might be advised to replace the denture rather than have it repaired.  In these instances, your repair will need to be accepted as a “time bridging” procedure until you can have a replacement denture made.

          In instances where the patient begins the process to make a new denture at the repair visit, the cost of the repair will be credited against the fee for the replacement denture.

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