How to Fix Broken Dentures in an Emergency

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
How to Fix Broken Dentures in an Emergency

Maybe they slipped out of your hands and hit your sink. Maybe they couldn’t handle a bite into a raw vegetable or whole apple. Or maybe they simply got weaker over the years. Whatever the reason, dentures sometimes break. And people who wear them often wonder how to fix broken dentures at home.

You can take some steps to fix dentures yourself. But emergency repair offers only a temporary fix. For a more permanent solution, you must schedule an appointment with your prosthodontist as soon as possible.

Here at Penn Dental Family Practice (PDFP), our prosthodontists repair broken dentures for patients in and around Philadelphia, PA, on a regular basis. But to help you until you can schedule your appointment for a lasting fix, here is advice about how to repair dentures in an emergency.

How to Fix Your Broken Dentures at Home

 Prosthodontist wearing mask and goggles sits in a lab to polish repaired dentures for her patient.

Broken dentures can be distressing. But remember: you’re not the only person who has to deal with this problem.

The edentulous (toothless) population in the U.S. numbers 36 million people. About 90% wear dentures. Only 15% have dentures made each year. Statistically, then, at some point in any given year, nearly 27 million Americans may have cause to wonder how to fix broken dentures.

Here’s how to repair your dentures in a pinch:

1. Determine whether your denture can be temporarily fixed

Whether you can fix a broken denture at home before seeing your prosthodontist depends on how the denture has broken. Has a piece of its pink acrylic fallen off? Has one of its teeth cracked or fallen out? Has the denture broken in half?

You may be able to temporarily fix the first two issues. The third issue, you cannot. Only a skilled prosthodontist with access to a dental lab can repair a denture that has broken in half.

2. Call your dental office before you do anything else

Prosthodontist wearing scrubs holds fixed upper denture in his cupped hands, illustrating denture repair.

Whether or not you can repair your broken denture, call your dentist or prosthodontist immediately. Explain the situation. Tell them what portion of your denture has broken. Then, schedule an appointment for the earliest available opportunity. Any emergency repair is only a stopgap measure.

3. Don’t keep wearing broken dentures

Even if your broken dentures can still fit and stay in your mouth, don’t try to keep wearing them until your appointment. Damaged dentures could easily cause cuts, sores, gum inflammation, or other oral health complications. Continuing to wear them might even cause them to break further. Instead, collect your dentures’ broken pieces, take your dentures out of your mouth, and store them until your appointment so your dentist or prosthodontist can see exactly what is broken.

4. Buy a denture repair kit

Once you’ve scheduled an appointment with your dentist or prosthodontist, buy a denture repair kit. You can find options at most local drug stores and pharmacies or online.

Most kits include a small bottle of acrylic resin or other bonding material. Some also include different replacements for teeth that have fallen out of your dentures.

5. Proceed with caution

Carefully read and follow all the instructions in your denture repair kit before you begin. If you don’t, you risk damaging your dentures even more. Specific instructions may vary by manufacturer, but generally, you will want to:

Senior woman holds hands to cheeks and smiles, wearing dentures repaired at Penn Dental lab in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Use a completely clean and dry, well-lit workspace.
  • Avoid touching the kit’s bonding material with your bare hands, especially if you must mix the adhesive yourself.
  • Use only a small amount of the resin, scraping away any excess, to ensure the repaired dentures fit well in your mouth.
  • Keep the denture pieces correctly aligned throughout the repair process.
  • Let your repaired dentures dry completely before wearing them again.

One more word of warning: never use any kind of glue or bonding material other than the one in your repair kit. Quick-drying glues aren’t waterproof. More importantly, you don’t want any toxic ingredients they contain in your mouth.

Again, a denture repair kit isn’t a long-term fix. Although many products claim to fix cracks, only a prosthodontist provides a permanent solution.

Get the Expert Denture Repair Philadelphia Trusts

Even the best-made dentures will deteriorate over time. But they will last longer the better their wearers care for them.

Keep your dentures clean by brushing and rinsing them regularly and thoroughly, and soak them overnight on a regular basis. When brushing your dentures, consider filling your sink with water. Dentures that slip into a full sink have a softer impact and are less likely to break.

But if, despite your best efforts, your dentures break—don’t panic! Visit a prosthodontist as soon as you can.

The prosthodontists at PDFP know how to fix broken dentures to ensure a long-lasting, well-functioning, and comfortable fit. If you need denture repair in or near Philadelphia, schedule an appointment online today or call 215-898-PDFP (7337).

Broken dentures are far from the only oral health emergency PDFP can treat. To find out more, download our free eBook, “The Survivor’s Guide to Dental Emergencies.”