My tooth broke off of my denture, what do I do?

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First of all, don’t panic. Second of all don’t run for super glue or gorilla glue. These glues are water soluble which means, they dissolve in wet environments. Third, you will want this professionally repaired.

Make sure you find the tooth, or even the part of the tooth that has broken and put it in a plastic baggie or a small container. Don’t put it in a napkin or paper towel. People generally will throw away tissues and paper forgetting they placed the tooth in there.

Most denture teeth are made of a type of plastic that will stick directly to the pink plastic base. This is why it is important not to try to use glue to place it in yourself. Commercially available glues will not hold up long term and the tooth will fall off again.

Most of the time, if you have the denture tooth, it can be placed back more easily and less expensively as long as the fit is perfect. This is why it is so important to not place glue in it yourself.

If you cannot find the tooth, the repair will be more expensive. A new tooth will have to be added and there is a very difficult time finding a true color and shape match especially in a denture that has been worn for a while. Fitting another one in will take a bit more time.

Call a few dentists and see if they can do an on site repair. Full dentures are different than partial dentures. Some dentists can repair it themselves in about an hour. Some dentists will need to have it sent to a lab and it may be the same day or a few days depending upon where you are located. Some dentists will need to see the denture to determine if it is something they can do. Some dentists have an on site laboratory technician to do it while you wait.

I personally can do this if I the patient comes in with the tooth as I have described on a full denture. Partial dentures are trickier for me and it is something I do not do on a routine basis.

Most dentists will not keep a stock of denture teeth in the office. If they are like me, the teeth they have are a random assortment and generally won’t find the perfect color, shape or size.

There are repair kits you can buy in the drug store. Unless your ability to work with your hands is great, I would caution against this. It is hard to get the perfect fit and smoothness of the repair. If the repair isn’t smooth, your lip and tongue may get irritated. They do have sandpaper in the repair kit. Most people have complained about the taste for even weeks after they have repaired it, the difficulty upon the use of it and that it is difficult to use and keep the repair in place. They usually wind up making a bigger mess for whoever eventually repairs it and it will be more costly.

So, when you do get to the dentist office, please please, please do not take your denture out and try to hand it to the front office staff like you would your credit card. They are not prepared to handle this. Ask them what their protocol is for repairs. Make sure the denture is clean on the inside and out before you show it to anyone.

Denture tooth repairs can be a simple fix if the dentist is prepared to deal with them but every dentist has a different skill and comfort level.