Dentures offer a straightforward solution when it comes to replacing missing teeth, but what happens when one of the prosthetic teeth in your set of full or partial dentures breaks off? Though it's not a likely scenario, it could still happen with a combination of usual wear and tear coupled with a flaw in the manufacturing process. A prosthetic tooth could also be knocked out if you were to suffer a blow to the mouth. How easy is it to get the problem fixed?
Take a Look at Your Dentures
If the damage has occured after an accident (such as receiving a blow to the mouth), you need to carefully inspect your dentures. While the missing prosthetic tooth might be the most obvious damage, you also need to look for signs of further damage which might destabilise the dentures. Look for cracks in the base and in the remaining teeth. If cracks are evident, exercise extreme caution in wearing the dentures, as it's possible for them to break further, potentially damaging the soft tissues inside your mouth.
DIY Repairs Can Be Unwise
The cause of the damage might be obvious, but it could be a mystery as to why a single prosthetic tooth has detached from your dentures. Try not to lose the tooth, as it can often be reattached. This process needs to involve professional denture repairs, and you should resist the temptation to simply glue the tooth back into place. It might seem like a simple enough task, as you would only be gluing one piece of plastic resin to another piece of plastic resin. It's not really that simple, and the alignment needs to be perfect. There's also the matter of many types of glue being water soluble, so the glue will quickly be broken down by your saliva. The toxicity of the glue should also be mentioned—you probably don't want that stuff in your mouth.
Reattaching the Tooth
You should bring the detached prosthetic tooth and your dentures to your dentist as soon as possible. If it was a detachment with the tooth remaining totally intact, your dentist should be able to bond the tooth back into position, ideally on the same day. If the tooth cannot be reattached for whatever reason, a replacement tooth will need to be fabricated, and the waiting time for this can vary, although it shouldn't be a mammoth task.
The loss of a prosthetic tooth from your dentures can be an annoyance, but it's not a particularly difficult issue to fix. Just make sure you don't try to glue it back together yourself.