Dropped Dentures? Here's What You Need to Consider
Your dentures are designed for strength and durability. Having said that, they might not quite be strong enough to survive a drop onto a hard floor. If the dentures should shatter or are otherwise obviously damaged, then clearly denture repairs or replacement will be necessary. But what about when the damage might be more subtle? Is it still safe to wear your dentures?
A Thorough Examination
Carefully pick your dentures up and take them to a well-lit area. Examine both the pink denture base and each individual tooth from both sides. You might also want to gently test each prosthetic tooth with the tip of your finger to see if it has come loose from the denture base.
Damage to an Individual Tooth
While an upper or lower set of full or partial dentures can still be used with a missing tooth, exercise extreme caution if the tooth is merely loose. It can pose a choking hazard if swallowed, so be mindful when eating, and do not sleep with the dentures in your mouth. Have the dentures repaired as soon as possible.
Damage to the Denture Base
Repairs will be necessary, but dentures can generally still be used when there is a hairline crack in the denture base. Avoid using the dentures if the crack appears to be deep, as the denture base could potentially break while in your mouth, with the possibility of causing an injury.
A Minor Chip
When there is a chip on the denture base or on an individual tooth, this doesn't necessarily mean that the structural integrity of your dentures has been compromised. While you can still wear them as normal, the chip has the potential to cause some mild irritation. The exposed sharp edge of the chip can rub against the soft tissues inside your mouth, and repairs can be necessary when this is the case. Ideally the denture base can just be refinished to remove the sharp edge. In the interim, you might wish to obtain some dental wax which can be applied to the chip before putting the dentures into your mouth. Periodic reapplications will be needed, and you should have the dentures examined without delay.
Hopefully you will never experience that lurch in your stomach as your dentures fall to the floor. But those dentures are a critical part of your life, so it's vital that you have any necessary repairs performed as soon as you're able.