Dentures don't take care of themselves, so it's good to know which dental services you need to get them fixed. A dental lab near you can repair your dentures as necessary, or you can go to your NHS or private dentist. Although dentures are replaceable, they are every bit as critical as your natural teeth.
From helping you chew to helping you speak clearly, dentures give that confident smile back to people who have lost any of their teeth. Neglecting them may lead to breaking or fracturing them, leading to oral health issues.
You must get dentures quickly repaired by a denture repair lab near you or your dentist to continue life as normal. And, it's also important to learn about taking care of your dentures to avoid damage and repair fees.
Let's explore some common denture issues and ways to get them fixed in time.
Table of contents
- 1 What are dentures and how many types are there?
- 2 What are some common denture issues?
- 3 Why would I need emergency denture repair?
- 4 How do I find dental labs near me?
- 5 What is same-day denture repair and how can I find a lab that offers this service?
- 6 How much does it cost to repair dentures?
- 7 How to prevent denture damage
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQs
What are dentures and how many types are there?
Dentures are removable replacements for your teeth that are custom made for each patient. They’re typically used with older adults or other people who have partially or completely lost their teeth.
Dentures help you to eat, chew and speak comfortably. They are made to look like natural teeth and are fitted in a plastic base which is coloured to closely resemble the gums. There are several types of dentures depending on your needs.
Conventional complete dentures
Complete dentures are placed in the mouth after taking out all your teeth. They can be fitted only after tissues have healed, which may take several months.
The upper denture covers the roof of the mouth while the lower denture rests on the gums and bone of the dental ridge. A thin layer of saliva, your cheek muscles and your tongue hold the lower denture in place.
Partial dentures are removable teeth replacements for people that are missing one or more teeth but still have remaining natural teeth. Partial dentures look similar to complete dentures because they are made of false teeth and gum coloured material.
However, some partial dentures have metal clips, or a metal body to help secure the denture to the remaining natural teeth and sit comfortably in the mouth.
Implant-supported complete dentures
To provide a secure fit, a complete denture needs to attach via dental implants. Implants are surgically placed in the lower and upper jaw to make dentures stable and reduce bone loss. These dentures are often also known as snap-in dentures.
Immediate dentures are made before the removal of teeth. Once they’re ready, the dentist removes your teeth and the dentures are placed.
To give you a better understanding of the different types, here’s a quick comparative analysis:
Conventional complete dentures
Implant-supported complete dentures
Convenient for older adults who suffer from tooth loss due to age.
Provides a better and more secure fit with surgically-placed dental implants.
Patients don't have to wait 6 - 8 weeks for tissue to heal.
Chewing functionality is not as effective as natural teeth. Some patients develop lisps or other speech problems.
Irreversible procedure with higher repair and replacement costs.
May cause some discomfort, as they are not molded to the gums.
£500 - £1500
£4000 - £14,000
£400 - £500
£282.80 (only available if medically necessary)
£282.80 (price includes extractions)
What are some common denture issues?
Though dentures are generally comfortable for patients, there are some cases where they can become damaged or cause discomfort:
- Improper fit – Although largely custom-made for each patient, dentures can sometimes fit improperly, leading to discomfort, sores and more. This study shows that in most cases of improper fit, the dentures will break or chip while eating and chewing.
- Wear and tear – Dentures age and are not meant to last forever. With use, the material becomes thinner and weaker, making them susceptible to damage and fractures.
- Improper handling – Dentures can also break and fracture due to mouth injuries or with improper handling. For example, if you suffer an accident that severely impacts your mouth or if you accidentally drop your dentures and they hit the ground with force, they could very well break.
- Gum problems – Another less common cause of denture damage is the shrinkage of the gum area beneath them. Over time, the gums underneath the dentures may shrink, leaving the dentures fitting loosely and becoming susceptible to fracture and damage. If this happens, you may need to get them fixed to accommodate the extra space. This is done using a process called relining, or basing the denture. It’s pretty quick and you could be wearing your perfectly fitted dentures in no time.
However, you may not notice a small fracture right away, so make sure to visit your dentist or dental laboratory near you regularly.
Here's a short video that will shed some light on what dentures are and why are they needed.
Why would I need emergency denture repair?
Denture breaks are similar to natural tooth damage and should be dealt with immediately. If ignored, they can lead to oral health deterioration such as oral stomatitis and angular cheilitis.
People often believe that they won’t have a dental emergency with dentures and they can just wait for their regular dentist appointment in case of damage. What's worse is that some people may be tempted to repair them on their own. This isn’t the best way to go about denture repair.
Fixing denture damage is best left to professionals, and you should avoid quick fixes like super glue or similar products. Super glue is not food-safe and should never be put in the mouth under any circumstances. Additionally, most likely you’ll just damage the denture further.
The best option is to seek immediate emergency denture repair if your dentures are damaged or you’re feeling uncomfortable. Remember, if you don’t get damaged dentures repaired quickly, you won’t be able to chew or speak as well as you should.
The most qualified person to fix your dentures is of course your dentist. However, that may not always be the quickest way.
An emergency denture repair lab is your best bet when it comes to seeking immediate care. They’re open late compared to regular dentist practices, and some are even open on weekends. You can read more about weekend dentists in our guide here.
Denture repairs usually involve the use of acrylic and adhesive to repair broken areas. After repair, you should be able to wear your dentures instantly without any problems. In cases where dentures are severely damaged, you may have to opt for a new set. In these cases, consult your usual dentist and follow their advice.
How do I find dental labs near me?
The most straightforward way to find somewhere to repair your dentures for you without going to your dentist first is to search online for a ‘denture repair lab near me‘. But, finding a good dental laboratory lab near you that has credible references and friendly staff can be tricky.
You can start by getting in touch with your dentist. They might partner with specific labs they know and trust.
Make sure you’re in the right hands when it comes to getting your dentures fixed. Ask for references and if they can guide you on the care you need. Your dentist is aware of your dental history and is the best person to ask for references.
If you’re looking online, try using credible resources and online directories. These directories will help you find listings of dental professionals in your area and in most counties of the country.
Call ahead to find out if the denture lab can help you with your particular condition. Look for reviews as well, as both good and bad reviews should give you a good indication of the reputation and customer service of a lab. You may also be able to find virtual tours or videos of the facility.
What is same-day denture repair and how can I find a lab that offers this service?
A same-day denture service means the denture lab will be able to provide most repairs in a day and return your dentures quickly. Specialised denture lab technicians are experts in denture repairs. They will also be able to assist you better in case of severe breaks and fractures.
Call ahead to learn about the operating hours, their procedures, and the wait time. You can also ask if they will need your previous dental records for reference.
And make sure to inquire about the denture lab fees and payment options. Some offices may require you to pay upfront, while others may offer a payment plan. Make sure you’re comfortable with their payment options and know if you have dental insurance covering repairs.
How much does it cost to repair dentures?
Generally, private emergency denture repair costs about £200, or more if there is substantial damage. But, if you get your dentures repaired through the NHS it costs just £84.80 per appliance.
If you get your dentures repaired privately the cost can vary depending on the degree of damage and on the condition of your gums and bones. If there is substantial damage, it may cost more. However, it may be a much faster process than going through the NHS.
It’s understandable that cost might be a deciding factor for some, but this can be smartly managed with a bit of research. Compare the denture lab price list with others and get in touch with the lab about payment options.
It’s always advisable to set aside some money monthly to be able to better tackle emergency situations. You can also invest in a good insurance plan that covers these dental procedures.
If you already have insurance, make sure your denture lab knows. Note that insurance may not cover all repairs, depending on the cause. You don’t want to pay a surprise fee later just because a procedure wasn’t covered.
How to prevent denture damage
Dentures are prone to damage if you don't take care of them. In fact, the materials can be easily damaged. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that your dentures remain functional for a long time.
Visit your dentist regularly
Denture misalignment due to changes in your gums and bones is not easily detectable. You should regularly visit your dentist, as they will be able to monitor these subtle changes over time.
Inspect dentures regularly for damages
You should regularly inspect your dentures for damage such as small cracks and fractures. If you observe any abnormalities or experience discomfort while wearing them, talk to your dentist.
Place dentures in clean water when not in use
This will help them retain their shape and keep them from drying out while you aren’t using them. Don’t place them in hot or boiling water, as this can cause warping.
Clean them regularly
You should clean your dentures regularly, but make sure you handle them with care. While cleaning them, place a towel underneath so that they’re not damaged if you accidentally drop them.
If you suspect your dentures are damaged or feel discomfort while wearing them, don’t wait until your regular appointment with the dentist. Get in touch with an emergency dentist or dental lab immediately.
If your dentist isn’t available, search for an emergency denture repair lab near you and seek treatment.
Denture repair usually doesn’t take much time (unless the damage is severe), so you should try to visit a same-day denture repair lab that is open to the public and can get it done while you wait. Same-day denture labs work closely with specialised dental technicians to get repairs done quickly.
Denture repairs can sometimes be costly, depending on if you get them repaired through the NHS or privately. So, make sure you have your payment plan worked out with the facility you are visiting. If you have dental insurance, make sure that the repair is covered.
Most importantly, take care of your dentures to extend their life. This way you will be able to adopt a preventive approach. It’s understandable that accidents happen, but simple care practices will help you minimise damage to your dentures.
What are dentures?
People who have partially or completely lost their teeth are able to chew and speak comfortably with the help of dentures. They are removable replacements for teeth that are custom-made for each patient. They are made to look like natural teeth and are fitted in a plastic base that is coloured to closely resemble and blend with the gums.
What is denture relining?
Dentures are made by denturists who specialise in these procedures. And sometimes dentures may need reshaping. The procedure of realigning or reshaping dentures is called denture relining. Usually, under this procedure, the underside of the denture is reshaped to fit the gums perfectly.
Soft relining is the preferred method used by dentists, as it’s more comfortable and can be performed easily. On the other hand, a hard reline is slightly less comfortable, but repairs often last for years.
How long does denture repair take?
Denture repair time depends on the extent of the damage. Some denture repair labs offer same-day repairs, as they have a specialised lab set up for these procedures. If you opt for same-day service but the damages are extensive, the repairs might take longer than expected. In some cases, you may need to replace the dentures completely.
How can I repair dentures at home?
It’s not advisable to repair broken or damaged dentures at home, but you may be able to use a temporary reline kit until you can get it repaired. Don’t try to glue damaged dentures yourself. Common adhesives can lead to complications, so even though it seems like a simple fix, it's not a good idea.
You should schedule an appointment with your regular dentist or look for an emergency denture repair lab near you. Same-day labs have specialised setups and can get you quick results. It may cost a bit extra but you will get better and faster results.
PubMed NCBI: Evaluation of damage to removable dentures. Consulted 15th September 2020.
NCBI: Problems faced by complete denture-wearing elderly people. Consulted 16th September 2020.
UK Health Centre. How Are Dentures Repaired? Consulted 2nd August 2021.
NHS Business Services Authority. Replacement Dental Appliances. Consulted 2nd August 2021.