There are several reasons a denture may get broken. One of the commonest causes of a broken denture is wear and tear over time. Frequent chewing and biting actions cause micro-fractures on the material of the denture, putting uneven pressure on various areas of the appliance, leading to a crack.
In addition, when a denture has been functioning for some time, shrinkage of the supporting jaw bone can lead to poor fit, causing the appliance to crack. Impact fractures may also occur after dropping the denture.
The good news is that acrylic material is amenable to repairs. A small crack is relatively easy to repair, but when the denture is broken into separate pieces, the appliance must be sent off to a dental laboratory for appropriate repairs.
The first step is to assess the feasibility of repairing the broken denture. If the various parts of the appliance can fit together perfectly without gaps, it is highly likely that the denture can be repaired successfully.
To ascertain the feasibility of a successful repair, the laboratory technician will tack the broken pieces together with a very mild form of cyanoacrylate and inspect the denture for evidence of gaps.
If the broken pieces are perfectly fitting, the next step is to fabricate a hard silicone mould which fits inside the denture. There are two portions of the silicon mould- the unset base and the catalyst putties. The denture is seated into the silicon putty until it is set.
The set silicon mould now provides a firm and stable support for the denture. A firm base is imperative because it will be impossible to position the broken parts in an accurate manner without a firm base.
The next step is to open the fracture line by several millimetres with a dental drill to facilitate filling of the repair area with special repair material. Several channels are cut perpendicular to the fracture line and filled with carbon fibre material to make the appliance stronger and prevent future cracks from spreading.
The next step is to harden the repair material under controlled temperature and pressure by placing the denture in a water filled pressure device. After the repair is completed, the denture is tested in the patient's mouth for fit and bite so that necessary adjustments can be made. The finished appliance is then polished, ready for collection.
If the denture has missing pieces, the technician will require the original shape of the denture to cast a mould in order to replace the missing pieces. A small metal rod is usually inserted between the split pieces to strengthen the appliance.
Talk to a professional who works with dentures for more information.