Many patients arrive at our office with broken dentures that have completely worn out and should have been replaced several years before. When we look at a broken denture we look at the colour of the acrylic (which gives us an indication of the age of the denture; when a denture is getting older the acrylic can become brittle and break), the wear and tear on the teeth (if they are missing anatomy and are flat then the denture is worn out), also we examine tooth placement; if the teeth are not positioned directly over the centre of the ridge this causes stress on the denture (which can cause it to break). At times a patient’s denture will put them in what’s called a locked occlusion preventing their lower jaw from properly moving in all directions. These are just some of the things that we look at. Since the posterior (back) teeth do all the grinding, they become worn out at a quicker rate then the anterior (front) teeth.
When a denture has one or several of the above this is an indication that the denture should be replaced. If you continue to wear a denture that has met its life expectancy it can start to cause health problems such as digestive issues or jaw pain, neck aches, headaches, shoulder aches, or back pain just to name a few. (You should not only get your dentures checked if experiencing these issues but also consult with your medical doctor.)
Too many people believe that dentures are good for 20 years. Nothing could be further from the truth! Dentures are made of a hard, ridged material. Your face, mouth and jaw, on the other hand, change over the years. Because artificial teeth wear down with time, a denture cannot do its job effectively for more than about five years. This reality can have devastating consequences that are often invisible and imperceptible to the wearer of a worn-out denture.
The effects suffered from worn-out dentures include:
…and this is only a partial list!
Dentures are not made to last forever and over time the acrylic becomes brittle and starts to break.
Please take your time to answer the following questions, perhaps together with a close friend or family member who might be aware of your challenges.