Denture Frequently Asked Questions
How long do dentures last?
There are 2 things to consider. One is the durability of the denture, specifically the teeth within the dentures. Porcelain denture teeth are very hard, making it seem as though they can outlast even natural teeth, but they are also very brittle and prone to breakage. Because they are harder than natural teeth, they also tend to destroy the enamel of natural teeth. Regular plastic denture teeth are soft and can wear out quickly. The most common tooth is a double cross- linked tooth, which is a hardened acrylic tooth that gives great durability and wear-resistance. Also, the newer composite teeth are showing wear resistance that exceeds even the double cross-linked teeth. If you clean the dentures with toothpaste you will wear away the acrylic base with the abrasive cleaning action. Chewing on peppermints or other hard materials will accelerate wear.
The other point to consider is changes to your mouth. Your mouth will not stay the same and after enough time, will change enough to cause the denture not to fit well. Sometimes they can be relined, but other times the change is too great and the denture must be replaced.
The average life span of a complete denture is about 8 years. Most insurance companies will pay for new dentures every 5 years. There are always stories of dentures that are worn after 20 years (how well they fit is questionable). We like to think that 10 years is a very reasonable expectation for a high quality denture.
When will my dentures be ready?
Most dentures, regardless of the type take about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks, and will require 5-7 visits until they are ready to go home. Healing times may also apply. Please ask for those specific to you.
Can my dentures be relined?
Complete dentures can be relined to keep them fitting well to gums that have changed due to weight loss, natural bone resorption, etc. Partial dentures can be relined in the areas that sit upon soft tissue. How often dentures can be relined will depend on how dramatically gums change on an individual.
Can my dentures be repaired?
In most cases, dentures can be repaired if they break. If your dentures break, save all of the pieces and bring them in to the denturist. Do not try to glue them together. If you glue them together, it is unlikely that they will return to the original positions and will fit worse and often look improper as a result.