When Denture Repair Should Be Denture Replacement
Imagine taking your car to a mechanic, thinking that your minor problem only requires a minor repair. Now imagine being told that the problem is far worse than you thought, and that you're better off bidding a fond farewell to the vehicle and replacing it. This is not something that most people can afford easily. What about when you take your dentures in for repair, thinking that the problem isn't all that serious, only to be told that your dentures don't need to be repaired—they need to be replaced.
A Professional Assessment
Firstly, don't be suspicious if this should happen to you. Denture repair clinics aren't going to tell you that your appliance needs replacement in an effort to make you spend more than you intended to. A recommendation to replace dentures is a professional assessment, based upon the age and condition of the appliance.
Wear and Tear
Remember that dentures don't last forever. They're a long-lasting tooth replacement system, but they're not permanent in the same way that dental implants are. Wear and tear on the prosthetic teeth is unavoidable, although the extent and speed of that deterioration depends on the original materials, as in whether the prosthetic teeth are porcelain or resin (plastic). The denture base plate is also subject to wear and tear, but this can indicate another development.
When the effects of use become obvious on a denture base plate, it can be due to changes in your mouth. Tiny, gradual changes can take place over the years, affecting your jaw, your jaw joints, and the height and width of your dental ridges. Your mouth has changed, and as such, your dentures should be replaced in order to reflect the current contours of your mouth.
What happens if you're not in a position to replace your dentures?
A denture clinic can perform spot repairs on whatever aspect of the appliance is damaged. The base plate can also be relined for a better fit, but this is not a substitute for a new set of dentures. These repairs are not permanent, although they can buy you some rather necessary time.
When you might not be able to easily afford a new set of dentures, repair is a good option, provided you remember that whatever problems you were experiencing are likely to return. Think of the repair as a way to allow you to keep wearing dentures until you're able to afford a replacement set.
Professional repairs will prolong the life of your dentures, but it's not a permanent solution. So when you're told that replacement is in your best interests, it's wise to listen.