Broken a Veneer, a Dental Implant, or Your Dentures? Here’s What You Need to Do

If your teeth aren't entirely natural, you've probably gotten into the habit of looking after your veneers, your dental implants, or your dentures as well as you would look after your natural teeth. Sometimes accidents happen and your dental prosthesis is the victim. In many instances, a broken prosthetic tooth (or set of teeth) can be reattached rather quickly and easily. So what do you need to do if it happens to you?

Broken Veneers

If the veneer has detached (come away from the underlying tooth in its complete form), then it can rather easily be reattached. Wrap it in something soft for protection, such as a piece of tissue paper, and then seal it inside a small plastic container to keep it safe. See your dentist as soon as possible. Remember that your tooth was "shaved down" ever so slightly to make room for the veneer, which means that the tooth's roots (nerves) are now closer to the surface than they previously were. This means you should exercise caution when eating or drinking anything particularly hot or cold, as there might be some extra sensitivity.

If a piece of the veneer has broken off but a portion is still attached to the underlying tooth, do not be tempted to run your tongue over the affected area. The chipped veneer might have sharp edges that can damage your tongue. It's not essential to find the broken portion of the veneer, as a new one will be required. See your dentist as soon as possible. There's a small chance that the remaining veneer might detach and be swallowed, although it's probably too small to be a choking risk.

Broken Dental Implant

They're designed to last a lifetime, but the prosthetic tooth component of a dental implant can sometimes become loose or fall off. This generally only happens as the result of an accident, such as when you sustain a blow to the mouth. If the prosthetic tooth has detached and is still entirely intact, rinse it under the tap to remove any debris. Use low water pressure so that the tooth is not knocked out of your hand and washed down the drain. See your dentist for reattachment. A shattered or broken prosthetic cannot be reattached, and a new one will need to be made.

Inspect the area around the implant (the metal screw and abutment that held the prosthetic tooth in place) for damage. If the area is bleeding, bite down on a damp black tea bag. The tannin in the tea is a naturally-occurring compound that helps the blood to clot. Again, see your dentist as soon as possible, as this exposed area will be very sensitive until the implant is put back into place.

Broken Dentures

If a single tooth has broken off your set of full or partial dentures, you can temporarily fix the problem yourself. Go to your local pharmacy and buy a DIY denture repair kit. This is an adhesive that allows you to reattach the missing tooth, keeping it in place until you can see a dentist for a more permanent solution. Try not to put too much pressure on the tooth in question while eating. Do not use superglue, as it is highly toxic.

If the dentures have fallen from your mouth and broken into multiple pieces, do not attempt to repair them yourself. There is the possibility that they will break up while in your mouth and will then be a choking hazard. New dentures are required. If a section of the upper or lower plate of the dentures has chipped off, this will also require a trip to the dentist. While the dentures can be saved, the sharp edge of the chipped section can damage the soft tissue in your mouth.

Breaking a non-natural tooth is an inconvenience rather than a tragedy. Fortunately, if it was a "clean" break, the item can be reattached with a minimum of fuss. For more information, contact a local dentist