Is It Serious When You Lose a Tooth from Your Dentures?

Posted on: 10 January 2020

So you've lost a tooth. This is always annoying, but it can arguably be more annoying when the tooth in question is a prosthetic one that has detached from your dentures, which you only got in the first place because you were missing some of your natural teeth. Oh, the irony. Sure, you're going to need to get your dentures repaired with the prosthetic tooth reattached to the denture plate (so be sure to keep it unless it has been swallowed). But in the meantime, is it safe to still use your dentures?

Hopefully Just an Aesthetic Problem

The reattachment of a missing tooth is a basic part of denture service, so you should make the necessary arrangements as soon as you can. It's likely that a missing tooth in your denture plate is only going to be an aesthetic problem, and just how obvious it is will depend on the regular position of the prosthetic tooth in your mouth. If it's a rear molar, it's unlikely that anyone is going to notice. If it's a frontward-facing central incisor, it's going to be obvious.

A Careful Inspection

The look of the thing aside, can you still actually use the dentures? Inspect them carefully. If the tooth has detached of its own accord without any damage to the denture plate, then yes, you can still use them. If the tooth detached after you had an accident with your dentures (such as dropping them while you were cleaning them), then you need to be mindful of any cracks and chips in the base plate. These can irritate your mouth as the irregular surface rubs against the soft tissue of your gums and the lining of your cheek, and it can also mean that the dentures have been weakened and so should receive a professional inspection and repair before they're fit for service.

Bite Force

Remember that wearing your dentures with a missing tooth will exert additional pressure on your remaining teeth (both prosthetic and natural). Your teeth allow for even distribution of bite force, and when one is missing, the others must pick up the slack, making them more susceptible to damage. This is why using your dentures with a missing tooth should only ever be a temporary solution.

While a missing tooth from your dentures is probably just going to be an aesthetic problem, it's wise to remember that this might not be the only problem you'll face. Be sure to take them to a denture service as quickly as possible.