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Can I use Superglue to fix my broken dentures?

  1. Introduction
  2. Why should I Superglue my broken dentures?
  3. How to fix dentures with Superglue
  4. Does Supergluing broken dentures work?
  5. Should I fix my denture with Superglue?
  6. Disclaimer
  7. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
  8. Further Reading

Introduction

denture

When my partial upper denture broke in two, and my dentist told me that it couldn't easily be fixed*, this was the first question I asked.

(* she subsequently told me the denture could have been temporarily fixed.)

OK, in fairness, my wife asked whether I would fix the partial denture with Superglue.

Initially, I dismissed the idea. Superglue is pretty strong stuff, gives off toxic fumes, and I didn't want it going anywhere near my mouth.

Add to that, the packaging does state that Superglue should not be used to repair items which will be permanently damp. I don't know whether the human mouth counts as "damp" or simply "moist".

However, as I thought more about it (which one tends to do when without several front teeth while a new denture is being measured for and made) I decided it might be worth a go.

Why should I Superglue my broken dentures?

For a start, Superglue seems only to be toxic when it is in liquid form. That is, during any repair process, the fumes given off can be harmful if inhaled.

When Superglue dries, it becomes plastic-like in nature. It's hard and doesn't seem to degrade. In fact, there's very little (except acetone) which can break down Superglue into a liquid or gaseous form once it has cured and hardened.)

Secondly, its super fast and strong bonding properties only work when it is a liquid. Once it has dried, there's almost no danger of it sticking to anything else.

(I've used the word "almost" as I can't prove this statement for an absolute fact and I don't want someone supergluing their mouth shut and then blaming me.)

Thirdly, it seems to me (as a non-chemist, of course) that Superglue cures into a material not dissimilar to the pink resin stuff that denture bases are made from.

Fourthly, the break in the denture was clean (I could easily push the two pieces of the denture together)

And finally, this was a temporary repair - about one month's wear. It didn't matter much to me if the seal wasn't perfect, or it wasn't perfectly smooth, or I still had to eat with it removed. I wanted something in place to restore my smile and also to minimise the chance of my natural upper teeth moving even slightly into the gap while I was waiting for my new denture.

How to fix dentures with Superglue

Here is my short guide to fixing dentures with superglue:

  1. The dentures should be clean and dry before starting.
  2. Be very sure you are using a genuine Superglue product. It should be of an ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate type.
  3. Practice aligning the two pieces of denture into the position they will sit when repaired.
  4. Carefully apply a small, thin line of superglue to the edge of one denture piece.
  5. Carefully press the second piece of denture into place, ensuring it is as straight and aligned as possible.
  6. Leave to dry. The initial bonding process is fairly quick but full curing can take about 24 hours. I don't recommend wearing or wetting the dentures during this time.

As with any project involving Superglue, you must take precautions to ensure the glue does not get onto your skin, eyes, mouth, or anything else you don't want to get stuck.

Ventilation is also important during the curing process.

Also, I've read that cotton buds can react violently with Superglue (even to the point of combustion) so don't be tempted to use them to push the glue around (in any case, you don't want little strands of cotton wool to get stuck to your denture.)

Does Supergluing broken dentures work?

The short answer is YES.

The denture stuck together rock hard (well, plastic hard at least).

The underside of the denture (which sits on the upper palate of the mouth) was a bit rough where the join was. If this had been a permanent solution I'd be very unhappy, but it certainly was perfectly usable for the short period of time intended.

I was able to eat and drink as before, and clean/soak the denture as normal. Modern Superglue is quite water-resistant so this wasn't the problem I thought it might be.

I didn't notice any ill effects from performing this procedure. When you think that denture adhesive has all manner of chemicals, including zinc, in it, you're really not doing anything worse.

Should I fix my denture with Superglue?

Ultimately you are the only one who can answer that.

(Well, you could ask your dentist but I'm fairly certain what answer you'd get).

I would only recommend performing this procedure if:

Disclaimer

Important: I am not giving you medical advice. I accept no responsibility for anything that happens to you as a result of following or not following what I've written.

My guide was written based on my own experience, and since everyone's situation is different, I cannot say whether what worked for me will do so for you.

You will not hold me responsible for anything you choose to do to your dentures.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are some of the more common questions asked about attempting to repair dentures with Superglue (other than whether it's possible, which is the whole point of this article), plus some other common Superglue-meets-dentistry questions.

Can I fix my denture with Superglue if the break is not clean and/or there are bits missing?

If the break is not clean (by 'clean', I mean that the two pieces of the denture slot/join back together with no gaps or breaks) or there are pieces (however small) missing, then the repair is less likely to be successful.

Firstly, it may be hard to align the dentures in their original position (pre break) and, secondly, there may be gaps or breaks in the new structure which could weaken the structure

Is a Superglue denture repair permanent?

The Superglue denture repair is not meant to be a permanent solution to your broken denture. It is for short-term relief while a new denture is made. Even when Superglued well, the denture will not be as strong as when it was formed in one piece. Your DIY attempt may also not have been 100% correctly aligned, which could cause you mouth and other dental problems in time.

There is also the possibility that saliva can break down Superglue (even when cured) over time, although modern Superglue formula do include water-resistant versions.

Will my dentist help me if I mess this up?

Dentists will generally always help patients with whatever dental problems they have. However, they may well chastise you for what you've done. Furthermore, it will cost money to repair or (more likely) replace the denture. There's also the possibility that this non-standard, DIY work you've carried out could void any insurance or other medical care you have.

Can I Superglue real or fake teeth into my mouth?

I strongly discourage you from doing this. For a start, you'll have active Superglue in your mouth while it is curing. It is far more likely to go wrong. Live teeth do not like Superglue and you'll most likely lose the tooth in time anyway. Go to your dentist for professional help as soon as possible.

Further Reading

As you'd expect, plenty of other people have written interesting and useful aritcles relating to the use of Superglue on dentures. (These are external sites over which we have no control, and usual due care and attention is advised when reading and choosing whether to follow their advice.)

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