With the rapid spread and potential future spread of the coronavirus and the resultant illness COVID-19, dentists are being asked to postpone elective procedures. However, dentures can be essential appliances that are critical to your life. In that case, it might be considered an emergency to repair or replace your dentures.
When Dentures Are Critical
Dentures perform many important functions, and all of them matter. However, only a few functions are truly critical.
Most importantly, dentures should help you to eat. It is vital that you have access to a full range of nutritious foods. If you can’t eat all the foods you’d like, you are more likely to undereat, which can put your health at risk. In addition, you might develop malnutrition if you can’t eat foods providing the proper nutrients. Right now, your body needs all its resources to fight illness. And food flexibility is important in these days when there are intermittent shortages at stores when you might not be able to buy all your first-choice foods.
This means that dentures are critical when they significantly improve your ability to eat foods. Dentures that you remove for eating, especially partial dentures, are not critical at this point.
So what constitutes a denture emergency? There are a few common situations that can be considered urgent or emergency care.
If you broke your dentures and you need them to eat, we consider that an emergency and recommend that you get your dentures repaired.
If your dentures are lost and need denture replacement, that is also an emergency. In this case, contact your dentist before coming in. It may be possible to use on-hand resources to replace your dentures without you needing to come in for anything but the final fitting.
If your dentures have poor fit or cause pain to the extent that you can’t use them, you should consider that an emergency. Minor discomfort and looseness might have to wait.
Don’t Try to Repair Dentures at Home
We understand that under the current circumstances, it might seem preferable to try to repair damaged dentures at home rather than risk a trip to the office. However, as we’ve noted before, attempts at home denture repair can simply make the situation worse. Often, the repair won’t work properly, leaving you with a denture that simply doesn’t work. Other times, materials used for at-home denture repair can be toxic.
The same goes generally for at-home relines. This is something that is hard for you to do properly at home, and it’s not uncommon for people to start with dentures that fit a little poorly and end up with dentures that are now completely nonfunctional.
Leave denture repair and reline to trained professionals.
If You Have a Dental Emergency
At Smile Columbia Dentistry, we are working hard to serve all our patients’ needs during this difficult time. If you have a dental emergency, whether related to your dentures or another issue, contact us. We will get you an appointment at the earliest opportunity to try to make sure your mouth is healthy, making the best foundation for overall good health.
Please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with denture dentist Dr. Adam Hahn.