how to adjust partial dentures at home
Published On: April 15th, 2024Categories: Dentures5 min readViews: 736

DIY Dentistry? How to Adjust Partial Dentures at Home


Approximately 70% of adults in America are missing at least one tooth. For many of these individuals, partial dentures are a life-changing solution. Partial dentures offer a way to fill the gaps left by missing teeth, ensuring oral health and an improved self-image. However, as with any prosthetic device, life happens, and issues can arise.

Problems like discomfort, an improper fit, dropping new dentures, or simple wear and tear can occur, often at the most inconvenient times—such as when you’re traveling or during holidays when you cannot get immediate dental assistance. While nothing can replace a dental professional’s expertise, you can take some emergency steps to adjust your partial dentures at home until you can see your denturist or dentist.

In this short guide, we will share practical tips for making minor adjustments and improving your partial denture’s comfort and functionality until you can seek professional help.

Understanding Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are designed for individuals missing one or several teeth and help restore the smile and functions of chewing food and speaking. Each partial is custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth and can blend with existing teeth, so they disappear into the patient’s mouth. The advances in modern dentistry provide dentists the ability to offer solutions that can significantly improve the quality of life.

However, regular adjustments are essential. If gone without regular maintenance, discomfort, slippage, and difficulties in daily use can arise, necessitating either temporary at-home adjustments in an emergency or professional intervention.

What To Do In a Denture Emergency

When facing a denture-related issue such as a sore spot, the first step is to remain calm. Not all problems require immediate professional attention, and understanding what you can safely do at home can make a big difference in your comfort level.

Identifying the severity of the issue will help you decide whether a temporary fix is sufficient or if it should be left to a professional.

Safety Precautions

Ensuring your safety is vital when attempting any form of DIY dentistry, as often you may deal with sharp or toxic items. Here are some essential precautions:

Avoid Sharp Objects: Using sharp tools can damage your dentures and harm your mouth.

Steer Clear of Household Glues: These can be toxic and may permanently damage the material of your dentures.

Do Not Force Your Dentures: Applying excessive force can break them or cause injury to your mouth.

What Not to Do

DIY dentistry is almost always a no-go; however, in some situations making minor adjustments is fine. However, there are some ‘must nots’ that patients should be aware of.

First, never in any circumstance is boiling denture material advisable. Putting your own dentures in boiling water will destroy them. This is not the way to reshape lower or upper dentures.

Second, put down the electric nail file and trimmer. Scratching away at your lower or upper denture is a surefire way to damage your dentures beyond what a dentist’s office could even repair. Light, gentle filing may be appropriate in some circumstances.

Third, do not attempt to adjust your natural teeth to fit your dentures. The soft tissues and enamel in your mouth are delicate.

Tools and Materials Needed

Having the right tools at hand for your repair or adjustment can save you time and be the reason for a successful repair. For basic at-home adjustments, you will need the following:

Denture Adhesive: This can temporarily help improve the fit of your partial denture.

Mild Dish Soap and Soft Brush: It is essential to clean your dentures with mild abrasives to avoid causing damage.

Denture Repair Kit: These kits are designed for minor fixes and are available at most pharmacies or online stores.

Dental Wax: Useful for covering sharp edges or providing a cushion against sore spots, especially on the back teeth which take the brunt of your bite force.

Acquiring the above items before you begin your repair is a good idea, as you will have the necessary tools at your fingertips, ensuring a successful repair.

Step-by-Step Adjustment Process

The true first step is getting your denture relined or repaired at a dentist’s office. If, for some reason, this is not immediately possible and you’re in pain, then follow these adjusting steps.

Cleaning and Assessment

The first step in any adjustment is to ensure your partial denture is clean. Use a soft brush and mild dish soap to gently clean every surface, removing any adhesive or debris. Once clean, carefully assess your denture, looking for areas that cause discomfort or seem to fit poorly.

Applying Adhesive

If your dentures feel loose, a denture adhesive can temporarily improve fit. Apply the adhesive sparingly, following the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overuse, which can lead to other health-related issues.

Temporary Filling

For areas causing irritation, a denture repair kit may include a tool for gentle filing. If a specific spot on your dentures is rubbing or causing soreness, carefully file down the offending area, checking frequently to ensure you’re not overdoing it.

Using Dental Wax

If you encounter sharp edges or areas that cause irritation, dental wax can provide a temporary buffer. Mold a small amount of wax over the problematic area to protect your mouth until you can see a dental professional.

Remember, these steps are intended for temporary relief. They are not a substitute for professional adjustment or repair.

When to Seek Professional Help

It’s vital to understand the limitations of at-home adjustments. While minor tweaks can provide temporary relief, only a qualified dental professional can make accurate, lasting adjustments and repairs. Professionals like those at European Denture Center possess the skills, experience, and equipment necessary to ensure your partial dentures fit perfectly, function properly, and are comfortable for everyday use.

Persistent discomfort, visible damage, or any significant fit issues are clear indicators that it’s time to seek professional assistance.

Proper Denture Repair At European Denture Center

Temporary fixes for partial denture issues can offer relief, but for your comfort, health, and the longevity of your dentures, professional attention is crucial. European Denture Center provides professional denture reline and repair services, ensuring your dentures are in the best possible condition.

Visit European Denture Center and explore their Denture Repair and Reline Services.