2 Common Questions About the Use of Denture Adhesives

Dentures are among the most commonly used prosthetic dental devices for the replacement of lost teeth. In some situations, dental health practitioners may recommend the use of adhesives alongside these prosthetic devices. The use of denture adhesives provides extra support for the prosthetic device, thereby giving it a firmer grip on the patient's gums

Because not all patients would need to use adhesive materials alongside their dentures, here are answers to two common questions that dental patients often have in relation to the use of denture adhesives.

Why Would a Patient Need to Use Denture Adhesives?

Several situations may create the need to use denture adhesives. Examples of these situations include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Ill-Fitting dentures: Fabrication of dentures is done on a patient-by-patient basis. Ideally, dentures should be a perfect fit for the patient. However, human error in the fabrication of dentures can result in the production of an ill-fitting device. Adhesives are used to increase the comfort and reliability of using ill-fitting dentures. The cost of using dental adhesives is often lower than that of denture replacement.
  • Adhesives may also be recommended for use in the early days of denture use before the oral muscles adjust to the newly-installed prosthetic device.
  • Patients who opt to use immediate dentures (those installed immediately after tooth loss) are also advised to use denture adhesives. This helps to reduce the likelihood that affected gum tissues will be resorbed. Resorption of gum tissue often has a negative impact on the firmness of dentures.  

What are the Available Types of Adhesives?

Denture adhesives come in various forms. Cream and paste-style adhesives are among the most common, and they're often referred to as denture glue. Application of cream adhesives is done by smearing the cream/paste on affected dentures or affected gum areas.

Denture adhesives may also come in powder form. The use of powder adhesives involves their combination with saliva in the mouth so as to create a paste around the problematic areas.

Sheet and strip-style denture adhesives cover the entire fitting surface of the prosthetic device. Wafers are an example of sheet-style adhesives and they're often larger in size than their strip-style cousins. Separate sheets are required for use on lower and upper sets of teeth.

The choice between various types of denture adhesives largely depends on personal preference. However, a qualified dentist will be in a position to advise on the best choice of adhesive in accordance with the specific circumstances of the patient.