There are different reasons people experience loss of teeth, the most common being gum disease, cavities, physical injury, poor dental care, and surprisingly being a male. Luckily there is a remedy for loss of teeth; dentures are used to replace the teeth lost.
However, as the dentures are used, they become old, and there is an issue of proper disposal. Unlike other items owned like a pair of sneakers, or old vinyl records, dentures cannot be reused because they are specially designed to fit the person.
So, what do you do with old dentures? Can you recycle dentures? Can you dump them in the recycle bin? Or, can you repair them so they can be used by another person? These and other questions are what we seek to answer in this blog post.
So, relax, take a seat, and discover what you can do with old dentures!
Can You Recycle Dentures?
Most items we own are reusable until they can no longer be used, so we dispose of them. This is not the case for dentures, and you cannot dispose of them by throwing them into the trash can.
Dentures are produced from various materials like porcelain, acrylic, metal, nylon, or resin. However, the denture framework is usually manufactured from metal, nylon, or acrylic. The material used is determined by the type of denture to be used.
Presently, only Japan has developed a reliable way of recycling dentures. An association was created called, Japan Denture Recycling Association (JDRA). No one knows how dentures are being recycled except the Japanese.
However, all the proceeds generated from recycling dentures by the association are donated to UNICEF and other organizations.
Nevertheless, there are speculations that the technicians who make the dentures can repair them to be used by another person. Although this appears to be tedious, considering all the cleaning and other necessary processes that must be undergone to make it fit for use by another person.
Can Dentures Be Donated Or Repaired?
If a situation occurs, such as a denture breaking, what do you do? Do you dispose of it and get a new one, or do you take it back to the dentist to be repaired? Of course, many people will go for the first option. Nevertheless, we will see if dentures can be repaired.
Yes, dentures can be repaired. However, the only dentures that can be repaired are those with fits that are slightly off. If there is a little crack on the denture, the dentist can perform a repair to make it fit for use again.
But, if there is a major crack or a severely damaged denture, it cannot be repaired by a dentist. It would have to be taken to a laboratory for a major repair. The process of repairing a denture is usually referred to as basing or relining.
For a denture to be repaired properly, it must be taken to the dentist as soon as the crack appears. So, if you happen to use dentures, it is best to check them regularly for cracks. The longer the time the crack has been, the more tedious the repair process.
You might be wondering what will make a denture crack. Let us take a quick look.
Every item is prone to wear and tear, regardless of what the item is used for. Dentures are used daily; it is impossible to say the teeth are not used every day. The dentures are used to bite and chew, this process might seem immaterial, but the constant biting and chewing can cause small fractures.
Another cause of denture crack is improper fit. In the event of cleaning the teeth, there can be a misalignment of the dentures. And if it is not identified quickly and there has been biting and chewing, large cracks tend to appear because the pressure is placed on some areas, making them wear out quickly.
Like we mentioned earlier, dentures can only be recycled in Japan, and the association recycles the old dentures into new dentures, most of which are donated to foundations.
So, if you want to donate dentures, you can send them to the recycling program in Japan; people in desperate need of dentures around the world will receive them.
However, before donating dentures, you need to do a few important things. First, clean and disinfect the dentures. You can do this by pouring hot water over them. Another option is to use a dental solution to clean the dentures, although this is less effective.
And there is a third option of placing the dentures in a pot of boiling water. After bringing it to a boil, turn off the heat and leave it to cool. You can also soak the dentures in a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide for at least thirty minutes. Then you can rinse them and let them dry out.
After cleaning and disinfecting the dentures, wrap them in bubble wrap, tissue paper, or other cushioning packaging material. Place the dentures in a padded envelope and ship it out via the Postal Service to Japan Dentures Recycling Association, 350-8799 Kawagoe Post Office Stop, Japan.
Are Used Dentures Worth Anything?
Anybody missing a tooth or a pair of teeth is in dire need of a denture. While some people may have the financial capacity to purchase a new set of dentures, others do not have that opportunity, so they would have to go for another alternative; buying used dentures.
So, yes, used dentures are worth something. You can sell used dentures on online shopping websites like eBay. There are tons of people who will purchase them. Some might use them to replace their lost teeth, and others use them as part of Halloween costumes.
However, there are a few problems with purchasing used dentures; one of them is denture fit; all dentures are unique because the jawline of everyone is very different. So, purchasing used dentures with the intention of reusing them might not be a great idea.
If a person is lucky enough to purchase used dentures that are a close fit, adjustments would still be needed. Regardless of the adjustments made, the final fit would not always be optimal.
Another problem is oral infections and disease; you do not know the type of oral infection the owner of the denture has, and if you use them without proper cleaning and disinfecting, you would have the same infections.
Can You Whiten Dentures?
One of the most important things about having dentures is keeping them clean. It is imperative to take proper care of your dentures; this includes cleaning them regularly. Lucky for you, we would look at how to take care of dentures properly.
It is important that you know that you can only whiten dentures to remove stains, not change the color of the denture teeth.
So, if you want to whiten your dentures to get rid of stains, it is possible. But if it is to change the color, there is no method for that. To change the color of dentures, you would have a new denture produced with a lighter color.
Some ways to clean dentures are: rinsing the dentures with water after eating to eliminate all food and leftover particles. Another way is by cleaning our mouth with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any adhesive or debris after removing the dentures.
As strange as this may sound, brushing dentures with regular toothpaste can damage them; it is best to use a non-abrasive denture cleanser when brushing daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Before going to bed, ensure you soak the dentures overnight in a denture cleaning solution.
Whitening dentures restore them to their original color by getting rid of superficial stains accumulated over time. The longer the stains remain on the dentures, the more difficult it is to remove.
Smoking, tobacco products, tea, coffee, wine, cola, blueberries, and other foods that contain synthetic or natural dye are the common causes of denture stains, making them look yellowed and dull.
The best part about whitening dentures is that you can do it at home, or you can have a dentist whiten them for you. There are three ways of whitening dentures at home; using hydrogen peroxide, denture cleansers, or baking soda.
To use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your dentures, you have to coat the denture with the solution and gently brush it with a denture toothbrush. The same way you would use baking soda to get rid of odor and stains is the same way you would whiten your dentures.
You have to make a mixture of baking soda and water and use it to brush the dentures gently. And the final way is to use denture cleansers. There are lots of whitening and bleaching solutions for dentures. Purchase any one and follow the package directions.
When whitening dentures, you should avoid things like; abrasive cleaners (regular toothpaste, stiff-bristled toothbrushes, and cleansers), products containing bleach, and hot water.
What Can You Do With Old Dentures?
One of the issues with using dentures is the thought of how to dispose of old dentures. Like we mentioned earlier, dentures are not like other items that can be given away or just tossed into the bin. To ease this burden, have compiled a list of things you can do with old dentures.
1. Donate To Dentist And Orthodontist Offices
One of the best ways to get rid of old dentures is by donating them to dentists and orthodontists. Although they do not need the dentures to use for other people, they would use them as models to demonstrate the concept of dentures to their patients.
So, you can check around for any local dentist or orthodontist offices and see if they would like a pair of old dentures.
2. Donate To Local Schools
There would be schools around that need dentures for their health, science, nursing, and medical departments. You can check around for any elementary, junior, and high schools in your area that need them.
It would be difficult to purchase new sets of dentures. You can also inquire with the local dentistry schools to see if they accept denture donations.
3. Donate To Local Artists
Artists are among the most versatile creatives on the planet, and you cannot guess the type of items they will find useful and important. So, it would not hurt to check for any artists around and ask if they would love a pair of old dentures.
4. Use For Halloween Decorations
This is probably the most common use of old dentures; you can use them as a part of Halloween costumes. Children will find it fun and interesting. However, the dentures must be properly cleaned and disinfected prior to usage.
There are so many reasons to have a complete set of teeth; it not only improves looks; it also makes a person look younger and prevents other oral health problems from occurring later.
The best way to get a complete set of teeth after tooth loss is by getting dentures. We have also provided you with a couple of ways to dispose of old dentures.