Denture Adhesive

Use of denture adhesives was once viewed negatively by the dental profession. Improved products and an evidence base that establishes no tissue damage and objectively improved function when the product is used appropriately have affirmed these products are safe and useful adjuncts for care. As denture adhesive protocols emerge that support the use of dental adhesives to increase stability, retention, and patient satisfaction, all dental professionals should become familiar with the proper use and benefits of these products.

Due to advances in cohesive and adhesive properties of denture adhesives, today's products have been shown to increase bite force, improve denture retention, stability, and security. Denture adhesives are not a substitute for a well-constructed denture and should only be used on the advice, recommendation, and regular re-evaluation of a dentist.

Denture adhesive enhances retention, stability, and function in all patients. It may be an indispensable adjunct for certain groups of patients, including those who experience or have experienced:

  • Xerostomia
  • Neurological problems
  • Severely compromised intra-oral morphology
  • Maxillofacial resection

Patients making excessive facial-muscular demands, such as public speakers, musicians, etc., can also benefit from the use of a denture adhesive.

Denture adhesive should NOT be used in:

  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Dentures not recently evaluated by a dentist
  • Situations when a known allergy exists to any product ingredient

Complete instruction on the use of denture adhesive for a patent needs to include:

  • Suggested product choice and what the reasons are for the recommendation
  • Amount to use (minimal)
  • Care of oral tissues (periodic removal of the prosthesis)
  • Care of the prosthodontic appliance (thorough cleaning and removal of all remaining adhesive after each use)

Evaluation of the prosthodontic bearing tissues is as important as the evaluation of the dentition. Regular recall also should be stressed.

Evaluation should also include checking for an identification label on the patient's appliance.

The dentures of residents in a long-term care facility should always be clearly marked for identification. Dentures that are handled by direct care workers can be easily mixed up or misplaced. Identification through the use of name, initials, or numbers on a hidden surface (such as the distobuccal or tissue surface) will facilitate prompt return in case of a mishap. This type of identification would also prove useful in case of hospitalization. These markings can be made in the dental lab during the fabrication of a new denture or applied to an existing denture with a variety of simple techniques. Some states have passed laws making denture identification mandatory. In cases where sending to the lab for labeling is not practical, the simple technique of using sandpaper to roughen a 1 inch by ¼ inch area of the denture, followed by writing the name in pencil and covering with clear fingernail polish and allowing to dry works well.