Complete or partial tooth loss can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for older patients. Fortunately, a set of well-fitting dentures help restore one’s confidence, speech, and nutrition.
Dentures are simply prosthetic teeth that you can put in your mouth to cover missing teeth. They help to restore the function of your mouth and also your appearance. You may require dentures following an injury that resulted in tooth loss. Furthermore, other aspects like tooth decay can become the root cause of why you need dentures.
Nevertheless, dentures require to undergo relines periodically.
But what’s a denture reline, and why is it important to you? Let’s find out more.
What is a denture reline?
Now that you understand what dentures are, let’s look at denture relines.
A denture reline is a procedure in general dentistry used to reshape the underside of a denture so that it fits more comfortably on the user’s gums. This dental procedure ensures that the dentures can accommodate changes in the patient’s gums or jaw structure. Besides being a significant player in denture care, denture reline also helps in alleviating pain and improving longevity.
Periodical relining is essential as dentures eventually lose their grip in the mouth. The process is quite affordable and often takes up a small amount of time. However, this depends on the type of relining done.
Why do you need a reline?
When a tooth is permanently removed, the surrounding bone structures begin to deteriorate. The body also responds to this action by limiting the number of resources sent to that particular location as the bone no longer needs to surround and support teeth.
Eventually, the bone loss on that part of the mouth forces a change in the shape of the jaw and gum line. When this happens, you’ll notice that your dentures fit less tightly and might even start slipping off at some point.
A denture reline becomes necessary as it gives dentures a tighter fit, considering the new jaw shape and gum line. Furthermore, denture reline has also been associated with better dental hygiene, as better-fitting sets don’t cause sores, which may eventually lead to infections.
Not everyone is a candidate for denture reline. Your dentist will first diagnose you and the dentures to determine if you need a reline or a new set altogether. Moreover, you may even have to consider other options. Get a deeper insight on other alternatives through these resources: dentures vs implants and dentures vs bridges.
How often should dentures be relined?
Ideally, denture relines should happen every one to two years. However, your dentist can use their discretion to reline your dentures as often as necessary.
Assuming you already have your dentures but have not yet had a reline, what are some of the signs to watch out for that may require you to get one?
It’s been at least two years since your last reline
Denture relines typically hold your dentures in place for at least a year or two. If you’ve had your new set of dentures or had them relined within the last two years, it’s probably time to consider going for one.
Discomfort with dentures is not unheard of. Users might experience some pain the first few days after getting dentures for the first time. However, this feeling should wear off within a certain period, once your body gets used to them.
Should you experience prolonged discomfort and pain long after you first get your dentures, it might be a good idea to have them checked out. Perhaps, they require a reline to avoid getting you sores and infections.
Difficulty chewing food
You shouldn’t have any problems eating food with your dentures. However, once you start experiencing issues when eating, you should consult your dentist to have your dentures relined.
Consequently, one of the biggest reasons why you’re not eating well with your dentures is perhaps they are loose. Getting them relined improves their grip on your gums, hence you’ll be able to eat better.
Different types of denture relining
There are three different types of denture relining that you can get. In most cases, your dentist will recommend the best type for you, based on your needs.
Soft denture reline
A soft denture reline is the most comfortable option and is ideal for patients that have recently started using dentures and experiencing rapid bone loss. If you also experience very tender tissues that are getting sore because of your dentures, a soft denture reline would be in order.
The dentist can do this procedure in their office. They often use pliable materials like wax, rubber, or a liquid polymer to add depth to the denture. The patient gives feedback on how the dentures feel in the mouth and if they’re comfortable with it. The dentist finally ensures that it fits securely.
A soft reline lasts at least a year or two before you’ll require more adjustments.
Hard denture reline
A hard denture reline procedure uses more durable materials than a soft reline. The basic process is the same, just that these relines mostly occur in the labs. Your dentist will use putty to create impressions before replacing them with acrylic to make a hard denture set.
A temporary reline may be ideal for you if you stay for too long without servicing your dentures. Your dentist will first have to reline your dentures with medicated material to help reduce the inflammation caused by sore gums.
Nevertheless, a temporary reline only lasts a few weeks before you get another reline from the dentist. You will either get a new set of dentures or a hard reline.
Which reline is right for me?
Your dentist will always advise on the best type of reline that would be ideal for you. If your dentist doesn’t offer denture relines, you can easily find one that does by simply searching online a phrase like ‘denture reline near me.’ They will first have to analyze your mouth and dentures before making a solid decision.
A soft denture reline is ideal for those with sensitive gums or who recently started using dentures. Temporary and hard relines are the go-to procedure for those that have spent too long between relines. Relining also helps repair cracked dentures. A denture reline cost is definitely lower than purchasing a whole new set.
Once you get your dentures, it would be prudent to maintain regular checkups with your dentist. Such denture care allows for timely adjustments (on a need basis) to help you avoid the discomfort, pain, and infections that may result from loose dentures.
Should you have persistent issues with your dentures, your dentist may recommend other dental options.