Getting Fitted With Dentures? Understanding Relines

Dentist Blog

If you have just been fitted with dentures recently, you may be still learning about the care and maintenance you need to do to extend their lifespan. However, even if you take good care of your dentures, you may be surprised to learn that they'll need repairs called relines after a few years of use. Read on to learn more about relines, why they're necessary, and what the procedure entails.

What Are Relines?

During a denture reline, your dentist will add material to the inner plate of the denture to make sure it fits and conforms to the underlying hard and soft tissues in your mouth. If you are struggling to speak clearly or are feeling any discomfort wearing your dentures, you may be due for a reline appointment.

Why Does Underlying Hard and Soft Tissue Even Change?

Dentures that once fit well can become loose due to bone resorption. With natural teeth, you have tooth roots that run through the jaw bone. These tooth roots send signals to the body to maintain bone density. If you are missing tooth roots, there is nothing to tell the jaw bone to maintain the bone density, so the tissues in your mouth tend to atrophy over time. In turn, dentures that once fit well in your mouth may become loose due to this resorption.

What Do Reline Repairs Entail?

Instead of creating a new appliance from scratch, your dentist can reline your current dentures. If a lot of adjustments need to be made, your dentist can send your dentures to a dental laboratory while smaller adjustments can be done at an in-office appointment.

During a reline, your dentist will clean and sand away a small amount of your current dentures to prep the surface. Your dentist will then place some putty on the denture and place the denture in your mouth to take an impression. The putty will reveal where areas of the denture need adjustments. Your dentist—or a lab technician—will then use acrylic resin to fill in any areas of the impression that need adjustments.

If your dentures need to be sent in to a lab, your dentist may fit you with temporary prosthetics while you wait. However, in-office adjustments usually have a quick turnaround time so you may be able to leave your appointment with the reline.

Lastly, you also have the option of a soft reline or a hard reline. With soft relines, a dentist can use a softer resin for people who have developed sores from their loose dentures. Soft relines may not last as long as a hard reline, but they may be more comfortable. Hard relines last a long time, but they require a harder acrylic material, so they may only be a good option for people without sensitive gum tissue.

Reach out to your dentist for more information about relines and other denture repairs.  


22 June 2021

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Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!