Dentures are an excellent choice of prosthetics for people who are missing a few or all of their teeth. Although made to be durable and long-lasting, dentures do require some level of attention and maintenance in order for their wearer to continue having an enjoyable and pain-free wearing experience. Denture relining is one such maintenance process that is necessary to ensure comfort and that a wearer gets the most out of their dentures.
But what is a denture reline? When and how often do you need one? Keep reading to find out.
What Exactly is a Denture Reline?
A denture reline is a procedure aimed at improving the way a patient’s dentures fit their gums. As you age, natural changes occur to the shape of your jawbone and gums. These changes can affect the way your dentures fit (they may begin to feel loose) and subsequently lead to denture-related issues like denture stomatitis, pain and discomfort, chewing and speaking difficulties, swollen gums, blisters, mouth infections, soreness and even headaches. A denture reline can be done to fix this problem. It works by adapting the fitting surface of your denture to better accommodate the changes that have occurred in your mouth and gums. Simply put, a layer of material is placed on the inside of your dentures so they fit more properly and feel comfortable.
Types of Denture Relines
Depending on the wear and tear of your dentures, you can choose to go for one of two types of relines- a soft or hard reline.
A soft denture reline is done using a soft, pliable, and porous material. This type of reline is ideal if you are new to wearing dentures or have sensitive gums. This is because the soft material offers more comfort for the wearer. A soft reline is easy and quick and can be typically done at the dentist’s office.
Hard relines, on the other hand, are made with the same type of acrylic material as the denture’s base. They are done to improve the stability of your dentures. This type of reline takes a while longer and is typically carried out in a lab, but a high quality denturist like The Denture Shop can get your dentures relined and back to you within a couple of hours.
When do you Need a Reline?
As a denture wearer, you should get your dentures relined as soon as you notice that they are beginning to feel loose and uncomfortable. Other signs to look out for include dentures shifting from their original position, difficulty eating and speaking, swollen gums or pain and discomfort from ill-fitting dentures. You can also get your dentures relined if you want an adjustment instead of a total denture replacement.
How Often Should you get a Reline?
Soft denture relines often last for about 1 to 2 years, while a hard reline can last well over 2 years. The reason why one reline lasts longer than the other is simply because of the differences in materials used. That being said, a denture reline should be done every two years, at most. An exception can, however, be made if you’re feeling pain and discomfort as a result of loose-fitting dentures.
Bear in mind that although a reline can help your dentures fit better and last longer, after about 5 years (which is the average lifespan of the denture itself), a reline may not be as effective, and getting new dentures might be the best option.
You only get the best out of your replacement teeth when they fit properly and feel comfortable to wear, so if you’ve noticed irritation or soreness on your gums from loose-fitting dentures, it might be time to get your dentures relined. Denture relining is the way to ensure that your dentures maintain a comfortable fit for the longest period of time.