Not having your natural teeth, as well as the process of aging causes gum and bone atrophy in the mouth. Most of this resorption occurs during the first 3-4 months after the teeth are extracted, and then continues at a slower speed. A poorly fitting denture can worsen this process and cause gum pain and difficulty chewing. Periodic checkups at your dentist and proper denture care will help prolong the life of your dentures and keep you pain free.
When your denture starts causing you discomfort such as pain, difficulty speaking or chewing, or gets loose, a dental reline may be recommended. This is a simple process of changing the shape of your denture so it can fit properly in your mouth.
Hard Denture Relines
Every two years, all full dentures should have a hard reline. In this process, a layer of the existing denture surface is removed. A putty-like material is filled in and inserted into your mouth to make an exact impression of the denture area. Once this impression has hardened, it is used to create a new surface or base for the existing denture teeth. This step is sometimes completed in the dental office, but more often is done in a lab to produce a longer-lasting surface.
Soft Denture Relines
This procedure is recommended for patients with tender gums or sore spots who are not able to wear the regular hard-surface dentures. A soft reline is a simple and quick procedure that can be done in the office. A liquid polymer is layered into the denture to add depth and cushion and it needs to be replaced every one to two years.
A Temporary Reline is performed when the patient’s gums are swollen or sore to a degree that a hard reline or soft reline are not possible. A medicated reline material is applied to the denture, allowing the inflammation to subside and heal. This reline adjusts the denture to fit tightly as it is soft and pliable. After a few weeks, when the gums are healed, the patient is ready for a hard reline or new denture.