When it comes to wearing dentures, one must understand that the denture-supporting structures in the mouth are in a constant state of change as the years go by. The denture you are wearing is fitted to your oral structure at the time of impression when the denture was being made, over time the supporting structures will shrink away from the denture creating a space. This space can cause the denture to fit loose, feelings of discomfort or give you sore spots, the remedy to this is a denture reline.
A denture reline is the process where the tissue side of the current denture is lined with new material to fill the space where the gums have changed and shrunk, the outcome of this process will give your denture an updated fit to accommodate the change in the gums. The relined denture will in return give you a fit that is snug, more stable, and more comfortable. Relining your denture will also minimize the looseness and rubbing of the denture while reducing the rate of shrinkage in your gums.
What are some Major Causes for denture relining?
- Time –
- It is the inevitable struggle for denture wearers, your denture supporting structures are in a constant state of change. The lower jaw is more prone to shrinking than the upper. Every individual’s gums shrink at different rates, unfortunately; regular scheduled relines are encouraged to slow down the rate of change with a well-fitted denture.
- Weight Changes –
- Significant weight loss can accelerate the rate of shrinkage in supporting structures in your mouth. This can result in a loose denture which can then make it harder to eat, affecting your nutritional intake to maintain or regain a healthy weight.
- Injury or infection in the Gums-
- If your gums have endured some sort of injury or infection recently or in the past, change in the supporting bone may also shrink faster. Relining may be necessary in order to provide the maximum comfort and reduce the rate of change.
- Delaying new Dentures –
- Some denture wearers may be considering or be in the process of getting new dentures, during this time they may look into a reline. May also reline so existing dentures can be used as a backup denture.
- Many insurance coverages or seniors plan cover denture relines every 2 years, so many people get relines to maximize their plan.
Types of Denture Relines
There are 2 main types of denture relines, hard and soft. There are significant differences between the two, and can sometimes be challenging to decide on which choice is best for you. The best way to know is to consult with your denturist to see what is right for you.
Hard relines are the most common and straight forward type of reline. Pink acrylic is used that is the same as your current denture. This option provides you with a newly fitted surface that looks and feels like your existing denture the integration between the liner and denture is seamless. This Process is short and only takes half a day, you get impressions taken using your dentures in the morning and then returned to you in the afternoon.
- Longer lasting and more durable
- Increased stability
- Process can be used to fix minor cracks and fractures in denture
- Seamless transition between Liner and denture
- Short duration of time without denture
- Easier to keep clean
- Can be less comfortable (depending on condition of your denture supporting structures in your mouth)
Resilient Soft Liners
Soft denture reline materials have been developed for the purpose of providing durability and comfort to denture wearers. The soft reline solution allows for a layer of soft and compressible material to be fitted as a cushion between gums and denture. Soft liners geared towards individuals with less desirable denture supporting structures, and mainly used in the lower denture. This option is great for individuals that have a hard time adjusting to the conventional hard acrylic fitting surface lacking supporting tissue. Getting a soft liner takes long that hard relines, the initial steps of impression with your denture is the same but the pickup will be for the following day. Soft liner has its benefits but also has more disadvantages.
- More comfortable for certain individuals
- Great for individuals with minimal denture supporting structures
- Can minimize trauma and irritation reducing the rate of gum resorption
- Soft liner material is more porous in nature which
- Collects bacteria
- Discolour over time
- Can smell really bad
- Hard to do adjustment
- Does not bond as well to denture
- Does not have a seamless transition between liner and denture
- During processing, you are without denture longer
- More expensive
When to consider getting a Reline
Relines are recommended every 2 years. It is also covered by many insurance companies and seniors plans every 2 years as well. If you had a surgical denture in the last year, it is recommended to get a permanent reline at the 1 year mark. Other indications that you may need a reline are:
- Denture has become loose and unstable
- Dentures are often uncomfortable and causing sore spots in different areas
- You are using more and more denture adhesives to get it to stay in place
- Your dentures have temporary liners in place that need to be replaced
- When the soft liner is past its due date, severely discoloured and smelling
Choosing Hard Relines or soft
Each patient’s choice when it comes to hard or soft relines will depend on their specific circumstance. As mentioned, there are advantages and disadvantages to both but the weight that is put on them will vary for each patient. To fully know which type is for you, be sure to book a free consultation with your denturist. Usually soft liner sounds like a nicer option, but it may not be the right option that is best for your mouth.