Although our dentures are made of the most modern materials, over a normal course of time (anywhere from five to fifteen years) they will need to be either re-lined or replaced in order to maintain a normal alignment of the jaws. This is due to the fact that bone loss is a continual process that leads to a reduction in the support for your denture. The fit and alignment of the denture will slowly become compromised due to the bone and gum ridges gradually receding or shrinking as a result of the prior extraction of your teeth.
A “reline” is the process of replacing the internal surfaces of a complete or partial denture to allow it to fit and adapt better to the bony ridges of the mouth. In effect, this process “tightens” the denture. Exactly when a reline will be necessary varies for each patient. It is important to remember that patients who have had an immediate denture fabricated will almost always require a reline in the near future. Also, when the reline process cannot provide enough support for a prosthesis, it is recommended that a new prosthesis be made which will accurately fit the existing shape of your gums and bone.
Hard Denture Reline
All full dentures should have a hard reline every two years. Dr. Hoffman will remove a layer of plastic from the dentures interior surface, and then fill the denture with a putty-like material which conforms to the contours of your mouth creating an accurate gum tissue. This results in maximum contact between the denture and your mouth.
Soft Denture Reline
Some patients are unable to wear ordinary dentures because of tender gums or sore spots. Dr. Hoffman may recommend relining the denture with a material that stays pliable for one to two years before needing replacement. This material is much less likely to give the patient sore spots than the standard hard reline acrylic. Patients experiencing these problems may also consider a more permanent solution of implant retained dentures.
Temporary Denture Reline
If dentures have not been serviced in quite some time, a patient’s gums may be red, swollen, or misshapen. This creates problems in taking impressions for a new hard or soft reline and may lead to a denture that would perpetuate the problem.
A temporary, or palliative (medicated) reline material may be recommended to allow the inflammation to subside. This reline makes the denture fit much more tightly, and is usually soft and pliable. After a few weeks, the gums return to a more normal state. The patient is then ready for his new denture or hard reline.