Those with dentures can expect to do some maintenance on them every once in a while. Your dentures rest on top of living tissue in your gums. All living tissue is somewhat mobile and the bones underneath missing teeth can change as time goes on. That means your dentures may not fit as well as they did when they were new and a reline is in order. Read on to find out about the three relining choices for denture wearers.
Temporary Reline to Address Discomfort
If it's been a while since your dentures were first fitted, your mouth may develop some inflammation in spots where the dentures are now rubbing on your gums. Discomfort and sore gums mean it's time for a reline but first, your dentist needs to calm down your gums. A reline involves making a new mold of your gums so getting the swelling down has to come first. A temporary reline uses medicated materials to adjust your dentures to reduce swelling and pain. In a few weeks, your gums may be ready for a more permanent reline, such as one of the two explained below.
The denture material that rests next to your gums may need to be adjusted to account for changes in your bite and gums. To perform a hard reline, the dentist exchanges the acrylic that touches your gums with soft rubbery putty that molds to your gums. That putty creates an impression that is sent to the dental lab and turned into a new acrylic lining. The acrylic is a stiff, hard material and that is where the name "hard reline" comes from. This procedure, as with all types of relining, can usually be performed in a single dental visit. You should know before you leave the dental office whether or not the reline feels better to your gums. Soft relines, as explained next, make take more tweaking before they fit perfectly.
While a hard reline uses a plastic or acrylic material, soft relines use pliable materials. It might be waxy or rubbery and it has a softer feel against the gums for those who may have more sensitivity there. Soft relines are not the standard but can make life more comfortable for some. It can be more difficult to get the fit of a soft reline just right. You might have to return to the dentist a few times for adjustments with soft relines. The other issue with soft relines is that it's possible your mouth is sore for a good reason that has to do with the fit of your dentures. In other words, you may just be putting off the more permanent solution of refitting or new dentures if you have a lot of discomfort.
There's no reason to live with uncomfortable dentures. Speak to a dentist to learn more. Companies like Cape Dental Care can help.