Dentures are designed to be long-lasting restorations, but after a while you might notice that your denture isn’t fitting as well as it used to. When that happens, you need a denture reline, a procedure to help refit your dentures because your gums and the bone supporting them continue to shrink after the loss of your teeth.

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Two Types of Relines

There are two types of relines: hard relines and soft relines. Hard relines are done primarily to improve fit, whereas soft relines are done to improve comfort when fit is considered acceptable but you still develop sores in your mouth.

In both types of relines, your dentist takes a new impression of your mouth using the original denture as an impression tray. Your dentist may perform other measurements to make sure that the new position of your denture properly reflects the proper bite position for your jaw, and ensures that the denture stays in place with the midline at the center of your face to help establish an attractive smile appearance.

Reline or Replace?

Every time you take your dentures in to get a reline, you should consider whether you want to reline them or if it is time to replace your dentures. Relining your dentures is a good idea when your dentures are still in good shape, and your gums aren’t shrinking too fast.

However, you should consider replacing your dentures if the dentures are excessively worn. If you do too many relines on the denture with worn teeth, your teeth will be visibly shrunken and your smile will seem gummy. At a certain point, too, your relines will even make your dentures nonfunctional–you won’t be able to chew with them.

Dentures should be replaced if you need relines too fast. After the first few months, bone loss in your jaw should slow, but if you keep needing refits one after another, there may be a problem with the denture.

You should also consider replacing dentures if you were never happy with the fit of them, either originally or after any of your various relines. Relines are also unlikely to help if your dentures feel off-kilter or are wearing unevenly. Then you will benefit from a new denture designed to help your bite.

If you are unhappy with the fit or look of your dentures and want to learn about dentures that don’t look like dentures, please contact a local Denture Fountain of Youth® dentist.