It’s estimated that over 178 million Americans are missing one or more teeth and that 7% of adults worldwide are missing all of them. Among people who need their teeth replaced, dentures are an incredibly popular option.
That means millions of people will likely have to have their dentures relined at some point in their life. If you’re one of them, you may wonder exactly what will go into that process. Here’s a guide to denture relining and what it entails.
What is Denture Relining?
When you lose a tooth, the bone that once held it starts to shrink. The body wants to make the best use of its resources, and that area of the jaw isn’t being used. This process is called resorption, and over time it will change the shape of your jaw, meaning that your dentures will have to be readjusted to fit its new shape.
There are two kinds of relines: soft and hard. A soft reline is done to make the dentures more comfortable for patients whose gums are excessively tender or have just undergone surgery. Hard relines, on the other hand, are done just to reshape the hard acrylic of your dentures to better fit your mouth.
How Does Relining Work?
For soft relines, your dentist will thoroughly clean your prosthetic, then remove some of the material on the dentures where they come in contact with the gums. They’ll then use a resin to make an impression of your mouth, which hardens to make a softer, more comfortable seal for your dentures.
Hard relines are similar, except that an acrylic substance is applied to the resin to create a permanent base of support for the prosthetic.
How Do I Know If I Need Relining?
Dentures can’t prevent bone resorption, which means that relining will eventually be necessary for people who wear them. Soft relining is usually done in response to irritation or surgery, but hard relining is usually done after around 2 years.
At that point, you should be vigilant for signs that your dentures don’t fit, for example:
- A feeling that dentures are slipping or loose.
- Dentures that frequently fall out.
- Sores or areas of inflammation on the gums.
If you need your dentures relined, don’t worry; the process is quick, easy, and will make you much more comfortable in the long run.
About Our Practice
If you want a complex procedure to be done well, you need to call an expert. At Jacksonville Dental Specialists, we have the experience necessary to help you with whatever tooth replacement or oral surgery you could need. Whether you’ve been referred to us, or just looking to get an opinion on a complex dental topic, we’re happy to be your go-to specialists.
If you have any questions about denture relining, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (904) 683-4781.