Relining your dentures is a procedure that re-fits the surface of your denture to the tissues in your mouth. This is accomplished by placing a new acrylic base into the denture, duplicating the new form of the oral structures in the mouth. Having a reline done will make your dentures comfortable again, give more stability and help keep food from getting trapped under them. Relines are required for a variety of different reasons, the most common being shrinking of the oral tissues or "gum resorption. This is caused by the normal aging process or can also be caused by the extraction of your natural teeth.
As a general rule, your dentures should be relined every 2-3 years. Relines are just a normal part of denture maintenance and crucial to the health of the oral tissue and bone support of your mouth. A reline is not always the best procedure for a denture. If it has lost some retention or occlusion has changed a lot then a reline will not work in correcting the retention of the denture.
There are several types of relines as follows:
- Temporary Reline – a silicone gel that is designed to last 1-4 months. Normally this is used in dentures of people who have had their natural teeth extracted or to improve the health of their tissue before new dentures are made and put in place.
- Direct Reline – this is also known as a chairside reline. With this one, the direct reline material is inserted into the denture and allowed to set in the mouth while you wait in the dentist's chair. A direct reline is available in both a hard and soft base and is not meant as a long term solution for fit issues.
- Processed Reline – this is completed by taking an impression inside your existing denture and duplicating the new form of the oral structures in the mouth. Also offered in both hard and soft base.
- Soft Reline – used mainly in full lower dentures it allows for more protection and comfort for people who may have sensitive gums and little or no bone support. It is bonded to your denture. The denture will adhere better to what remains of your gum and be less irritating to your tissues which in turn gives your denture more stability.
- Rebase – This is the process of refitting a denture by replacing the entire denture base. It's done by taking a new impression inside the denture, completely removing the old acrylic and adding a new acrylic base around the existing teeth. This is recommended for dentures that have multiple repairs, discoloration or are very thin.