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denture reline procedure

Denture reline: cost and procedure for hard and soft relines

Denture reline is the procedure the dentist uses to make your partial or full dentures to fit your gums properly again. There are different types of dentures reline: with hard or soft reline materials. The denture reline cost is relatively affordable. Dentists always recommend to do that on a regular basis in order to preserve your gums health, correct bite and facial appearance. Along this article you can also read why denture relining should be left to the dentist and not done at home using some relining kit. Here is how it works !

Why does my custom made denture needs relining ?

The day you receive your denture it fits perfectly your gums, you can talk and eat as you did with your natural teeth. In other words, you feel reborn.

However, in the first three to six months after dentures delivery, a natural process takes place and it changes the shape of your jawbone and gums.

When your natural teeth are no more in place, due to cavities, trauma, periodontal diseases or whatever other reason, the jawbone that kept them firmly within your mouth is no more necessary. The bone starts to reabsorb and gums shrink.  The end result of this natural process is that your gums become smaller and dentures cannot be kept firm in place as during the first days.

Dentures, either full or partial, become loose and start to move inside your mouth irritating the gums surface.

Poorly fitting and retention of the dental prosthesis lead to speech and chew difficulties. In addition, the space between the gum tissue and the base of the dentures can trap food particles that go to rub against your gingiva causing you pain and constant inflammation.

Denture relining can keep the functional and the aesthetic of your dental prosthesis, that’s why dentists recommend to do that every few years depending on your needs.

How does denture relining work ?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, in the first three to six months after dentures delivery, your jawbone starts to reabsorb and your gums change their shape (shrink). The dentures you got doesn’t fit well anymore because of a small gap in between the denture base and your gum tissue.

The concept at the base of the denture reline procedure is very simple: it is necessary to fill that gap with new dentures base material. It can be hard or soft and even with therapeutic purpose.

Typically, there are 2 types of denture reline method: soft reline and hard reline

Soft Denture Reline

There are two different cases you may need a soft reline of your dentures

  1. Because of your very tender and sensitive gum tissue or because of the healing time.
    There are patient who cannot tolerate hard plastic material on their gums. In this case the dentist has to put a soft material between the hard base of the denture and the patient gingiva.
    A common use of soft reline is when you get your immediate dentures just after your natural teeth extractions. Of course it is not indicated to make the patient to wear a hard base denture while he or she still has stiches and swollen gums. A soft reline avoids the patient to suffer and promotes a faster healing.
    The soft relining downside is that it has to be replaced more often to ensure a proper fit. So you need to visit the dental office more often.
  2. Because you are within the first 3 to 6 months after the dentures delivery, your gum shape is changing very fast and you need several small prosthesis adjustments.

Soft reline procedure

  • First off all, the dentist has to remove a thin layer of plastic from your dental prosthesis in order to get the perfect surface to work on;
  • The second step involves the patient: a small quantity of impressions material is added to the inside part of the denture to take an exact impression of the denture area;
  • The dentist or the dental technician will use this impressions to create a new soft base.

The whole procedure takes less than 30 minutes and can be completed at the dental office. This procedure is also called “same day reline”.

Hard Denture Reline

A hard denture reline may be indicated for those patients who are wearing their dental prosthesis since 7 months or more. “veteran denture wearers” have already completed the adjusting time. Their gums and bone initial reabsorption is done but not completed. After some time, usually every 2 or 5 years, the denture doesn’t fit well anymore and a new hard relining is needed.

Hard reline procedure

In order to hard reline your dentures, the steps are almost the same like those seen for the soft one.
The difference is that the technician use the impressions to create a new hard base for your denture or even to redo your denture hard base completely.
This second relining type needs two days to be completed so you will be without your denture until the new base is created.

Denture reline kit

home denture reline kit

If you visit web-forums you can see there are a lot of people asking whether it is possible to reline dentures at home using some kit sold via Internet (i.e. Amazon store) or at the drugstore.
There are some good reline kit brands such as:

  • ProSoft Denture Reliner
  • Permasoft Soft Denture Lining
  • Snug Denture Cushions
  • D.O.C. Reline-It, Advanced Denture Reliner
  • Ezo Denture Cushions Lower Heavy

Just to list the most known.
If you want to go with these products, we strongly recommend you to carefully follow the instructions you can find in the confection.

Can I reline my dentures at home ?

It is very hard to properly answer this question because there are many factors that should be considered.
Virtually there are no concrete risks but potential risks and it is better to know them in advance: Let’s see the most common:

If you don’t use the denture reline kit as described in the instructions, you may alter your bite also known as occlusion (the position of the teeth when the jaws are closed). We all know that our teeth are directly connected with other facial structures like jaw muscles and jaw joints. If our bite is not perfectly balanced it may lead to joint problems and pain, headaches, back muscles  pain, and other health problems.

Nowadays some brands claim that their reline kit can last in place up to two years. In the past, these home kits offered a short period of time solution while dentists could provide you with a more durable restoration.

If you are not sure what you are going to do and you feel you can easily ruin your denture using a reline kit, please don’t hesitate and visit your dental office. They know what to do and how to adjust your denture to make it to fit your gums again.

How much do denture relines cost ?

Without any doubt, this is the most asked question by future denture wearers.

One more time, the answer will be: it depends !!! Yes, it depends on the dentist proposal/plan.

There are dentists who offer all-inclusive-plan, meaning that denture manufacture, first adjustments and relines are included in the final cost. After 2 or 5 years, the second hard reline will be apart and the relative cost is $260 to $450.

In other cases, the denture relines cost (either soft or hard) is charged separately since the very beginning.

The reline price also depend on the type of dental prosthesis you choose. In other words, if you go with the most affordable dentures in order to save some money, then all the necessary relines will be charged apart.

Instead, if you choose high quality custom dentures which are very expensive, then it is very common that your dentist will offer you relines procedure for free.

We strongly recommend you to ask which way your dentist offers just to avoid unpleased surprises at the end of the restoration.