Dentures are amazing. Not only do they replace missing teeth, but they provide wearers with the means to eat, speak, and smile. False teeth can improve self-image and build confidence. However, over time, dentures may become loose and this can present embarrassing situations when false teeth slip and slide within the mouth.
Denture relining is an affordable solution that may fix the problem and save the wearer from the cost of new dentures. In this article, we will review what denture relining is, how often dentures need to be relined, and the signs to watch for that can point to the need for existing dentures to be relined.
What Is A Denture Reline?
The simple description of relining is when a dentist adds more material to the denture plates that change the way they fit inside the mouth. The goal of relining is to improve the fit and to make the fit comfortable.
Dentures are most effective if they have a snug fit where they cannot move around or be knocked out of position. Sometimes the gumline changes shape and this can alter how false teeth fit. This is when you may need a denture reline.
The Different Types of Denture Relining
There are two different types of relining. One is referred to as a soft relining and the other is known as a hard relining. The main difference between these types of relines is the time they take to complete.
A soft reline can be done typically in a single dental appointment where you will receive your relined dentures before you leave the dental clinic. The soft reline uses a soft, porous material added to the existing denture and shaped to match the natural contours of your gums to produce a good fit.
A hard reline is one where your false teeth are sent to a lab to be relined. This means you will be going home without your dentures and will be without them for a day or more. A hard reline uses the same acrylic material your dentures are made of and requires shaping in a lab, hence more time is required.
Signs That Your Dentures Need To Be Relined
There are a few telltale signs that can tip you off to the need for denture relining. They include the following:
Sores, Infections, and Discomfort
When dentures start to lose their fit, they can rub and slide around in the mouth. When this happens, sores develop. With the bacteria that exists inside the mouth, sores can become infected, and this may result in sensitivity that makes wearing false teeth very uncomfortable.
Chewing Food Is Difficult
Because a snug fit for dentures means minimal movement when false teeth are in place, it makes things like eating possible. However, once dentures no longer fit properly, they can come out of position frequently. When chewing on food, the pressure exerted to bite into and chew food can easily jar dentures out of position making eating difficult to do.
Your Last Reline Was Two Years Ago
So how often do dentures need to be relined? The lifespan of the average reline is not very long. For example, a soft reline will last between one and two years whereas a hard reline will last for two years or a little longer. When you consider that dentures are good for about five years due to the changes in one’s mouth, relining every couple of years makes sense until it is time to replace the false teeth with a new set.
The False Teeth Are Too Loose
We’ve explained the importance of a snug fit for dentures. Any time that false teeth do not sit firmly in place as they once did should be an indication that your gums and jawline are changing, and the shape of the dentures are no longer matching what your mouth was like when you first got them. Loose dentures are candidates for relining, otherwise you may have to have them replaced.
Denture Reline Cost – How Much For A Relining?
Several factors will determine the final denture reline cost. They include the rate your dentist charges, the type of relining – soft or hard – and the type of denture requiring the relining. The average cost of the process is between $300 and $500 USD.
Can You Reline Dentures Yourself?
If the cost of relining dentures is a bit steep for you, there is an alternative. You can purchase one of many different DIY denture reline kits available online or in your local pharmacy. These cost on average less than $50 USD.
Some have detailed instructions on how to reline dentures or you can learn the steps to follow by doing some online research. Regardless of how you do it, you will save a great deal from what a professional relining would cost. Keep in mind, relining is meant as a temporary fix to keep dentures fitted and comfortable until it is time to replace them completely.
Dentures do not last forever. By taking proper care, you can extend the life of the average set of false teeth. When dentures don’t fit properly, sometimes the best, cheapest and most convenient option is denture relining.
For some, the denture reline cost may be too much. A DIY denture reline kit may be a more affordable alternative.
By relining dentures, you can improve the fit that has changed over time, but relining is not a long-term solution as false teeth will eventually require replacement anyway.