When your dentures stop fitting as snugly as they should, you can bring them into your preferred denture service. Assuming you aren’t better off replacing your dentures, your denture experts can reline the appliances so that they’ll fit snugly on your gums again. You should expect to do this every two years or so, although if your dentures are new you should go in every few weeks as your gums shrink without teeth to keep them stable.
However, your dentist has a few options to reline dentures. They could use hard or soft substances, and the best choice can depend on you and your mouth.
Your dentist can reline dentures using a hard resin, and for most people this is the standard procedure. Your dentist will peel out the existing layer of hard plastic or resin and use a kind of putty to get an impression of your gums and remaining teeth. Using this impression, your denture expert can create a new lining for your dentures that fits snugly on your gums.
For soft relines, the technique is the same but the materials are different. Some people have sensitive or sore gums, and so it’s better to have a softer material connecting them to the dentures. The downside is that when you reline dentures with soft materials you’ll need to replace the lining more often.
Sometimes a patient will come in with sore, swollen gums, often because they didn’t reline their dentures soon enough. It’s a bad idea to reline dentures when they’re swollen, so dentists will use a soft material full of medication that will help the swelling go down. Once it does, you can get a regular relining that uses your normal relining material.
Hard and soft relining both have their place, and your body and needs have the biggest impact on whether you need one or the other. So if you have constant problems with denture rubbing or soreness in your gums, talk to your denture specialist and find out whether a soft relining can fix your problems.