After teeth are lost, whether, from trauma, gum disease, or decay, the jaw bone slowly undergoes a degenerative process resulting in the bone shrinks. Over time bone shrinkage (resorption) causes the denture to float and shift around. Remaking or relining the denture’s internal layer will compensate for the bone loss and reduce denture shifting and movement.
Relining requires that an impression of the jaw be made. The impression is used as a pattern to process a new layer of acrylic within an existing denture. Relining improves the fit and may reduce or eliminate the need for denture adhesives. Reline material fills in the gap between the denture base and gum tissue. The snugger fit provides a solid base to help chew and to resist the flexure of the denture. Poor-fitting dentures often flex due to a lack of gum tissue support. This flexure eventually causes the denture to crack.
Denture relines can be made from hard or soft materials. Although relines can be completed in a single office visit, these “chairside” relines are porous, pick up odors and often peel out of dentures. The best option is usually a hard “laboratory” reline. Laboratory relines produce a tough non-porous, durable surface but requires that the denture be surrendered overnight for heat and pressure processing.
Relining is a great service for a loose denture that is otherwise in good condition, with a strong base and un-worn denture teeth.