Do You Need A Denture Reline?

added on: October 20, 2015

If you wear dentures, your denture probably fit rather securely after it was first made. Over time, however, you may have noticed occasional movement. What causes this?

A denture consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink base that is designed to look like your gum tissue. The inside of the pink portion is made to fit the unique contours of your gum ridge.

A gum ridge is the heightened arch where your teeth were once held. Underneath the gum tissue of this ridge is your upper or lower jaw bone. Your jaw bone provided the foundation for natural teeth by holding tooth roots. Just as your teeth depended on this foundation for secure biting and chewing, your jaw bone depended on their roots.

The jaw bone is a living structure that requires stimulation in order to maintain its mass. Tooth roots are a major part of that stimulation. When tooth roots are no longer held by the bone, a process known as resorption begins.

Resorption is a ‘melting away’ of bone height and width. As the bone declines, so does the height of your gum ridge. Because your denture was made to conform to the size and shape of your gum ridge when originally designed, your denture no longer fits as snugly.

When resorption is first noticed and denture movement begins, denture adhesives and pastes may help. Eventually, the bone loss will be too much of a challenge for these products to comfortably and confidently secure a denture while eating. As bone loss continues, you may even feel movement while talking and laughing.

As an example of bone loss, consider a person who has worn the same size of pants for years, each purchased to  comfortably fit their size and shape. If they begin to lose weight, the pants gradually loosen. Tightening one’s belt may help for a while, but as weight loss continues, a new pair of pants is eventually going to be necessary.

As bone resorption continues, the gum ridge flattens to the extent that relines don’t help very much or for very long. In these cases, a ‘hard reline’ may be needed. This is when the inside of the pink portion of the denture is remade to fit the new contours of the gum ridge.

Because of the more complicated process of a hard reline, your denture may  need to be sent to a dental lab for the process. This will require you to be without your denture until the dental lab can complete the work. However, having a more comfortable fit once it’s been remade may be worth the inconvenience.

One of the reasons we recommend Dental Implants to replace missing teeth has to do with resorption. Because implants are held by the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots, they recreate stimulation to the bone. This helps to overcome bone loss while restoring a dependable foundation for biting, chewing, laughing and even sneezing!

Our goal is to help you achieve a comfortable, secure way to replace missing teeth. We want to provide you with the best result possible, regardless of your preferences for dentures or Dental Implants. If you are a denture wearer and experience movement at times, let’s discuss your options to restore you to a comfortable, confident smile. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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