Denture Soft Reline

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There may be times when ill-fitting dentures have created sore spots that are so painful you might not be able to have your dentures in at all. Gums are very soft tissue and can become very tender from repeated rubbing. In this case, where the gums are particularly sensitive (and this may be something you know about yourself beforehand and should mention to your dentist) your dentures can be relined with a more pliable material. It has the pliability of rubber, but can vary between very soft and waxy to just softer than the acrylic alternative. Because they are softer they are less durable and will need replacing every year or two but they can offer a great solution for people who need a softer material in their mouth.

Something to bear in mind with a soft reline is that it might not be the solution once problems have gone beyond rubbing sore spots from the hardness of normal dentures. You might be suffering from an overbuilt denture where the acrylic is bigger than the dimensions of your mouth, or a resorbed ridge (which is where the gum ridge on either the upper or lower jaw has receded causing slipping). A resorbed ridge can be both sore and make your dentures unpredictable so that you need to be constantly aware of the pressure you are putting on them to hold them in place. This pressure could be from pushing down on the teeth or from the muscles in your tongue and cheeks to increase suction but it is likely from constant pressure of either kind you will get headaches and jaw-ache. If you are suffering from a resorbed ridge or an overbuilt denture you need more than just a soft reline. The good news is that these are both problems that can be remedied either with surgery; adjustment to the denture or with dentures retained by implants.

What Is a Temporary Reline?

Many people put off going to the dentist if they notice that their dentures have a looser fit, maybe because they dont like visiting the dentist or because they fear it will cost them more money. Unfortunately this means that by the time the dentures are such a bad fit, the patient is in too much pain to eat, or the dentures are falling out, and the gums are in an awful condition. Inflamed gum tissues can become red and misshapen from severe swelling. It is very tender to touch and may prevent you from talking or eating normally. In this case a new denture (or a standard reline) being placed on top of the poor gums would make them worse or perpetuate the soreness. As with your first ever dental consultation, the condition of your gums is important to the dentist deciding when to actually fit the dentures. Just as it is important not to have your dentures fitted too soon after an extraction, it is important not to have a new denture fitted on very painful gums.

In this situation the dentists may choose to use a temporary reline. This is sometimes called a palliative reline and it means that the reline material is medicated, effectively healing the gums as you wear your dentures. The denture will fit very tightly to maximise contact between the medicated material and the gums, and the material will generally be more soft and pliable to reduce the chances of further aggravation from rubbing. This denture is not a permanent solution and at maximum will last a few months. Not many dentists will recommend you wear one for that long though. On average the patient will wear a palliative reline for a few weeks or until your dentist decides that your gums have healed. Once the gums are healed you will still need to have either a brand new denture or a standard hard reline.

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Guide to Dentures