Who needs a denture reliner? The answer is nearly every standard denture wearer.
There comes a point in every standard denture wearer's life when their denture no longer fits the way it used to. The denture begins to shift slightly during normal activities like speaking and eating. This rubbing against the gums can lead to sore spots and this is usually the sign that it's time for a reline.
Denturists usually recommend a denture reline every two years for the life of the denture. The reason for this is directly linked to bone resorption. In brief, once the natural teeth have been removed from the boney ridge, there is no longer enough pressure to stimulate production of more bone. The ridge then begins the slow process of shrinking away. Once there has been a significant amount of shrinkage, the denture no longer conforms to the current shape of the gums, and the original snug fit is lost, leading to shifting.
A good denture reliner will restore a proper fit to the denture, allowing for normal use. Rubbing and sore spots should be eliminated, and the denture should again have a snug fit that will restore the ability to chew food. There are two basic types of reliners, temporary and permanent.
A temporary reliner is used in cases where the denture wearer's gums are in severe shape, often too swollen to permit an accurate reliner to be made. The temporary reliner offers cushioning and pain relief long enough for the inflamed gums to heal. Once healing is complete, a permanent reliner can be made.
The permanent reliner is made by scraping away a small amount of the inner portion of the acrylic denture base. This area is then filled with a putty like substance and reinserted into the denture wearer's mouth. The putty fills in the hollow pockets between the denture base and gums. The putty hardens to the texture of a firm rubber when it comes into contact with the saliva. The denture is then removed and taken to the denture lab, and the putty will be replaced with new acrylic, resulting in a denture base that now fits the current shape of the gums.It is also possible to reline a denture by applying a coat of flexible resin to the inner ridge of the denture, thereby restoring a comfortable snug fit.
You should discuss with your denture professional which type of denture reliner is right for you.