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May require additional appointments for adjustments.
A denture is a removable appliance that replaces all your upper teeth and/or your lower teeth once they have been extracted. Dentures are made from an acrylic base with resin or porcelain teeth.
The quality of the denture's fit can be controlled in two ways. Relining is a process by which the sides of the denture that contacts the gums are resurfaced. Such adjustments are necessary because the dental impressions used to make dentures cause the gums to move. As a result, new dentures may not fit properly. Also, over time bone and gum tissues can shift, altering the fit of the denture. Rebasing is used to refit a denture by replacing or adding to the base material of the saddle. This process is required when the denture base degenerates or no longer extends into the proper gum areas. Most patients require relining or rebasing approximately five to eight years after initial placement of the dentures.
There are some tricks to improve the fit of your dentures temporarily. Relining dentures is generally necessary when full (removable) dentures become loose, after years of wear. Because the rate of bone loss differs from person to person, some denture wearers may need more frequent relines than others. Upper dentures tend to fit better and be less problematic than lower dentures because they have a much larger surface area on which to suction and rest.
There are two ways to reline your existing dentures:
A temporary reline necessitates adding a layer of material under the denture in your mouth while you are in your dentist's chair. This involves taking an impression (literally impressing material under the denture with a plastic or moldable material) that hardens and fills the void created where the oral tissues have shrunken away from the denture. This approach will generally stabilize the denture for a short period of time.
A more permanent reline requires an indirect technique where material is added to the denture in the mouth in much the same way as described above for a temporary reline. However, the denture then needs to be sent to a dental laboratory to replace the temporary material with more permanent denture plastic, usually “methacrylate” (meth-a-cri-late). The advantage of a permanent reline is that it is longer lasting; although, it does mean that you will be without your denture for a day or more.
If your dentist feels that a reline will not achieve the fit and stability desired, then remaking the dentures is the next option to consider. Other reasons for remaking the dentures are the wear of the denture teeth, poor esthetics, and poor condition of the denture's base material.
Despite the best efforts of the dentist and laboratory, satisfaction cannot be guaranteed with the fit and function of previously loose dentures, particularly if you have extensive bone and gum tissue loss. At this stage, it may be best to consider any reline option temporary. This is the reason why dental implants are generally the best, if not only, option for long-term denture wearers with extremely loose-fitting dentures.