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How Often Should I Have a Denture Reline?
As with most prosthetics, dentures can lose their shape or effectiveness over time, requiring repair or replacement. However, while the prosthesis may change, it is also possible for the patient's gumline or bone structure to transform, requiring adjustments to the device to fit properly. Due to the nature of the human body and the possibility of degradation of a denture lining, it is necessary that patients routinely have the prosthetic relined to ensure comfort and effectiveness.
Type and frequency of relining
How often a dental unit requires relining is dependent on the type of device and the comfort of the patient. For a full dental prosthetic, relining is typically needed once every two years, but this is generally dependent on patient need and a dentist's or orthodontist's opinion as well as several other factors:
- Degradation of the lining
- Changing of the gumline
- Loss of teeth
For those individuals who have never worn a dental prosthesis, the frequency may be increased to once per year or more depending on if there is swelling or the development of sores. The type of reline needed may be solely based on comfort and not due to the wearing away of the prosthetic. Therefore, the type and frequency of a reline is highly dependent on the wearer's individual needs.
For patients who show gum or tissue sensitivity to the full weight of the prosthetic, a soft reline can be beneficial. A soft reline provides a cushion between the denture and the gumline with the injection of a liquid polymer into the prosthetic’s base. This procedure is fast and typically performed in the office. The added cushion usually lasts one to two years before needing to be relined.
A hard reline typically requires the dentures to be sent to an outside lab. This type of relining is longer-lasting than a soft reline because it is done with a similar material to the existing prosthetic base. While the reline procedure can be performed chairside, the risk of heat transfer and negative fit can be reduced by sending the work to an outside lab. Hard relines can last for years, but they should be examined at least once every two years to ensure fit and comfort.
A temporary reline is not meant to last years. These relines are used for patients who suffer from sores or a swollen gum line due to the use of a dental prosthetic. The goal of temporarily relining the prosthetic is to reduce swelling and heal sores, which allows for an impression to be made to guide any necessary prosthetic adjustments.
Costs and insurance
Unfortunately, as with most dental procedures, insurance is not likely to cover the costs of a reline, passing the financial responsibility onto the patient. Thankfully, most reline procedures are relatively inexpensive, typically costing between $300 and $500.
The constant changing of the mouth structure and the wearing of dentures means that relines are necessary. The frequency of such procedures is typically dependent on the original prosthetic lining and the rate of change in the patient’s mouth. Most experienced wearers require relining once every two years to ensure continued comfort and good oral health.
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