The importance of a denture reline

Tooth loss is followed by extensive bone loss. The jawbone under removable dentures is also in a continuous progress of bone decay.

This can be imputed to the following:

  • Missing root canal that would keep the bone fit and slow down bone decay by chewing
  • There is constant pressure between the denture and the jawbone draining the gum out of blood, resulting in poor blood circulation, and the bone’s inadequate access to blood.

Whether it be a denture retained by implants, teeth or by an edentulous jaw ridge, a reline is required every 1 to 2 years. The anatomical relationships alter with time (bone mass beneath the denture decays) allowing a perfectly aligning denture to go out of true (causing it to tilt or slide, and become loose and uncomfortable with food remains capable of sticking underneath). If the gap increases between the denture and the jawbone due to bone decay, the tilting torque affects the denture which may crack or break on a powerful bite. In such cases the denture requires to be adjusted in order to prevent breakage or cracks, and have a comfortable and well-aligned denture again. A relined denture will not tilt and is not exposed to injury (for instance a denture tilting on an implant can be likened to an object tilting on a wedge, subject to breakage at any time).

Prevention is all-important with dentures, making yearly check-ups indispensable, which may shed light on issues whose prevention is cheaper than their treatment. The correction of dentures, furthermore, is not a long procedure with an average turnaround of 1 day. A reline is substantially cheaper than the replacement/preparation of a cracked/broken denture from scratch. While the former will have a lead-time of around 1 day, the latter will take upwards of 3 to 4 days to complete. As regards cost efficiency, reline costs but a fragment of a new denture.


 Figure 1: cracked denture

A denture reline is completely pain-free intervention. Our dentist will send the denture to a dental laboratory along with a special impression taken, where the necessary corrections on the denture will be performed based on the altered situation/gum relationships. This correction can be performed by the dental laboratory within a day. During this time, however, the denture cannot be worn since the dental technician will be working on it at the dental laboratory. Some patients will opt to wear their old dentures for the period, but this solution is discouraged. The patient should preferably go dentureless during this period.


Figure 2: Impression taken for a reline

When the reline is complete it will be entirely invisible and the denture will look exactly the same as before. The material of the reline will be identical to that of the denture and will be in perfect alignment with, and firmly sit on, the jaw ridge, and as such, will not be exposed to injury resulting from tilts. Following a reline it is important to perform a bite-check lest your comfortable and snug-fitting denture should slide to and fro and crack the gum on the jaw ridge.


Figure 3: relined denture



Always remember to comply with the recommended follow-up dates. Early discovery will save you both time and money. Even if you do not consider a check-up justified, it may prove helpful as our dentist may discover an unsuspected problem.