Re-lining dentures, is it worth it?

A reline to a denture involves removing a layer of acrylic from the fitting surface and then replacing it with new acrylic that will fit the contours of the mouth better. It’s a great way to have an existing denture updated due to wear and tear and also changes to the mouth.

However, there are several downsides to this procedure.

Firstly, even though some of the original acrylic is removed, the denture nearly always ends up with more acrylic than before, the degree to the amount depends largely on how old the denture is, and this extra acrylic adds weight to the denture. Which is bad news especially if its an upper denture.

Secondly, the material used to reline is not as strong as the actual original denture acrylic in most cases, so relining can make a denture weaker. Although is some situations, the extra thickness of acrylic can make a denture stronger.

Thirdly, not all dentures can be relined. Metal dentures for example, are very difficult to reline and can only be achieved successfully with section relining. this is where only a part of the fitting surface is replaced, after an extraction for example.

You’ll also need to take in to consideration the cost of the reline compared to having a new denture made and the time it takes to make a new denture. You can keep your old denture while your new one is being made but having an old one relined will need to be kept while the work is carried out. Its also worth noting that if a reline fails, you cannot go back to where you were before the reline was carried out. This is very rare but I have had people come to me to sort out failed relines and sadly, there isn’t much that can be done other than having a new denture made. So, a reline really is a great way of getting your denture to fit again but it’s not suitable for everyone!

You can find out more about relining dentures on our website here or if you are thinking about buying a new denture the you should definitely read my Denture Guide Booklet, its free and you can get it in printed copy or a PDF download version is also available.

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