Although you may think that replacing your natural teeth with a new set of dentures will give you teeth that don't need much maintenance, your dentist may have other ideas. Over time, your dentist may tell you that you need to have your false teeth relined during a check-up even though your dentures don't seem to have any obvious problems. Is relining really necessary?
Relining as Part of an Immediate Denture Treatment Plan
If you've had immediate dentures put in, your dentist is likely to insist that you have them relined a few months after you get your dentures. This doesn't mean that you have a problem with your new false teeth; it is a way to compensate for changes in the structure of your mouth that happen naturally after your teeth are extracted.
Immediate dentures are fitted as soon as all your natural teeth have been taken out. While the false teeth may fit fine to start with, your mouth shape will change during the first few post-extraction months as your gums heal and settle around your tooth loss. Typically, you have immediate dentures relined a few months after you get them to adapt the denture plate to the new structure of your mouth to ensure a good fit.
Relining Gives You Better Long-Term Comfort
You may not notice much of a difference at first, but over time your bones and gums will shrink once you have had all your natural teeth out. Dentures that may have fitted snugly originally may not fit brilliantly once this happens; however, you can regain a better fit through relining.
Typically, your dentist will recommend denture relining when your dentures don't fit as well as they should. According to Today's Dentistry, this may happen every 3-5 years depending on the scope of the changes in your mouth. Relining ensures that your false teeth have a snug fit, making them more comfortable to wear. You also won't have to worry about them slipping when you eat or talk.
Relining Helps Avoid Oral Health Problems
If your dentures don't fit correctly they may become painful and uncomfortable to wear. For example, your teeth may rub against your gums and mouth causing areas of irritation and ulcers. Ultimately, you may find that it gets harder to eat with your false teeth in.
In extreme cases, dentures that don't fit correctly rub against your mouth so much that additional tissues grow around your teeth where they rub. Known as hyperplastic tissues, these growths are harmless but they can add to the discomfort in your mouth and may become infected. If you end up with extra tissue, you are likely to need dental treatment to have it removed. If you don't have your dentures relined at this stage, the tissue may grow back, putting you in the dentist's chair more than you anticipated when you chose false teeth in the first place.