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Denture Reline: Cost and Procedure for Relining Dentures

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denture reline
Do you need a denture reline?

As time goes by, a denture that once fit perfectly may lose that snug and comfortable feel. There are several solutions to making adjustments. Getting new dentures is one option, but that can get quite expensive. Getting a denture reline for a better fit may be a better choice. 

In this article, we will go over some important information about dentures and realignment, including:

  • Relining at home with reline kits
  • The cost of realignment
  • Hard relines
  • The reline process

So keep reading to find out all you need to know about how to reline your dentures.

What is a denture reline?

After a dentist removes teeth, the dental work completed will cause some changes in the mouth. In addition to the gum tissue being aggravated, the actual bone itself will start to erode as it is absorbed into the body for other uses. Because of this, a denture can start to fit improperly. When this happens, it's much better to get a reline than simply try to fix the problem with adhesive. This is when a dentist is normally consulted and the process of getting a reline is begun.

There are three types of denture relines:

  • Soft reline
  • Hard reline
  • Temporary reline

Let's take a look at the three.

A Soft Reline is very often used for individuals with tender gums and is preferred by many dentists. The denture is removed and soft pliable material is used to line the underside of the denture. Once fitted, the denture will again feel comfortable. And because a soft material is used, sore gums will begin to heal when the denture is worn once again.

A soft reline is preferred by many patients that have sensitive gums.

A hard reline entails a bit more labor and time on the part of the patient and dentist. 

hard denture reline
A hard reline may be your best option

First, a portion of the plastic is removed from the inside of the denture and replaced with a putty-like substance where the denture makes contact with the tissue. An impression is then made when the dentist places the denture back in the mouth and lets it sit for several minutes.

Once set, the denture is then sent to a dental lab where a more permanent, hard acrylic is placed on the underside. When the reline is completed, the denture is placed in the mouth and the patient is once again comfortably wearing their dentures.

 A temporary reline is done when a denture wearer has gone too long without having their dentures serviced by their dentist and the gums become sore and inflamed. 

The dentures are removed and a medicated material is applied to the underside. The patient will usually wear the treated denture for 2-4 weeks before returning to the dentist. At that point either a new denture can be purchased or a reline can be done.

Have a look at this table for a summary of the different types of relines.

Type For...
Soft reline People who have sensitive gums
Hard reline People who don't have sensitive gums
Temporary reline People who have gone too long without a reline, and need to let their gums heal

How long does it take to reline dentures?

Besides travel time to and from the dentist’s office, the time it takes to do the reline is about an hour in the dentist’s chair. The dentist will remove the denture, diagnose, make recommendations and then begin the relining process. The majority of the visit will be with the dentist or assistant applying the material to the underside of the denture and re-seating it in the patient’s mouth.

With a soft reline it is most probable that the reline will be completed on the first visit and no return visit will be necessary. 

With a hard reline it is most likely that the denture will need to be sent to a dental lab where the final step in the process is completed, which is applying the acrylic underside. It usually takes 1-2 days to get the denture back from the lab, depending on their workload.

You can watch the following video to see how the soft reline procedure goes:

How much should a denture reline cost? 

The cost of a denture reline is going to vary, depending on:

  • The amount the dental office charges for their office visit and time spent
  • The geographic location of the patient
  •  Whether or not complete dentures are relined, or just one
  • Lab costs, if applicable

Based on these variables, the cost of a reline can cost anywhere from $400 to $600. A visit to the dentist will allow them to examine the patient and provide a firm price. Denture hard reline costs tends to be higher than soft relines.

Most insurance companies won’t cover the relining of dentures, but each individual should contact their insurance carrier to confirm coverage. Many dental offices will check on this for their patients.

Can you reline your own dentures? 

denture reliner kit
Some people reline their dentures at home

Yes, a denture wearer can reline dentures on their own. There are denture reline kits like this one available online, and they are available in many drug stores and nationally known retail stores as well. For many people relining dentures at home, it's their first denture reline.

Dentists may warn patients that denture relines shouldn't be done at home. This can partly be because they have a vested interest in not having patients do denture relining on their own, but also because the results in many cases may not be quite as good as they would be if you went to the dentist.

How long will a denture realignment last? 

The amount of time a reline will last is dependent upon which type of relining of the denture was done.

A soft denture reline can be expected to last one to two years, while a hard reline can last over two years. Some dentists recommend that hard relines be done every two years to keep the mouth healthy.

Conclusion

healthy smile
Keep your smile healthy by visiting the dentist and asking about denture realignment

Getting a reline done for a better fit is not as complicated as it may seem. The process is very straight forward, and an experienced dentist should take the time to explain to their patient what type of treatment is best for them, what the process is for each type of relining, hard or soft, and what the cost will be. 

Denture wearers getting a soft denture reline will quite likely leave the dentist’s office wearing their dentures after their denture reline procedure, whereas those having a denture hard reline will very likely have to make a return visit in a day or two to get their dentures back from the lab and fitted by their dentist. Either way, for many people any short-term inconvenience is well worth the money saved by not having to purchase new dentures.

FAQs

Can you reline your own dentures?

Denture relining kits are available for purchase in most pharmacies and online. Many people have success relining their own dentures, but going to your dentist is always the best option.

How much does a reline cost?

A denture reline will normally cost anywhere between $400 and $600 at the dentist. Whereas a relining kit on Amazon can cost less than $30. But keep in mind that a reline from your dentist will most likely last longer than one that you do at home.

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Sources
ADA.org: Denture Care and Maintenance. Consulted 20th February 2020.
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