Denture reline: how much does it cost? Can you do it yourself?

Many patients who wear dentures neglect to reline them regularly. Instead, they go for solutions such as using more adhesive or keeping the denture out of their mouth. The detailed guide below should explain to you why that would be a mistake.

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Together with our team of dentists, we compiled the most important information to do with denture relining. Discover why this procedure is a good investment.

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What is a denture reline?

Relining serves to resurface the area of the denture that touches your gums to make it fit better. The shape of your ridge changes as there is a lack of stimulation from teeth that are missing. This procedure helps make up for this loss.

A denture reline prevents excess pressure on your soft tissues. If you don’t get your denture relined regularly, you are looking at a risk of lumps, lesions, and irritation. This can cause damage to your teeth as well as your denture.

Relining is a lot more affordable than getting a whole new denture. Keeping up with such maintenance can help you save long-term costs.

Signs your denture might need a reline

Relining is a routine procedure for denture-wearers. It should be done regularly, as your dentist advises. Report to your dentist if:

  • you feel pinching or rubbing that doesn’t go away,
  • teeth are extracted or fall out,
  • the denture becomes loose, and
  • anytime the denture has been repaired.

What types of denture reline are available at the office?

Your denture can have a chairside or lab reline. The first is done in one appointment, while you sit in the dentist’s chair. The other one involves sending the denture away to a lab.

Relines can also be categorized functionally. There are soft, hard, and temporary relines. Below is a quick run-down of each type.

Soft reline

Soft reline lasts about a year or two. The material that is placed on the denture is pliable, giving the patient a lot of comfort. It remains so for about 12 months. A soft reline is usually recommended if you’ve recently started wearing a denture.

This type can often be done at the dentist’s office and is more affordable than a hard reline. On the other hand, more adjustments might be necessary.

Hard reline

You can go about 5 years between hard relines. The procedure involves shaving off a thin layer of the denture. Putty is then placed inside and the denture goes into your mouth like an impression. It will take the exact shape of your ridge. After that, the denture is then sent off to a lab.

Hard relines can be very comfortable if the fit is done correctly. They are a little more expensive than soft ones and can take until the next day to complete.

Temporary

If you have sore gums from wearing your denture you may need a temporary reline. This is done when you don’t want to go without teeth at all. You may continue wearing it afterwards but only for a few weeks. The aim is for you to be able to wear a denture while a new one is done or before you get a hard reline.

The temporary reline material is medicated. It may contain something that will alleviate pain along with antibiotics.

How to reline dentures yourself?

There are DIY kits available online and in drugstores. Dentists usually advise against using them.

Dr. Nichole McKenna

When inexperienced pateints reline their dentures incorrectly, they may cause the bite to be off.

However, wearing a loose or ill-fitting denture is also not a good solution.

If you have no way to visit a dentist soon you can use them as a temporary fix. They are much more cost- and time-efficient. Doing the reline itself at home only takes a few minutes.

Each kit may have its own, specific instructions. Here is a general guideline:

  • Clean your denture and mouth as best as you can.
  • Mix the ingredients. This will usually be two packets. One contains powder and the other a liquid.
  • Place the solution in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Apply the gel-like liquid onto your denture and place it into your mouth. It can take a few minutes to set and take the shape of your ridge.
  • See a dentist as soon as possible for professional treatment.

How much does a denture reline cost?

The average cost for relining a denture is $300. The most important determining factor is the type you choose. Here is a quick run-down:

Reline typeAverage costCost range
Soft$400$200-$500
Hard$500$350-$900
DIY kit$20$10-$50

Remember, the cost of a denture reline is like paying for maintenance. You should include it in your budget every couple of years when thinking of getting a denture.

How do denture relines compare to denture adjustments?

Relines are routine procedures. Adjustments are done when there is a need for a change. This may be functional or cosmetic.

The first adjustment happens right after you get a new denture. They are bound to need some, at least minor, alterations.

An adjustment is also necessary if anything happens to your denture. Fixing fractures and cracks is not enough to make sure the prosthesis won’t cause more harm than good.

You can sometimes alter the size or angle of a tooth or how much gum is on show. Everyone’s face is different. Features also tend to change when you lose teeth. It may make sense to adapt the way the prosthesis looks too, to match your new appearance.

FAQ

How often do dentures need to be relined?

A soft reline can last 1-2 years. A hard one may be good for up to 10 years. Any longer than that can have detrimental effects to your prosthesis and oral health. You should also replace your denture after no more than a decade.

How long does a denture reline take?

A soft reline takes about 30 minutes. A hard one may be sent off to a lab. This could last a few weeks. Such procedures tend to take longer in larger cities where there is a bigger demand.

How can I adjust my dentures at home?

A lot of material can be found online that can help you reline your denture at home. There are tutorials and instructions manuals, even videos on YouTube. They can show you how to do it.

Some people even use nail files or even milling machines. This, however, is not recommended. This could destroy your prosthesis. Prosthodontists spend years learning how to make dentures that will not cause harm to your mouth. You can’t expect to be able to do this after watching a few videos. Leave adjustments and repairs to professionals.