Dentures are a great way to fill in gaps in your mouth caused by tooth loss, damage, or decay. They not only improve aesthetics, but also help improve your health as tooth loss can cause serious oral problems and difficulty in eating, and therefore nutritional deficiencies.
However, dentures also require proper care to function well. The longer a denture is worn, the more likely it will require a repair or reline.
Denture repairs and relines are two very different things, but both are necessary for the long-term health of your dentures. After a proper checkup your denturist will be able to tell you which one you need. With proper maintenance you may be able to keep yourself from needing a repair, but a reline is something that is essential for all dentures over the course of their usable life.
A denture repair is performed when there has been damage to the denture. It is required when:
- There is a chip or a crack in a tooth
- A replacement clasp is required
- The denture is damaged due to wear and tear
- A tooth has broken off
Chipped, cracked, and broken teeth can happen when you bite down hard on something, which creates a lot of pressure on the front teeth. This can also happen if the denture is dropped. Whenever a denture is dropped or you feel it may have been damaged after eating hard foods, it is always a good idea to get it checked before using it again. Using a cracked denture can cause greater long-term damage so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Signs that you need a dental repair are:
- Oral sores
- Gum irritation
- Foul odors and bad breath
You should not try any denture repair procedure at home as it can further damage your denture and can even cause serious oral health problems. Always leave denture repairs to the professionals.
No matter how well you take care of them, a denture reline is something that you’ll need after several years.
This is an adjustment of the denture, and is required because your gums are continually changing with age. The need for a reline could also be exacerbated if you eat a lot of hard foods.
A denture reline involves adding a new base on the tissue side of the denture so that it sits on the jaw bone perfectly. A denture reline will not have any impact on the look of the denture, and will not make the dentures cleaner. It is only for fitting purposes.
Common signs that you need a dental reline are:
- Difficulty chewing
- Changes in facial shape
- Constant lisping in speech
- Slipping of the dentures
- General discomfort
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