For patients who have lost multiple teeth, the TeethXpress® system is one possible option to help achieve the appearance of a full smile and chew food normally. This system involves four to eight specially designed implants on the top and bottom gums used to secure a set of full dentures. By attaching dentures to surgically…
Relines on Implant Supported Dentures
Similar to conventional dentures, implant supported dentures sometimes need a reline. A dentist’s ultimate goal is to give patients what they want and need. Instead of missing teeth, implants fill spaces with teeth that look real. In fact, no one other than the patient and dentist will know the truth.
Enjoying a comfortable fit
When implant supported dentures fit properly, people often forget these are even in place. These dentures work just like permanent teeth. That means other than sticky foods, people can eat virtually anything. Individuals can also smile proudly, knowing their new teeth look great. Although standard dentures are still an option, the implanted version offers far more benefits.
What is a reline?
Initially, implant supported dentures fit exactly as intended. This is due to the fact that a dental laboratory makes them using an impression of the patient’s mouth. However, just like standard dentures, the fit of the implanted version can change. This is especially true for people who deal with gum issues at some point down the line.
When that happens, even implant supported dentures can become somewhat loose. With a reline, a dentist makes the necessary adjustments. Otherwise, as the dentures slip, they could cause tenderness and swelling. In fact, if not corrected, irritation could easily lead to infection. With a professional reline, the dentures will remain securely in place.
There is also the issue of continuous alveolar bone resorption. Over time, this can cause implant supported dentures to become less stable. That also makes them less functional. When this occurs, a dental professional would actually reline the dentures using a locator attachment type system. What that does is reestablish a firm connection between the base of the dentures and the tissue that supports them.
Detecting the need for a reline on implant supported dentures
Dentists commonly use the same technique to determine if a patient’s implant supported dentures need a reline. For the mandible, the dentist would place the thumbs along the occlusal table. Then they would apply pressure going from the canines to the molars. Any soft or squishy feel means the soft tissue has the appropriate support. However, if the dentist makes a solid connection with the implant, the patient needs the dentures relined.
For the maxilla, the technique is a little different. With at least four implants in place, the dentist cannot rely on the soft or squishy feel. Instead, the dental professional would line the denture up from the inside with impression material. Once the material sets, the dentist looks for specific markings. If the imprint is consistent and shallow, there is no need for a reline. On the other hand, if the impression has deep areas, the patient’s dentures need a reline.
Anyone who gets implant supported dentures needs to understand that regular maintenance is essential. Known as “recall visits,” patients should have these dentures checked annually. At that time, the dentist will take X-rays. The dentist also determines whether the dentures need a reline. Patients should also have the dentures professionally cleaned twice annually. Of course, individuals need to notify a dentist right away if anything unusual arises.
Ensure a great fit
It is not common for implant supported dentures to need a reline. Between mandibular and maxillary type dentures, the latter usually need it the most often. Remember, you cannot tell if your dentures need an adjustment. This is why staying on schedule with your dental appointments is crucial.
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