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Hard Vs. Soft Denture Reline

By Grace Keh

Due to the nature of gums, dentures need adjustments from time to time to properly fit. Two types of adjustments are available: hard reline and soft reline.

Hard Reline

To accommodate the changes in your palate and gum structures, a hard reline may be necessary. Putty is placed on all areas of the denture that make contact with tissue, and an impression is made by placing the denture into your mouth. The acrylic denture is then recreated by a lab, often on the same day, fitting your mouth perfectly.

Soft Reline

The main difference with a soft reline is the material used to replace the hard acrylic. A softer, porous material is used, and provides more comfort for sensitive denture wearers. Soft relines, however, need more regular adjustments than hard relines.

Temporary Soft Reline

When neither a soft nor hard reline is comfortable for the patient, usually because of gum problems, a temporary soft reline may be used to keep the patient relatively pain free, using even softer materials. Once the gums have healed completely, a true soft reline may be done, followed by a hard reline after a year or two.

Every Two Years

With gum resorption and natural bone changes, all dentures should be relined every two years. If significant changes or damages occur, a rebase may be more appropriate than a reline. Consult your dentist.


A reline works only when the impression of your bite was accurate from the start. A reline does not change the actual bite of the dentures. It merely ensures proper fit around the tissues and bone structure.

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