Readjusting and repairing dentures

Readjusting and repairing dentures

What to do with dentures that are too big?

If your prosthesis seems too large, unstable or acts as a trap for food debris, a denturist must adjust it. In fact, it is not the prosthesis that expands but rather your mouth that changes.

Why our mouth changes over time?

The bony ridge supporting the dentures undergoes atrophic changes over the years. After the extraction of one or more teeth, the jawbone lacks stimulation from the roots of the missing teeth. It tends therefore to decrease in volume, lose muscle mass as well as bone mass, just like the bone of a broken arm in a cast for several weeks. This phenomenon is called bone resorption.

A rapid change of the gums may also occur after weight loss, a virus, a disease or taking certain medications.


To rehabilitate dentures that are becoming “too big”, two processes are used: relining and rebasing.

Relining is the addition of acrylic inside the prosthesis to fill the space between the soft tissues and the dentures. This can be done in one step, directly during a denturist appointment. In general, this technique allows to correct a problem at an affordable cost and the life expectancy of the repair is reasonable depending on the subsequent care and maintenance of your dentures. The disadvantage of this technique is that the materials used are somewhat lower quality heat-treated polymerized resins because they are softer, more porous and more flexible and that their colour is less stable. In addition, a less-in-depth polymerization carries the risk of a low-intensity allergic reaction in patients.

Rebasing, on the other hand, aims to completely replace the pink acrylic component while keeping the old artificial teeth. According to the technique used, the process can be done in one day or may require more time.


If your prosthesis is damaged, it is very important not to try to fix it yourself. It is best to consult a denturist because he or she has the suitable materials to repair it. For example, instead of using a (toxic) glue, denturists use acrylic that is designed for prostheses.

4 important things to know:

  • A repaired prosthesis will remain more fragile;
  • A porcelain tooth is more brittle than an acrylic tooth;
  • Acrylic becomes more breakable over the years;
  • Repair of partial or full dentures is usually not guaranteed.

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