Frequently, by the time a patient with an old denture finally shows up at the dentist's office looking for a new denture, the dentures have not been serviced for such a long time that the gums are in terrible condition. They may be red, swollen and quite misshapen. Relining the old denture, or building a new one using impressions taken while the gums are in such poor condition would lead to a denture that would simply perpetuate the problem with the new appliance.
When faced with situations like this, a dentist will frequently resort to a temporary, or palliative (medicated) reline material to allow the inflammation to subside. This reline makes the denture fit much more tightly, and is usually soft and pliable. It will not last more than a few months, but the patient wears it for a few weeks until the gums return to a more normal state. After this happens, then the patient is ready for his new denture or hard reline.
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