Pre-prosthetic surgery involves prepping your mouth before a prosthesis (partial or complete dentures) is put into place. When you wear dentures, they will sit on top of the bony ridge in your mouth, to ensure that they fit well and feel comfortable, it is essential that the tissue and bony area are the right size and shape. Unfortunately, when a tooth is lost or extracted, the area beneath it could be left jagged or uneven, and your oral surgeon may need to level or reshape the area, and in severe cases, portions of the bone might need to be removed.
Why Pre-Prosthetic Surgery is Needed
Many patients wonder why their mouth isn’t able to support a prosthesis just the way that it is. Similar to how genetics give us all different physical attributes, we are also given different shaped jaws and levels of gum tissue growth. At times, the jaw bone won’t be shaped to appropriately accommodate the tooth replacements in a stable and comfortable manner.
You can certainly try to wear dentures without pre-prosthetic surgery, but the results usually aren’t favorable. Most people notice that routine activities like chewing even soft foods can become painful and extremely difficult. Since the dentures will rest on the bone ridge, it is crucial to ensure the mouth maintains the proper size and shape needed for the dentures to fit correctly. You will experience greater quality of life and can avoid some potentially embarrassing social situations brought on by ill-fitting dentures by going through pre-prosthetic surgery to properly prepare your mouth.
Procedures Involved with Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
If your mouth needs to be prepared in order to support a denture, one or more of the following procedures might be used:
- Removal of excess jaw bone
- Bone reshaping or smoothing
- Reduction of the bone ridge
- Exposure of an impacted tooth
- Removal of extra gum tissue
During your consultation, we will review your unique needs to find out what procedures might be required to prepare your mouth for your prosthetic.
What You Can Expect
Pre-prosthetic surgery is typically an outpatient procedure that will be performed in our surgical office. Depending on the exact procedures that you need and your individual preferences, we can perform your surgery using IV sedation, laughing gas, or local anesthesia.
After your surgery, you can expect to experience some discomfort and pain, and in other cases, bruising and swelling will be experienced. We’ll prescribe pain medications to address your discomfort, and in some cases, you might also be prescribed an antibiotic. Many patients make the mistake of discontinuing antibiotic use once they start to feel better or their symptoms subside, but this should be avoided, and you should be sure to follow all instructions regarding taking your prescriptions correctly.
After you’ve had your surgery, you will need to follow post-operative instructions to promote healing. The faster that you heal, the sooner you’ll be able to get your dentures.