Dentures are an important part of many people’s lives, but they can be a source of frustration and embarrassment. Ill-fitting dentures can cause pain, sores, and difficulty eating and speaking.
We understand that your new teeth should fit well and feel comfortable. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re comfortable and your mouth is healthy before considering partial or complete dentures.
Our team is experienced in performing all types of pre-prosthetic surgery and will ensure you get the best fitting dentures possible. If you need a pre-prosthetic oral surgeon in Boulder, CO, Broomfield, CO, Longmont, CO, or Louisville, CO, please visit our office to schedule a consultation or call (303) 444-2255. We are located at 1420 28th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO.
What is Pre-Prosthetic Surgery?
Pre-prosthetic surgery is a type of dental surgery that helps prepare the mouth for dentures or partial dentures. It can involve correcting the position of teeth, removing teeth, or changing the shape of the gums. Dentures sit on the bony part of the jaw called the alveolar ridge. This bony ridge can be too high, too low, or uneven. Surgery can help to correct these problems and give you a better fitting more comfortable denture.
Why is Pre-Prosthetic Surgery Important?
Pre-prosthetic surgery is essential because it helps ensure that your dentures fit well and are comfortable. Factors like genetics and tooth loss may alter the shape and size of your alveolar ridge, and there might be other treatable oral problems that are causing your denture discomfort. Pre-prosthetic surgery may help you live a more comfortable life by eliminating physical discomfort from basic daily activities like chewing and talking.
Types of Pre-Prosthetic Surgery Procedures
Some of the most common pre-prosthetic surgical procedures include:
- Alveolar Ridge Augmentation: This procedure is also called a guided bone regeneration (GBR). It’s done when the alveolar ridge is too flat or has shrunken due to tooth loss. Bone graft material is used to build up the height and/or width of the ridge, making it easier to get a well-fitting denture.
- Alveolar Ridge Reduction: This procedure is the opposite of a ridge augmentation and is also called alveoplasty or bone smoothing., This is done when the alveolar ridge is too high or irregular. The excess bone is removed to make the ridge smaller and/or smooter. This gives the prosthetic more room to fit comfortably in your mouth.
- Tooth extraction (removal): If teeth are damaged, decayed, or at risk of infection, they will have to be removed.
- Gum Surgery: Gum surgery can be used to change the shape of the gums. Your surgeon may choose to do gum surgery if the gums are too high or too low or to treat gum disease and remove excess gum tissue.
Each patient is different, so the type of pre-prosthetic surgery you need will be based on your individual needs. Your oral surgeon will work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Palatal and Mandibular Tori Reduction
Tori are bony growths that can form on the upper or lower jaw. They’re not harmful, but they can make it difficult to wear dentures. Tori can also make it difficult to eat and speak. Surgery can be used to remove tori and make your dental prosthesis more comfortable. Even if you do not have dentures removal of upper or lower jaw tori may be necessary if you have sleep apnea and there is not enough space for your tongue which can make breathing difficult while you sleep.
Removal may also be indicated if the soft tissue overlying the tori becomes ulcerated by chewing food which is painful and can lead to infection. Tori in the mandible occur on the tongue side of the jaw bone. Tori in the upper jaw occur on the roof of the mouth. Mandibular tori reduction may be necessary if the tori are large and prevent you from adequately cleaning the tongue side of your lower teeth to help prevent cavities and bone loss around your existing teeth.
Tuberosity and Exostosis Reduction
The tuberosity is a bony growth that can form on the back of the upper jaw. Exostosis are bony shelves that occur on the lip side upper and lower jaw bone and can appear like a shelf-like projection of bone. Like tori, tuberosities and exostosis are not harmful but can make it difficult to wear dentures.
Tuberosities and exostosis can also make it difficult to eat and speak. Surgery can be used to remove these bony projections and make a better fit for the prosthetic or, if you have teeth, to allow you to more easily clean your existing teeth so you can keep them free of cavities and periodontal disease.
Dental Implant and Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
Dental implants are frequently done at the time of pre-prosthetic surgery and can further improve the fit and stability of your prosthesis. Please view the All-On-4® page on our website to learn more about this procedure.
What to Expect After Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
After pre-prosthetic surgery, you can expect swelling and bruising. This is normal and will go away with time. You might also have numbness in your lips, gums, and tongue because of the anesthesia, but this should go away in a few hours.
You’ll need to take it easy for a few days after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity, and don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes as these can delay healing. You should also avoid eating hard or crunchy foods until the numbness goes away. Stick to soft foods like soup, pudding, and applesauce. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on post-operative care. Be sure to follow them closely.
Risks of Pre-Prosthetic Procedures
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with pre-prosthetic surgery, including bleeding, infection, and reactions to anesthesia. Your oral surgeon will review the risks before surgery so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed.
Pre-Prosthetic Oral Surgeon in Boulder, CO
Loose or ill-fitting dentures can make everyday activities like eating and talking a challenge. Call (303) 444-2255 to schedule a consult if you’re considering pre-prosthetic surgery. We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs and gives you the best possible outcome. We can answer your questions about oral surgery in Boulder, CO, Broomfield, CO, Longmont, CO, or Louisville, CO. We are located at 1420 28th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO.
We look forward to helping you with your pre-prosthetic oral care!Call Us
Frequently Asked Questions
You may eat soft foods as soon as you feel comfortable after surgery. Avoid hot foods and liquids and hard, crunchy, spicey or sticky foods for at least a week.
You should wear comfortable clothing with no sleeves or sleeves that can easily be rolled up. Before surgery, you will also need to remove any contact lenses, jewelry, piercings, and lipstick.
Your oral surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for your mouth after surgery. In general, you should brush your teeth and floss gently and use the medicated mouth rinse that is prescribed to you twice daily after your normal hygiene is performed.
Pre-prosthetic surgery is typically performed with IV sedation. Therefore, for your safety you will not be able to drive yourself home following the procedure and you will need a responsible adult to drive you home. We request that patients do not drive for 24 hours following sedation. Our staff will give you specific instructions on what to do and when to arrive based on the type of sedation you will receive.
Do not smoke for a minimum of 4 weeks following surgery. Smoking delays healing and increases the risk of infection.