Dentures can often be fitted without any preparation or additional treatments, but in some cases, pre-prosthetic surgery is required to prepare a patient’s jawbone so a full or partial denture can be comfortably supported. If you need oral surgery for dentures, here’s what you need to know.
Why Pre-Prosthetic Oral Surgery Is Needed
One of the reasons you might need dentures is because you need a restoration that does not rely on adjacent teeth for support and stability. Dentures have the advantage of not requiring neighboring teeth to hold them in place, but that doesn't mean they don't require any support—they rest on the gums and the bony ridge beneath them.
When this ridge is uneven or excessively sharp in places, wearing dentures can be a painful experience. Even if you use adhesive pastes, your dentures can slip and shift at any time during the day. This might make eating difficult and cause slurring when speaking. Your gums are likely to become irritated as a result of the frequent shifting and slipping, and painful denture sores may form.
While dental implants are the best way to avoid all of these issues, we recognize that implants are not suitable for every patient for a variety of reasons. By modifying the jawbone in such a way that a full or partial denture fits securely, pre-prosthetic surgery helps patients avoid many of the common fit and comfort complaints people have with traditional dentures.
Options for Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
Pre-prosthetic surgical procedures are minor outpatient treatments that take place in our clinic. We offer the following surgeries for dentures:
- Bone smoothing and reshaping – Smoothing and contouring the bone helps avoid painful sores that form where a denture presses and creates irritation. Although this is most commonly performed as a pre-prosthetic procedure, it can also be performed on patients who already have a denture and are experiencing discomfort.
- Bone ridge reduction – This is another treatment that modifies the bone ridge to ensure that dentures fit securely and comfortably.
- Removal of excess bone or soft tissue – Excess bone and soft tissue can make it difficult to fit a denture and cause discomfort and instability.
Sometimes only one pre-prosthetic procedure is needed, but other times we may perform a combination of procedures.
Recovery from Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
You will have some soreness for a few days after your surgery. We'll provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to help you manage any discomfort and reduce the risk of complications or infection. A soft foods diet, getting plenty of rest, and using cold compresses to soothe swelling can all help you heal faster and return to normal sooner.
You'll be able to visit your dentist or prosthodontist to have your denture fitted once the bone and soft tissues have healed from your pre-prosthetic surgery.
Learn More About Oral Surgery for Dentures
Do you need oral surgery for dentures? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation to learn more.