Before being fitted for certain dental prosthetics, like dentures, you may need an alveoloplasty to contour your jaw so your prosthetic will fit comfortably. This procedure is also often performed after having multiple teeth extracted to remove any bone spurs and contour the jawline. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
Why do I need an alveoloplasty?
Alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure performed at the Bay Area OSM offices to reshape and contour your jawbone. It is often needed before being fitted for dentures so that they can fit snuggly.
After a tooth is extracted, it will leave a hole. After the gum heals you will feel highs and lows on the jawline. This can result in poorly fitting dentures. The high points may rub against the dentures causing sore spots.
Some who have been missing teeth for many years may have a reduced alveolar ridge and therefore not have enough of a jaw bone for the dentures to fit onto.
Other times an alveoloplasty is used if you have bone spurs on your jaw, especially after a tooth extraction. It is especially important to help extraction sites heal properly and to make sure your gum tissue doesn’t become raised afterward.
Apart from smoothing the jawbone, alveoloplasty can be used to speed up the healing process after multiple teeth are extracted. Usually, when a tooth is removed, the provider leaves the hole open and a blood clot fills the hole. The gum eventually closes over the hole. With alveoplasty, the gums are stitched together, closing the hole. This speeds up recovery and reduces blood loss because the socket is not left open.
It may be important for some patients to heal faster, such as those with cancer. Before someone receives radiation treatment to the head or neck, any decayed teeth will need extracting. This is because during radiation treatment salivary glands can dry up and blood flow is reduced, making the decay worse. Once the decayed teeth are removed, the sockets need to heal before the radiation treatment can begin.
Alveoloplasty can be used in this situation to speed up the recovery so that the radiation therapy can begin. Even if a single tooth is removed, it can be used.
What is involved in an alveoloplasty procedure?
Alveoloplasty can be done in conjunction with your tooth extraction, or after the fact, and is a minimally invasive surgery. First, your Bay Area OSM provider numbs the area with a local anesthetic and possibly provides additional sedation.
Next, the gum tissue is cut open revealing the bone beneath. The bone is trimmed away and shaped using a series of files and a handpiece. Sometimes a dental drill can be used. While this is happening, the site will be irrigated to push away excess debris.
Finally, your surgeon checks your jawbone for smoothness and your gums are stitched shut with sutures.
What is the recovery like after an alveoloplasty surgery?
Recovery after alveoloplasty surgery isn’t much different than after a standard tooth extraction. Right after the procedure your surgeon will have you bite down on gauze until all bleeding has stopped.
Once home, be prepared to eat soft foods for a few days and stay away from anything overly hot, spicy, and citrusy. Do not eat any crunchy foods as they can reopen the surgical site. Try to keep the area as clean as possible. Over-the-counter medication is usually enough to keep any pain at bay.
Call one of our Bay Area OSM offices or make an appointment online today.