PRE-PROSTHETIC SURGERY

The preparation of your mouth before the placement of a prosthesis is referred to as pre-prosthetic surgery.

Some patients require minor oral surgical procedures before receiving a partial or complete denture in order to ensure the maximum level of comfort. A denture sits on the bone ridge, so it is very important that the bone is the proper shape and size. If teeth need to be extracted, the underlying bone is often irregular like the ridge of a mountain range and can be sharp and uneven. For the best fit of a denture, the bone might need to be smoothed or reshaped. Occasionally, excess bone may need to be removed prior to denture insertion in order to eliminate protrusion of the bone (often called a torus or exostosis) or irregular contours.

One or more of the following procedures might need to be performed in order to prepare your mouth for a denture:

  • Bone smoothing and reshaping
  • Removal of excess bone
  • Bone ridge reduction
  • Removal of excess gum tissue

As a patient wears a denture, over time the bone shrinks and the denture loses its fit. If a patient continues to wear this denture the soft tissue about the denture gets irritated and sore. If this continues for a while the soft tissue that is irritated turns into a growth of inflamed soft tissue which becomes painful. Sometimes this inflamed soft tissue can be excised and the denture can be temporarily relined. A formal reline or a new denture will need to be performed by your dentist if it continues.

Sometimes the bone has shrunk to a point where the denture is hitting against the muscle attachments. Muscles in the cheeks, lips, and floor of the mouth attach to the jaws. When the patient tries to chew with a denture in this situation the denture hit against the muscle attachments and irritates the soft tissue over the muscle attachments. When the bone shrinks to a point where the denture is resting on the muscle attachments simply excising the irritated tissue will not work. These cases are treated by a surgical procedure called a vestibuloplasty. A vestibuloplasty is a procedure where we change the muscle attachments so they do not irritate the soft tissue under the denture. The denture is temporarily relined on the day of the surgery. Once this heals your restorative dentist will need to create a new denture for you.

Today we have dental implants which prevent most of these problems as they stabilize the new denture so the patient does have a denture that moves much or they eliminate the need for a denture as we create fixed teeth on the dental implants (see dental implant section under missing all upper or lower teeth).

We will review your particular needs with you during your appointment.