The preparation of your mouth before the placement of a denture (or 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. 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
When teeth are extracted, the underlying bone might be left sharp and uneven. For the best fit of a denture, the bone might need to be smoothed out or reshaped. The smoothing or re-shaping of the bone is called alveoloplasty. At the Oklahoma Wisdom Teeth Center, this alveoloplasty, or bone smoothing, is performed at the same time as any necessary extractions. This is in attempt to prevent “denture sore spots” due to sharp surfaces or edges underneath the new denture. In patients who have already had their teeth removed, but their dentures remain uncomfortable and difficult to use, alveoloplasty may be all that is necessary for the fabrication of a proper-fitting denture.
Removal of excess bone
Some patients have excess bone that needs to be removed before their family dentist can fit them with a denture. These excess portions of bone can range in size. If they are small, sometimes a denture can be fabricated around them, and they don’t need to be removed. If they are moderate or large in size, their removal will probably be necessary before a denture is fitted.
Extra bone on the lip and cheek side of the ridge is called an EXOSTOSIS. The plural is EXOSTOSES. These almost always need to be removed if being fitted for dentures. They are quite routine to remove, and most of the time can be removed at the same time the teeth are extracted.
Extra bone on the inside of the lower ridge next to the tongue is called a LINGUAL TORUS. The plural is TORI. These also usually need to be removed before denture fabrication unless they are very small. These are more difficult to remove, and may require another surgical appointment.
Extra bone on the roof of the mouth is called a PALATAL TORUS. These usually do NOT have to be removed unless they are quite large or they extend back into the soft palate and inhibit the seal of the denture. These are the most difficult to be removed.
Removal of excess gum tissue
Sometimes a pre-existing ill-fitting denture can produce extra folds of gum, lip, and cheek tissue. This usually happens when a denture has been worn for a long time and it no longer fits. These extra folds of tissue known as EPULIS FISSURATUM (the plural is epuli) or HYPERPLASTIC TISSUE will not allow proper fitting of a new denture, and need to be removed. This procedure always occurs weeks before the denture-making process has begun to allow for proper healing.