An Alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure that reshapes and smoothens out the jaw where a tooth or teeth have been extracted or lost. The part of the jawbone that houses the teeth is called the alveolus and “plasty” means molding, so Alveoloplasty is the process of molding or reshaping the jaw.
Why would someone need this procedure?
When a tooth is extracted, the socket (the hole where the tooth was located) heals over the course of several weeks. However, once healed, the area may not be ready for a tooth replacement, such as a denture, bridge or implant. The healed area is called an edentulous ridge and it may be uneven or bumpy, which will not allow for a nice fit of the replacement tooth or teeth. Smoothing out the jawbone prepares the mouth for successful placement of the new artificial tooth.
When Is an Alveoloplasty Performed?
The procedure can be performed either at the time of tooth extraction or after the site has fully healed. When you prepare for your tooth extraction, your dentist will evaluate your jaw and decide if it needs recontouring.
Dentists often conduct this procedure at the same time as the tooth extraction to shape the jawbone in a way that facilitates healing. Alternatively, the procedure can be performed once the site has healed but before the artificial tooth has been placed to make sure the shape of the jaw supports the new device.
Indications For Alveoloplasty
The main purpose of alveoloploasty procedure is to recontour and restructure alveolar bone to provide a functional skeletal relationship.
Indications of alveoloplasty should nevertheless include recontouring or reshaping alveolar bone during tooth extraction surgery. For instance, if alveolar bone has sharp edges after tooth removal, it is necessary to smoothen the bone surfaces to facilitate tooth socket healing process and to avoid any procedural complications such as pain or long standing open wound.
The next indication for Alveoloplasty involves a standalone procedure which is usually done prior to treatment planning of any prosthetic appliances such as placement of fixed or removable prosthetic appliances. In relation with the first point of indication of the procedure, the bone contouring after dental extractions also helps in preparation for prosthetic rehabilitation. This serves as an important procedure as any sharp bony projections under removable appliances such as dentures will cause discomfort and pain when patient perform masticatory functions.
Steps Of The Alveoloplasty Procedure
In either scenario — during tooth extraction or after healing — the patient will be under local anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. This ensures that the patient feels no pain. The dentist will make an incision at the gumline to expose the underlying jawbone. With a chisel or a burr on a handheld drill, the dentist will adjust the bone to the desired shape. They will close the gum tissue with stitches to allow for proper healing.
Ready For Tooth Replacement After Alveoloplasty
Alveoloplasty is a fairly common procedure designed to prevent complications with tooth replacements. Once you have a smooth jawbone, your mouth will be ready for a dental fixed replacement tooth, such as a dental implant. Your dentist will be able to identify if you might benefit from this surgery and provide a recommendation on when it should be performed. Their guidance is aimed at improving your oral health and helping you achieve your ideal smile.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alveoloplasty And Their Answers
Is Alveoloplasty necessary for dentures?
Alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure performed at Perfect Dental® to reshape and contour your jawbone. It is often needed if before being fitted for dentures so they can fit snuggly. Other times an alveoloplasty is used if you have bone spurs on your jaw, especially after a tooth extraction.
Does Alveoloplasty hurt?
Alveoloplasty is done under local anesthesia and hence there is no pain felt during the procedure. Most surgeons prescribe antibiotics to avoid bacterial infection from setting in. Meanwhile, most patients complain of post-operative pain in the surgical area for several days, which can be addressed by taking painkillers and required rest. The surgical site may also experience swelling and tenderness to touch.
What is Alveoloplasty in conjunction with extractions?
Alveoloplasty, in conjunction with extractions, is a surgical procedure that recontours the alveolar bone and is usually performed to prepare the alveolar ridge for a dental prosthesis.
Who needs Alveoloplasty?
Alveoplasty can be recommended for patients following their tooth extraction to smooth out any rough bone ridges and remove any irregularities in the jawbone. This prepares the jawbone for the placement of dental prostheses such as dentures.
Following is a guide to what you should expect and what care or precautions you should take after Alveoloplasty is done on you:
What You should expect
- It is common to experience mild pain and/or swelling for approximately 3 days. If pain and/or swelling persist for more than 3 days, please contact us.
- If you experience severe pain and/or swelling, contact us immediately.
- Use ice pack or cold pack as directed for reducing swelling.
- Small blood spots while spitting or minor bleeding for a day or two is common after oral surgeries. If there is a profuse (excessive) bleeding, please contact us immediately.
- If the procedure was done under local anesthesia, you may feel numbness for 3-4 hours in certain parts of your mouth and face. If numbness persists for more than 12 hours, please contact us.
- You may experience facial muscle soreness due to excessive opening of mouth. Contact us and we will determine if you need any medication for the same. Use warm towel pack or hot water bag to apply on area of muscle soreness only after 72 hours.
- Practice opening and closing of mouth (unless advised otherwise) after 24 hours. It is essential to keep your facial muscle moving.
- If you have been given sutures (stitches) you will have to come to our dental center after 7 days for its removal, unless advised otherwise.
What Care Or Precautions You Should Take
- If you have been given the gauze dressing then keep the gauze dressing pressed with your opposing teeth or jaw for 1 hour.
- It is essential to keep the gauze dressing pressed so do not speak or try to eat or drink anything for 1 hour till gauze dressing is in mouth.
- Remove the gauze dressing exactly after 1 hour of its placement.
- Do not go to sleep while gauze is in mouth.
- Once you remove gauze dressing after 1 hour and if the bleeding has stopped, you can take 1 cup of ice cream (plain vanilla is preferable), juice or milkshake and take medication as directed to avoid pain after the anesthesia wears off.
- Once you remove gauze dressing after 1 hour, if there is persistent profuse (excessive) bleeding, place a new gauze dressing and keep it pressed with your opposing teeth or jaw and contact us immediately.
- Avoid hot food and drinks like very hot tea or coffee for first 24 hours and preferably 48 hours.
- Eat soft and cold diet that does not require too much chewing.
- Avoid crunchy foods like chips for 1 week.
- Do not use straw for drinking any liquids for 48 hours.
- Do not drink carbonated drinks for 1 week.
- Use opposite side of your mouth for chewing and not the side from where tooth is removed at least for 48 hours.
- If surgery was done on both sides of mouth or full mouth, for the first 48 hours take grinded food processed in a grinder so that you can swallow it without much chewing and start taking regular soft diet after 48 hours of surgery.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco chewing strictly for first 48 hours.
- Do not spit, rinse or gargle for first 24 hours after surgery.
- If anesthesia was given in lower jaw then please avoid eating anything until the anesthesia wears off and the numbness is gone.
- Do not brush or floss for the first 24 hours after surgery.
- Continue gentle brushing and flossing twice daily only after 24 hours of procedure. Care should be taken to avoid rinsing forcefully after brushing. Good oral hygiene is a key to success of treatment.
- Gently Rinse your mouth with water after every meal after 48 hours of surgery.
- You should “lay low” for one to two weeks. Minimal activities with bed rest are recommended. Do not work out at the gym or play sports activities for at least 3 weeks.
- The surgical sites will take a few weeks to completely heal up. However you should gradually return to normal function within one to two weeks.
- If you have been prescribed any medication, take it regularly according to prescription and do not alter the schedule or duration of medication without consulting your dentist.
- If you have been given sutures (stitches) care should be taken to not to pull them out while chewing and brushing.
– Bleeding is profuse (choking on blood).
– Bleeding is continuous (still changing bright red gauze after 24 hours).
– Severe pain not well controlled by medications.
– Rash, hives or difficulty breathing after taking the medications that suggest an allergic reactions.
– Persistent fever lasting more than 24 hours.– Discharge coming out from the surgical site.
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