If you need a prosthesis but have sustained gum recession or jawbone atrophy, pre-prosthetic surgery can restore the form of your smile. Pre-prosthetic surgery refers to any form of oral or maxillofacial surgery that helps to prepare your mouth for a dental restoration. Depending upon your needs, treatment may involve rebuilding areas of bone loss or smoothing the gums and alveolar ridge. The goal of surgery is to ensure your denture fits as comfortably and snugly in your smile as possible.
Ridge augmentation (also called bone grafting) is performed to prepare an atrophied jaw for dental implants.
Candidates for Pre-Prosthetic Surgery
Your dentist or prosthodontist will likely determine your candidacy for pre-prosthetic surgery during your denture consultation. The need for such procedures is based on the shape and contours of your mouth, especially your alveolar ridge and gums. If you have abnormal bone development, a denture may fit loosely. In addition, food and bacteria can more easily accumulate beneath ill-fitting dentures, increasing your risk for gum disease and chronic bad breath. You may also need pre-prosthetic surgery if you have suffered jawbone recession following tooth loss or have excess gum tissue that interferes with your restoration.
You must be healthy enough to undergo surgery in order to qualify. If you have a systemic health condition that compromises your body’s ability to heal, you may not be eligible for treatment.
Preparing for Surgery
When designing your treatment plan, your doctor will take into account:
The type of surgery required
The techniques used
Grafting materials, if applicable
Depending upon the extent of your surgery, your doctor may collaborate with a surgeon or prosthodontist.
What You Can Do
In order to ensure a successful treatment, there are several preparatory steps you can take. Smoking can interfere with healing, so you should stop at least three weeks before surgery. Make sure to refrain from smoking for several weeks after surgery as well. You may also need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. Be prepared to discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor during the consultation.