What is pre-prosthetic surgery?
Pre-prosthetic surgery is performed to prepare a patient’s mouth for a well-fitting, comfortable, and aesthetic dental prosthesis. Sometimes, for dentures to fit comfortably and appropriately in the mouth, pre-prosthetic surgery is necessary. A denture sits on the bone ridge, so it is critical that the bone is the proper shape and size. If a tooth needs to be 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 using pre-prosthetic surgery. Occasionally, excess bone must be removed prior to denture insertion. By reshaping and smoothing bony edges through pre-prosthetic surgery, a better anatomic environment and proper supporting structures for denture construction are created.
The ultimate goal of pre-prosthetic surgery is the patient’s rehabilitation with the restoration of the best possible chewing function, combined with restoration or improvement of dental and facial aesthetics. To achieve this goal, maximum preservation of hard and soft tissues of the denture base is of utmost importance and a top priority in all pre-prosthetic procedures at OC Oral Surgery. The following are examples of pre-prosthetic procedures that may be considered to ensure a successful denture fit for each patient:
- Reshaping or Smoothing of the Jaw Bone. 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 or reshaped through pre-prosthetic surgery. The smoothing or reshaping of the bone is called alveoloplasty.
- Removing Excess Bone or Gum Tissue. Some patients have excess bone that needs to be removed before they can be fitted with a denture. The size of the excess portion of bone will determine if it needs to be removed using pre-prosthetic surgery. Small pieces of excess bone may not need to be removed, and a denture can be fabricated around them. If they are moderate or large in size, removal through pre-prosthetic surgery will probably be necessary before a denture is fitted. Removal of gum tissue using pre-prosthetic surgery becomes necessary for cases where a pre-existing ill-fitting denture has produced extra folds of gum, lip, and cheek tissue. These additional folds of tissue need to be removed to allow proper fitting of a new denture. This pre-prosthetic surgical procedure occurs well in advance of the denture-making process to allow for proper healing.
- Reducing the Bone Ridge. Occasionally, excess bone needs to be removed through pre-prosthetic surgery. Bony protuberances on the tongue side of the mandible and/or on the roof of the mouth can grow very large and even interfere with speech and eating. Removal of these may be done as part of pre-prosthetic surgery to prepare the mouth for dentures, or it may be done to improve speech and eating.
Any of these pre-prosthetic procedures can be done in the oral surgery office under local or general anesthesia. Before performing any pre-prosthetic surgery, your surgeon will discuss all options available for your tooth replacement, including the placement of dental implants or the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, to determine the best long-term solution for you.
Where can I get pre-prosthetic surgery in Orange County?
The doctors and surgical staff of OC Oral Surgery maintain a state-of-the-art oral surgery facility in Mission Viejo, CA, offering a multitude of services to meet your oral and facial needs. Drs. Ahn and Girard are available to schedule your pre-prosthetic surgery at your convenience and serve all of Orange County.