One of the treatments we offer our patients is a surgical repair that reshapes the jaw bone and is referred to as alveoplasty. This surgery is specifically performed to smooth out and optimally shape the alveolar ridge, or jawbone if teeth have been extracted or lost to decay.
This reshaping of the alveolar ridge prepares you for getting one or more replacement teeth, whether for a partial or complete denture, a dental implant, or a dental bridge. By reshaping this ridge, your jawbone will be ready for the appliance that will be needed later. The goal is to ensure a smoothly contoured ridge, where the extraction was done and promote proper healing afterward to support the appliance.
Reshaping the Jawbone
In this scenario, our oral surgeon can reshape your jawbone in conjunction with a tooth extraction or by itself to get you ready for dentures. Once the jawbone is reshaped, it will feel level and give your mouth a smooth surface with no uneven or bumpy ridges on the bone. The results will allow your future dental appliance to optimally replace missing teeth while fitting and feeling comfortable in your mouth.
If you need a partial or complete denture, surgically reshaping your jaw will make sure your jawbone shape is exactly how it should be. Our surgeon will ensure that any bony lumps are smoothed out so your dentures will fit comfortably, snugly and securely. It will help keep stray food particles or bacterial plaque from accidentally getting stuck under your oral appliance, which would otherwise lead to gum irritation or infection. You want your dentures to easily adhere over the jawbone to ensure the best fit possible.
Another scenario is having your jawbone reshaped as a stand-alone treatment without extracting teeth first. For example, we might smooth out lumps of bone on your jaw, hard palate or other jaw irregularity. Our surgeon will take into account where the jawbone irregularity is located, the depth of the contouring that will be done, and how big the resulting extraction site will end up being post-tooth removal. If the bumps are small, those can be fixed on the surface, while bigger bumps may require removing sections of the jawbone. If removing several teeth, we will smooth out all ridge irregularities so the jawbone surface is as smooth and even as possible.
You will be made comfortable during your surgery so you can have an anxiety-free experience. Our skilled surgeon will numb the jawbone and gum tissue that will be worked on with anesthetic or conscious sedation, depending on your needs. Next, we will create a gum tissue flap to reveal the underlying bone so we can recontour and precisely trim it. We will smooth out any rough areas of the bone material before flushing the surgical site with saline solution to clear out any debris. Finally, the gum tissue flaps will be repositioned back into place and sutured.
You will be given aftercare instructions to maximize your healing and recovery. Typically, you can expect the area to be healed within a few weeks, and new appliances may be placed between 4-6 weeks, depending on your healing progress.
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As you can see, having an alveoloplasty done is a relatively common procedure that can prepare your smile for a tooth replacement without complications. Smoothing out your jawbone means your dental implant or denture will be held in place properly and feel comfortable in your mouth. If you are in need of reshaping your jawbone, our surgical team is ready to help you get the treatment you need with the best possible care you deserve!