If your oral surgeon mentions pre-prosthetic surgery as part of your discussion about partial or full dentures, you may be wondering what exactly that is. By definition, pre-prosthetic surgery is the process of getting a patient’s mouth ready for prosthesis. Pre-prosthetic surgery may require several steps based on the individual patient’s specific needs, but the ultimate goal always remains the same: to ensure that the bone ridge that will hold the dentures is not only healthy, but also the right shape and size for optimal retention.
Are You a Candidate for Pre-Prosthetic Surgery?
Once you understand the concept of this procedure, it’s important to determine if you are a likely candidate for it. It’s not required of all patients; many individuals who are moving forward with dentures find that they only need to have teeth extracted to begin insertion. However, for others, pre-prosthetic surgery proves a must due to various factors. Every patient has his/her own specific surgical needs, and a qualified and skilled oral surgeon will create a customized surgery approach based on contributing influences/requirements, such as:
Bone ridge reduction: If your existing bone ridge is too big, it can hinder the implantation process. Your surgeon will carefully determine how much smaller the bone ridge needs to be in order to yield best results.
Bone smoothing/reshaping: Some patients require smoothing and reshaping in various areas throughout their mouth to prepare for implantation.
Exposed impacted teeth: Partially or fully impacted teeth can have a significant impact on oral prosthesis and need to be surgically removed. Your surgeon will identify any impacted teeth before the surgery to remove them as needed.
Excess bone/gum removal: Once again, having excessive tissue and bone structure in the mouth can limit the results achieved with dentures; a surgeon will pinpoint specific regions in your mouth that require attention and modify as needed.
What Happens During and After the Surgery
Once a customized surgical plan has been created, your surgeon will discuss various anesthesia options with you to determine which one makes the most sense for you. Most patients will have the choice of local anesthesia, oral premedication, IV sedation or IV general anesthesia. It’s important to carefully discuss every available option so you know what to expect as well as how alert you will remain during the surgery itself.
After the procedure, the surgical team allows patients to wake up, recover, and gain alertness. During your recovery time, your vital signs will be continuously monitored until you’ve been granted discharge. Finally, you should coordinate a ride with a friend or family member from your pre-prosthetic surgery to ensure you arrive home safely and avoid any strenuous activities for at least 24 hours.
Still have questions about pre-prosthetic surgery? Contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.