Pre-prosthetic surgery is a procedure used to prepare your mouth before your dentist will place a prosthesis such as partial or complete dentures. Your new dentures will be placed directly on the bony ridge of your jaw. In order to ensure a proper fit, your dentist will need to make sure that your jaw is the correct shape and size to support the prosthesis.
Your dentist may need to perform a tooth extraction in order to prepare your mouth for dentures. This can sometimes leave the area beneath the extracted tooth jagged or uneven. In these cases, the bone will need to be leveled and reshaped in order to ensure that your dentures fit comfortably and securely. In some cases, excess bone may need to be removed. Other pre-prosthetic surgical procedures may include:
- The removal of excess gum tissues
- Leveling and reshaping of the jaw bone
- Bone ridge reduction
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination in order to determine which procedures you will need to undergo before fitting you for your dentures.
In most cases, your doctor will discuss anesthetic options with you when scheduling your procedure. You will have several different options to choose from:
- Local anesthesia – In this case, your doctor will simply inject a numbing medication into your gums and jaw to ensure that you feel no pain during the procedure. You will not be sedated and will remain awake and alert throughout the visit.
- Nitrous Oxide – Also known as “laughing gas,” this is a mild form of conscious sedation that takes affect and wears off quickly. Many patients report a dreamy or euphoric feeling when undergoing this form of conscious sedation, though you will remain awake throughout the procedure.
- Conscious intravenous sedation – Your dentist will place an IV in your wrist or arm through which a sedative medication will be administered. Though you will remain awake throughout the procedure, you will likely be unaware of the passage of time during your visit. You may also experience post-sedation amnesia, preventing you from remembering what occurred during your procedure. This is an excellent choice for patients who are afraid of the dentist’s office or who feel anxious about their procedure.
- General anesthesia – In some cases, full anesthesia may be administered. This type of sedation puts you completely to sleep for your procedure. There may be special recommendations regarding eating or drinking both before and after this form of sedation that you will need to follow to ensure your comfort and safety.
Your dentist will discuss with you any special aftercare measures that you will need to take when scheduling your pre-prosthetic surgery. You may be asked to maintain a liquid or soft-food diet for a short period of time following the surgery. Your dentist will also likely have some special recommendations for how you should brush and floss in both the time immediately following your procedure and longer term. Following these instructions, as well as keeping any follow-up appointments with your dental office will be vitally important for your overall health and safety, as well as for the success of your surgery.
If you have any questions about your pre-prosthetic surgery or aftercare procedures, please feel free to call Oral Surgery Partners at 310-375-0514. Dr. Trent Westernoff, Dr. Martin Mardirosian, and our team will be happy to provide additional information and help you schedule your appointment and follow-up visits at our oral surgery office in Redondo Beach, California.