An alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure that smooths out any uneven jawbone after a tooth extraction or bone loss. Read on in this blog from Copper Leaf Dental Co. to find out when alveoloplasty is necessary and what it involves.
After having a tooth extracted, there may be pits or bumps in the jawbone which don’t provide a smooth and even surface for a tooth replacement. Without reshaping the jawbone, this can result in an ill-fitting tooth replacement that causes many problems.
Without sufficient and healthy bone support, a patient won’t be a good candidate for dental implants because they’re at a much higher risk for implant failure. Reshaping the jawbone with alveoloplasty can help to prevent implant failure.
Poorly-fit dentures and dental bridges can cause gum irritation, sores, uneven pressure, and trapped food particles that lead to oral health problems. The uneven ridge typically occurs when the extraction site has healed.
However, alveoloplasty can be performed directly after extraction or once the extraction has healed. Oftentimes, dentists will prefer to perform alveoloplasty at the same time as extraction because it assists with the healing process and it also reduces appointment-related costs.
Alveoloplasty may also be necessary for patients with gum disease or dental trauma, as both of these things can cause bone resorption
What alveoloplasty involves is smoothing out the alveolar ridge. First, local anesthesia is administered to numb the mouth. Additional sedation may also be used if desired. Then, we make an incision into the gums to gain access to the jawbone.
Using a dental drill, the jawbone is reshaped and contoured until a smooth and even shape is achieved. Then, the gums are put back in place and sutured shut. After an alveoloplasty, it’s important to carefully follow aftercare instructions so that you properly heal.
Full recovery occurs in 6 to 8 weeks but you can expect most of the healing to occur in the first 3 weeks. Following surgery, you will need to stick to a soft-food-only diet. In the first few days, you will need to consume mostly liquids and avoid chewing as much as possible.
Then, you can start to eat more solid foods but avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods for at least the first week. In the first 24 hours, you’ll need to avoid alcohol, all forms of suction, spitting, and vigorously rinsing your mouth.
After the first 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with a saline solution 3 times a day and brush and floss your teeth while avoiding the surgical site. Some minor bleeding, swelling, and tenderness are to be expected in the first few days.
You can use cold packs and anti-inflammatory pain medication. Keep your head elevated and avoid strenuous exercise. You should be ready for tooth replacement within 1 month if it was performed along with the extraction. If alveoloplasty was performed separately, you should be ready for tooth replacement within 2 months.
If you’re interested in replacing missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures but have an uneven jawbone, it’s important to undergo jaw contouring, also known as alveoloplasty, to prevent complications and ill-fitting prostheses. Contact us at Copper Leaf Dental Co. in Hoover today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jordan Hebert.