Your teeth play many important roles in your mouth. If your teeth become damaged or develop decay, treatment is needed right away. Ideally, damaged teeth are restored with treatments such as fillings or crowns. However, if the teeth are severely damaged, the best solution is often to extract them and then replace them. When teeth are extracted, the bone left behind can be jagged and uneven. At Anchorage Dental Associates, we can smooth out the jawbone, making tooth replacement easier, with bone re-contouring.
What is Bone Re-Contouring?
Bone re-contouring also called an alveoloplasty, is a procedure that is performed to reshape and recontour your jawbone. It is often performed following a tooth extraction or tooth loss. One of the primary benefits of this procedure is that, in smoothing the jawbone, we can help establish the shape of your jawbone. This can aid in proper healing following an extraction. Additionally, by smoothing the jawbone, placing dental restorations, particularly dentures, is made easier.
When Do I Need Bone Re-Contouring?
Bone re-contouring is generally performed immediately following tooth extraction. This allows us to better plan for later tooth replacement options. By re-contouring the jaw immediately following tooth extractions, this avoids the need for a second, potentially more extensive, surgical procedure later on.
Bone re-contouring may also be needed before receiving traditional dentures. Also called pre-prosthetic surgery, smoothing the jawbone eliminates jagged edges of bone that can otherwise interfere with the fit and comfort of your dentures. Without bone re-contouring, the rigid base of your dentures may place excessive pressure on the areas of rough, jagged bone. This can result in rubbing on the delicate tissue, which can then lead to painful denture sores. Uneven bone may also prevent your dentures from sitting properly in your mouth. They may come loose more frequently or even fall out. Smoothing these areas of your jaw greatly improve the fit of your dentures as well as help to prevent discomfort and issues with how your dentures fit and function within your mouth.
How is Bone Re-Contouring Performed?
Bone re-contouring is performed under local anesthetic. Small flaps are created in the gums, which expose the jawbone underneath. Using specialized tools, we then work to smooth the surfaces of your jawbone. Small protrusions may be easily trimmed where larger protrusions may require sections of bone to be removed. Once your bone has been re-contoured, the surgical wounds are closed. If the procedure is being performed in order to place a denture, it is common to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before the denture is placed.
How Much Does Bone Re-Contouring Cost?
The exact cost of your bone re-contouring depends on several factors. One of the biggest factors in the cost of your procedure is how much of your jawbone is being treated. Another major determining factor is when the procedure is performed. Generally, the treatment costs less when it is performed in conjunction with tooth extractions. You should also contact your dental insurance provider to find out if bone re-contouring is covered and, if so, what percentage of the treatment is covered.
With bone re-contouring, we can smooth the surface of your jawbone, making tooth replacement options, including dentures and dental implants, more successful. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Anchorage Dental Associates today at (907) 276-7366.
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