Can Oral Surgery Improve How Your Dentures Fit?
With dentures, comfort and fit go hand-in-hand. Like pieces of a puzzle, the denture, gum and jaw must all fit together properly to ensure the most comfortable fit possible. For some patients, oral surgery is necessary to create the right alignment before being fitted for dentures. This is known a pre-prosthetic surgery.
When is pre-prosthetic oral surgery needed?
A denture sits on the bone ridge, so for maximum fit and function it is critical that the bone be the right shape and size. One of the most common reasons for pre-prosthetic surgery is to smooth out uneven bone ridge left behind after tooth extraction. Other reasons may include removal of excess bone or addition of a bone graft to create suitable support.
Common pre-prosthetic procedures include:
- Bone smoothing and reshaping
- Removal of excess bone
- Bone or tissue grafting procedures
- Bone ridge reduction
- Removal of excess gum tissue
- Extraction of impacted teeth
Generally, the dental practitioner who is fitting you for your dentures will discuss whether surgery is necessary. If you do need pre-prosthetic surgery, Doctors Stewart and Michael will perform the procedure on an outpatient basis using the most cutting-edge technology available today to ensure your comfort and safety.
Why do my dentures no longer fit?
Dentures are not a one and done treatment. Just like natural teeth, they require proper care and regular dental visits. Because the structure that supports dentures deteriorates over time, it is not uncommon for patients to undergo changes that create an improper fit. Gum ridges in our mouths often shrink as we age, which can cause dentures to become loose. Bone can also shrink, resulting in misaligned jaws. So even if a patient’s dentures initially fit properly, changes in gum and bone structure may require corrective oral surgery later on.
What are the symptoms of poor-fitting dentures?
Discomfort is the most obvious sign dentures do not fit correctly; however, other symptoms include:
- Dentures that move
- Difficulty speaking
- Pain in the gums (sometimes with bleeding)
- Difficulty eating and swallowing
- A clicking noise when eating
- Bad breath or strange taste
What are the dangers of poor-fitting dentures?
Beyond general discomfort, wearing poor-fitting or loose dentures for an extended period of time can cause much more than an inconvenience. Complications can include:
Swollen Gums – If dentures do not fit the contours of your mouth correctly, they rub against gum tissue causing them to swell.
Mouth Soreness – When gum tissue is irritated and inflamed, it creates sensitivity and soreness, which is exacerbated if a patient has other jaw disorders such as TMJ.
Trouble Speaking – Patients with loose or poor-fitting dentures may develop a lisp.
Blisters – When dentures do not fit properly, they rub against areas of the mouth creating blisters which not only cause extreme discomfort, but risk further tissue damage and infection.
Angular Cheilitis – Poor-fitting dentures often lead to an uneven bite which can cause saliva to pool near the corners of the mouth. This creates a moist environment ripe for a painful bacterial infection.
Headaches – Headaches are a common side effect of poor-fitting dentures, as a sore jaw often creates head pain.
The ultimate goal of dentures is improved quality of life. To achieve this, dentures need to fit as comfortably as possible. With a combined 50 years of service, Doctors Stewart and Michael are committed to providing the right pre-prosthetic surgery for your needs. For additional information, please contact any Texas Oral Surgery Group location (Denton, Plano, Decatur, Gainesville ).
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