Jaw Reshaping after Tooth Loss or Extraction

An alveoloplasty, also known as jawbone reshaping or bone ridge reduction, is a procedure that smooths the bone tissue surrounding a tooth socket to ensure your dental restoration is stable and fits comfortably. Dr. Lifferth can perform jawbone reshaping as part of a tooth extraction or as a stand-alone procedure to prepare your jaw for a partial or complete denture. We offer a wide range of surgical treatments at our Park City, UT, practice to meet your needs. 

Alveoloplasty can address protruding bone tissue so that your denture or other tooth replacement solution will fit properly.

When Is an Alveoloplasty Necessary?

Jaw reshaping is usually performed to either:

  • Optimize the shape of your jawbone before placement of a complete or partial denture
  • Establish a healthy shape for your jawbone after an extraction to facilitate the healing process

Essentially, the goal of reshaping your jaw is to make sure that whatever tooth replacement option you receive fits properly, without instability or discomfort. Often, Dr. Lifferth will perform an alveoloplasty during a tooth extraction to avoid the need for a second procedure later in your treatment process. 

How It Works

The procedure differs depending on whether it occurs at the same time as a tooth extraction or as a stand-alone treatment. 

During Tooth Extraction

When performed during a tooth extraction, alveoloplasty may make the surgery slightly longer and more complex, but should not significantly affect the healing process. Dr. Lifferth will administer anesthesia and sedation based on the number of teeth being removed. Next, he will remove the targeted teeth. 

Before closing the extraction site, Dr. Lifferth will carefully evaluate the contours of the bone tissue around the socket. Based on what he sees, he may decide to perform an alveoloplasty to smooth the bone. Alveoloplasty is more commonly performed when multiple teeth are being extracted. 

As a Stand-Alone Treatment

Your doctor may recommend undergoing alveoloplasty if he notices irregularities that will interfere with placing your restoration. Ideally, your denture should be able to glide easily over the dental ridge to prevent irritation and discomfort. 

As a stand-alone procedure, alveoloplasty involves:

  1. Anesthesia: Dr. Lifferth will use local anesthesia to numb the bone and gums in the treatment area. If your procedure is extensive, or if you are feeling anxious, we can provide sedation at your request. 
  2. Creating a flap: Using small incisions, Dr. Lifferth will create flaps in the gum tissue to access the underlying bone tissue.
  3. Reshaping: Dr. Lifferth will use specialized tools to smooth and reshape the ridge.

Once the procedure is complete, he will close the incisions with sutures. Patients usually need four to six weeks to heal before receiving their new denture. 

What to Expect after Surgery

The treated area will likely feel tender and sore for about a week after the treatment. Depending on your level of discomfort, we may prescribe pain medication. However, most patients can control discomfort with over-the-counter medication, especially after the first few days. 

Whether you need an alveoloplasty as part of an extraction or to make your denture fit more comfortably, Dr. Lifferth can provide excellent results.

You may experience some swelling for the first day or two. If we prescribe antibiotics or special rinses, make sure to follow all instructions carefully. Until your stitches are removed or dissolve, eat soft foods to avoid disrupting the treatment area. 

Book a Consultation

Dr. Lifferth is a trusted oral surgeon who performs a wide range of oral surgery procedures. Whether you need an alveoloplasty as part of an extraction or need to make your denture fit more comfortably, he can provide excellent results. For more information, contact our office online or call (435) 222-0450 today.