Managing the transition from teeth to dentures…

This month, we want to start to look at some other areas of our surgical practice.  One of the problems we have to deal with in treating an aging population, many of whom have not had comprehensive dental care available for a variety of reasons including the geography of a massive country like Australia and a lack of available dental services, is the failing dentition.  This is the case for many older patients who finally have to face loss of a large number of teeth.

Removal of teeth that are loose due to gum disease is very straightforward. However some teeth may still have plenty of bone support but it is the teeth themselves that may have fractured, become brittle or have extensive decay.

These damaged teeth obviously require surgical removal rather than simple extraction. The problem we have to manage is the bone shape that remains after the removal of multiple teeth.  The bone where the teeth have been usually has very sharp edges and sharp spikes, and can appear like a miniature mountain range.

Now image this sharp mountain range beneath thin gum tissue, and then you place a hard plastic denture on top, and try to chew.  Now you understand why so many people in this situation cannot eat due to painful gums and ulcers from the pressure of the denture onto the soft gum with the sharp bone beneath.

The situation is easily handled by not just removing the teeth but at the same time shaping the bone by removing the mountain-tops and creating a smooth plateau instead.

This procedure is best done under either a general anaesthetic as a day case at the same time as the teeth are removed.  This allows the patient to immediately wear their “immediate” denture right from the start without having to suffer pain and ulcers.

We call the smoothing and creation of a plateau, an “Alveolectomy”.  This is the best way to manage the transition from a failing natural set of teeth to a set of Complete Dentures.

So if you, friends or family have to face loosing teeth and have to move to Complete Dentures, consider having this done under general anaesthetic with the additional procedure of an Alveolectomy.  You won’t regret it!  It means you will cut out the 4-6 months of painful gums and an inability to eat.

Contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812

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