Tuberosity reductions are less common today because dental implants are becoming more popular. In addition, fewer people lose all their teeth and require upper dentures.
However, some people with teeth and some who are receiving implants in their upper jaw may also need this procedure. If a tuberosity is large, it can interfere with the way the teeth and jaws come together (occlusion). A tuberosity reduction can fix the problem.
In some people, the sinus cavity extends into the tuberosity. The surgeon needs to know where your sinus cavity is in relation to the tuberosity. For this reason, you need X-rays before the procedure.
Your dentist or prosthodontist may make an acrylic guide for your jaw. The guide will show the oral surgeon how much bone and tissue need to be removed. To make the guide, your dentist will:
The guide fits over your gums like a denture would. During the procedure, the surgeon will test the mold in your mouth to make sure enough bone and tissue have been removed. In some people, only the bulbous gum tissue that covers the tuberosity needs to be trimmed and removed.
Your surgeon will cut and remove any extra gum tissue. In some cases, he or she also may trim down the bone underneath. If a guide has been made, it will be tested in your mouth.
Once the surgeon removes enough bone and tissue, the area will be closed with stitches. The procedure usually takes less than an hour.
You will have some swelling in the area for the first few days. Don't wear your old dentures, unless your dentist made them specifically for you to use after the procedure.
Some people need to wear a temporary denture continuously for one to two weeks. This is called an immediate denture. Your surgeon will tell you when you can remove the denture and for how long at a time. After two to three months, the immediate denture may need to be relined or replaced to improve the fit. That's because the tissues are likely to shrink as they heal.
If you did not have an immediate denture made, your dentist or prosthodontist can start making a denture for you six to eight weeks after the surgery.
The tuberosity and the sinus are close to one another. For this reason, the surgeon may enter your sinus during the procedure. This happens rarely and is usually corrected at the time of the surgery. If you notice blood in your nose after the surgery, there probably is a hole in your sinus. Contact your surgeon. If you breathe through your nose and feel air entering your mouth, your stitches have opened and the hole in your sinus is exposed. There are many different options to fix the hole. Your surgeon will discuss them with you.