General Dentistry

Alveoloplasty: Procedure, Recovery, Cost, and Complications

If you’re exploring options for improving your dental health and oral aesthetics, you might have encountered the term “alveoloplasty.”

This procedure, often performed by dental professionals, plays a significant role in enhancing your oral well-being.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of alveoloplasty, covering its procedure, recovery process, associated costs, and potential complications.

What is Alveoloplasty?

Alveoloplasty is a way of reshaping and making the alveolar and jaw bones smooth [1]. The alveolar bones act like a tight grip around the teeth attached to the jaw bones.

Alveoloplasty is usually done after a tooth extraction to remove any sharp edges. It prevents further damage to the denture and can be used on both the upper and lower jaws.

This procedure mainly prepares the mouth for dental work like implants and bridges. It can also be applied without tooth extraction.

Seniors who have lost teeth usually need an alveoloplasty before getting dentures. Dentists will check if the surface is suitable for dentures, and if there are any bumps or sharp edges, they will suggest alveoloplasty.

Older adults are more likely to have it done than young adults. From my experience, the success rate of alveoloplasty is around 85–95%.

Most patients are happy with the outcome, having a great smile with perfect dentures. However, there can be complications and outcomes that don’t meet expectations.

the success rate of alveoloplasty

What is an Alveoloplasty Procedure?

Alveoloplasty is a complicated process that can be broken down into five parts. Each part will be discussed in detail to provide clarity and ease of understanding.

  1. Numbing
  2. Incision
  3. Bone Reshaping
  4. Stitches
  5. Medication
5 main parts of Alveoloplasty procedure


It is the first step in most surgical operations. A dental surgeon must numb the specific area to perform any procedure.

Numbing is undoubtedly important to relax the patient and make the surgery painless. It ensures a distraction-free session, allowing the surgeon to concentrate on their job.


The second step in alveoloplasty is making an incision. The dental surgeon uses specific tools, such as a surgical scalpel, to cut the dental arches.

Basically, a surgical scalpel is just a sharp knife used for cutting. It comes in different sizes, so a dentist can choose the one that is suitable for the area they are working on.

Bone Reshaping:

An incision is made to provide easy access to the alveolar bones.

The dental surgeon then carefully analyzes and reshapes the bones to create a perfect foundation. Burs, chisels, and rasps are standard tools to reshape alveolar bones.


The dentist reshapes and smooths the alveolar bones before positioning the nerves. Once everything is in place, the dentist uses stitches to hold the area together.

There are two types of stitches: one that dissolves on its own and one that needs to be manually removed. Patients need to visit the dentist to have the stitches removed once the area has healed.


The last stage of alveoloplasty is obtaining the appropriate medication. The oral surgeon will determine what medications you need after the operation.

The rate of your recovery depends on the medication you receive. If you get the right treatment, you may be able to recover faster. Everyone is different, and their lifestyle can influence the healing process.

It is normal to experience pain and swelling, but the medications will help to relieve the pain and promote a quicker recovery. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for you to be fully recovered.

Recovery After Alveoloplasty

After undergoing an alveoloplasty procedure, recovery is crucial for ensuring proper healing and minimizing discomfort.

Here’s what you can expect during the recovery process:

Immediate Postoperative Period:

In the hours immediately following the alveoloplasty, you will still be under the effects of the anesthesia. It’s common to feel dizzy or disoriented during this time.

The medical team will likely monitor you to ensure your well-being as the anesthesia wears off.

Discomfort and Swelling:

Mild discomfort and swelling around the surgical area are normal after alveoloplasty. Your oral surgeon will provide pain medications to manage pain or discomfort.

Applying cold compresses to the outside of your mouth can also help reduce swelling. Remember to follow the prescribed dosages for pain relief medications.

Oral Care:

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential during your recovery. To prevent infection, brushing your teeth gently and avoiding the surgical area would be best.

Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater a few times a day can help keep the surgical site clean and aid in healing.

Diet Modifications:

For the first few days after the procedure, it’s advisable to stick to soft foods that don’t require excessive chewing.

Foods like soups, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are good options. Avoid hard, crunchy, or spicy foods that could irritate the surgical area.

Physical Activity:

While resting and allowing your body to heal is essential, light physical activity can aid in circulation and overall well-being.

However, avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks to prevent any complications.

Follow-Up Appointments:

Your oral surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress.

During these appointments, the surgeon will assess the surgical site, remove any sutures if necessary, and address any concerns you might have.

Long-Term Recovery:

Complete healing after alveoloplasty typically takes several weeks to a few months.

The duration varies based on individual factors, including the complexity of the procedure and your body’s natural healing ability.

Watch for Complications:

While complications are rare, it’s essential to be vigilant.

Contact your oral surgeon immediately if you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, persistent swelling, or signs of infection (such as fever or increased pain).

Follow Postoperative Instructions:

Your oral surgeon will provide detailed postoperative instructions tailored to your case. Following these instructions diligently will promote a smooth and successful recovery.

Note: Remember that each person’s recovery experience can vary, so don’t hesitate to contact your oral surgeon if you have any questions or concerns. Your commitment to proper care during the recovery phase will significantly contribute to the overall success of the alveoloplasty procedure.

Cost of Alveoloplasty

Factors Affecting the Cost:

The cost of alveoloplasty can vary based on factors such as:

  1. Geographic Location: Costs may differ based on the region and local economic factors.
  2. The Extent Of Reshaping: The complexity of the procedure and the amount of bone reshaping required.
  3. Healthcare Facility: Costs can vary between different dental clinics or hospitals.

Average Cost Range and Considerations:

On average, alveoloplasty costs can range from $500 to $1500.

It’s important to seek guidance from your oral surgeon to get a precise cost estimate customized for your specific requirements.

What are the Complications of Alveoloplasty?

I have already informed you that alveoloplasty has a high success rate, but there may still be some complications. Common symptoms include pain, discomfort, swelling, and light bleeding.

Most cases show these complications resolve within 5-10 days [2].

It’s normal to experience some bleeding, but it should slow down and stop within 12 to 15 hours. It may be a sign of something more severe if it does not.

Patients may also end up with nerve damage if they receive alveoloplasty. They may experience numbness in their lips, gums, or tongue, which is usually temporary but can be permanent.

The scariest consequence of not adhering to the dentist’s instructions is when you attempt to eat hard or crunchy foods. This can damage your stitches and wound, causing a lot of pain and bleeding.

Getting an alveoloplasty done after tooth extraction can help reshape and smooth out your jawbone. While it’s usually a safe procedure, there are some possible drawbacks to be aware of, such as:


Having any surgery can lead to a risk of infection after alveoloplasty.

This can include pain, swelling, redness, a fever, and discharge from the surgical site.

To help lower the chance of infection, follow all aftercare instructions from the dentist. If an infection does happen, it may require antibiotics, rest, and hydration.

Although infection is rare, it’s still important to be aware of the risks and get medical help immediately if any symptoms appear.

Nerve damage:

Alveoloplasty can mess with your jawbone and might even lead to nerve damage. The nerves that give a sensation to your lower lip and chin are particularly vulnerable.

Numbness, tingling, pain, or a lack of feeling in your mouth, lips, or chin are all possible symptoms if you experience nerve damage.

These may go away independently in a few weeks or months but could be permanent.

To reduce the risk of nerve damage, your dentist or oral surgeon should know your anatomy and use the proper techniques.

They might also use X-rays or CT scans to guide the procedure and avoid the nerves. If you get nerve damage, tell your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Meds, physical therapy, and other measures might help manage your symptoms.

All in all, nerve damage after alveoloplasty is rare, but you must talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about any worries before the procedure.


Before undergoing alveoloplasty, informing the dentist of the patient’s blood-thinning medications is essential. The procedure can result in excessive bleeding, especially in such cases.


Swelling is normal after alveoloplasty, and it can range from mild to severe, depending on the person and the surgery.

Usually, it should go away in a few days to a week, but sometimes it can take a few weeks.

To help reduce swelling, using ice packs on the area for 15-20 minutes a few times a day is excellent. Also, do everything manageable and do whatever the dentist says.

If you’re still swollen in a week and have any other symptoms like fever, pain, or discharge, you should talk to your dentist or oral surgeon.

Bone loss:

In some cases, alveoloplasty can cause too much bone to be lost, which can mess up the stability of nearby teeth.

To prevent this, the dentist or oral surgeon must plan and do the procedure carefully, based on the individual’s anatomy and dental health.

They should also use the proper methods and check in with the patient afterward to ensure everything is okay.

If it turns out that too much bone was taken away, they may have to do a bone graft to keep the teeth secure. You should consult your dentist to find the best solution.

Allergic reaction:

You could be allergic to the meds they give you during an alveoloplasty.

Before the procedure, tell your dentist or oral surgeon about allergies or sensitivities to medications, foods, or substances.

Symptoms like hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, and low blood pressure can be mild or severe. If you do react, get medical help right away.

You might need antihistamines, epinephrine, oxygen, or IV fluids.

Allergic reactions are rare, but you must know the risks and discuss your concerns before the alveoloplasty.

Unfavorable Healing:

Sometimes, the healing process goes differently than planned.

If the surgical site doesn’t heal correctly or if there’s a delay in healing, it can lead to complications such as persistent pain, infection, or even the need for revision surgery.

Altered Bite:

Alveoloplasty can alter the alignment of teeth, which can affect a patient’s bite. This may cause discomfort while chewing, leading to further dental issues if not addressed.

Scar Tissue Formation:

Scarring is a natural part of healing, but in some cases, excessive scar tissue may form at the surgical site.

This can impact the function and aesthetics of the mouth, mainly if it affects the movement of the lips or tongue.

Allergic Reactions:

Some patients may experience allergic reactions to the materials used during the procedure, such as sutures or bone grafting. The patient needs to disclose any allergies before the surgery.

Anesthetic Complications:

Anesthesia is used to ensure the patient’s comfort during alveoloplasty. However, there’s a slim chance of adverse reactions to anesthesia, ranging from minor issues like nausea to more severe complications.

Postoperative Pain and Discomfort:

After the procedure, it’s common to experience pain and discomfort. While this is temporary, managing pain effectively and following postoperative instructions is crucial to prevent complications.

Note: Remember that any issues should not linger for too long. If you are experiencing discomfort, pain, swelling, or anything else that has been bothering you for a long time after your alveoloplasty, do not wait to speak to your dentist. Persistent problems could be a sign of something serious. Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions and maintain your oral hygiene. Keep visiting the dentist regularly until the issue is entirely resolved.

Alveoloplasty Before and After:

Alveoloplasty before and after


Alveoloplasty is a valuable dental procedure that can enhance your mouth’s form and function.

Reshaping the alveolar ridge sets the stage for improved oral health and a confident smile. If you’re considering alveoloplasty, consult your dentist to determine if it’s the right option.

Alveoloplasty Dental Codes:

Alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape the bone that supports your teeth.

It’s done when there are particularly uneven areas of bone. There are four codes used when doing this kind of surgery.

  1. D7310 is when the alveoloplasty is a distinct procedure from other surgical extractions and involves four or more teeth.
  2. D7311 is also when the alveoloplasty is distinct from other surgical extractions but involves only one to three teeth.
  3. D7320 is when the alveoloplasty is not a distinct procedure from other surgical extractions and involves four or more teeth.
  4. D7321 is when the alveoloplasty is not distinct from other surgical extractions and involves one to three teeth.


What is the purpose of alveoloplasty?

Alveoloplasty aims to reshape and smooth the alveolar ridge to enhance the fit of dental prosthetics.

Is alveoloplasty a painful procedure?

No, local anesthesia ensures a pain-free experience during the process.

How long does the recovery process usually take?

Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days to a week, but complete healing may take a few weeks.

Will I need to modify my diet after the alveoloplasty?

Your dentist will provide dietary guidelines, usually recommending soft foods during the initial recovery phase.

What signs should I watch for to identify complications?

Look out for excessive bleeding, persistent severe pain, or signs of infection like fever and swelling. Contact your dentist if you experience these issues.


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Dr. Ahtsham

I am a dentist. I am working hard to keep this blog updated for those suffering from tooth pain. It is my goal to make this blog the source for all information regarding tooth pain. Feel free to contact me if you are suffering from toothache.

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