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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5727
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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How necessary is alveoloplasty in multiple tooth extractions

Resolved Question:

How necessary is alveoloplasty in multiple tooth extractions for full mouth dentures?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

The necessity of alveoloplasty varies from case to case, depending on the morphology of the hard and soft tissue ridges that will support the dentures.

It is true that some suspicion is in order. During my brief stint as a dental insurance claims reviewer, I have noticed that some doctors' offices submit claims for alveoloplasty on every patient that receives one or more tooth extractions, and such patterns of doctor behavior are clearly intended to abuse the system, if not commit outright fraud.

On the other hand, some patients have jaw shape issues that suggest that alveoloplasty would be beneficial, and in some cases mandatory. Undercuts, over-grown ridges, and sharp ridge shapes must frequently be reduced and smoothed, and in these cases alveoloplasty can make the difference between a wearable denture and an unwearable one.

If you have any doubts as to the appropriateness of your dentist's recommendation for alveoloplasty, I would advise you to seek a second opinion prior to implementation of treatment.

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Maybe I didn't ask the question correctly. I am told the alveoplasty is necessary because multiple extractions (for dentures) leave many sharp points which require reshaping for proper denture fit.
so, does multiple extractions normally CREATE the need for alveoplasty?
Expert:  replied 2 years ago.
It is true that extractions-- whether single or multiple-- unavoidably leave exposed sharp edges at the margins of the bony sockets. However, there is a world of difference between a few swipes with a bone file to round off those sharp edges-- which is an integral part of a simple extraction-- from a formal alveoloplasty.

The word "plasty" listerally means "to change the shape of" something. Smoothing out a few sharp edges doesn't really pass the smell test, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that some dentists don't try to get away with it. To a certain extent, dentists are left to their own sense of integrity to use the formal ADA procedure CDT codes appropriately. The code for alveoloplasty for one quadrant (four or more teeth) is D7310. It is notable that by definition, an alveoloplasty cannot be considered a separate service when performed in conjunction-- i.e., in the same mouth area on the same treatment session-- as "surgical extractions" (code D7210), because alveoloplasty is considered an integral part of surgical extractions. When routine, non-surgical extractions are performed, a dentist is on the honor system when billing for a separate quadrant of alveoloplasty. Some dentists define the term "alveoloplasty" more loosely than others, and one must note that there is financial incentive to stretch the truth. Sadly, there is no absolute barrier to the entry of unscrupulous persons into the profession of dentistry.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5727
Experience: Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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