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Will You Need Mandibular Tori Removal?

written by: Victoria Trix • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 12/31/2009

Mandibular tori removal is a common surgery used when dentures are unable to fit properly due to the tori or multiple torus that protrude into the area, causing pain or aggravation.

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    Problems

    Many dentists suggest mandibular tori removal, regardless of pain level or size of the torus. This is because the torus are irregular growths in the mouth. They cause unsightly lumps in the oral cavity, and can contribute to other medical conditions. In some cases, mandibular tori make it difficult to intubate patients prior to surgery or during medical emergencies. In one case, doctors tried to insert a laryngoscope and found that the bony protrusions prevented the Macintosh blade from entering the first section of the throat.

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    The Procedure

    Mandibular tori removal is generally done in a hospital under general anesthesia, but can also be done in a doctor's office with IV sedation. This is considered a major surgery, and many dental insurance plans will pay for this type of surgery. The tori are usually removed with a scalpel, but researchers are developing new tools to reduce the need for a scalpel. These tools need to be tested more thoroughly before they can be used regularly. When the torus is being removed, the surgeon will decide if the growth needs to be removed on the top upper portions or if the torus must be taken away by shaving down. This will be determined by the size of the torus, as well as where it is located in the mouth. The most common area for tori of all kinds is the lower jaw, from the incisors to around the tongue area behind teeth.

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    After Surgery

    Antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection after surgery. Dietary restrictions may be put in place so the surgical site can heal. Saliva speeds the healing process, so someone who has had this procedure can usually return to his normal diet very quickly.

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    Prognosis

    Once the tori are removed, there is a chance they will return, especially in older patients. Since the cause of these growths is not well known, the potential for recurrence is also unknown. In two cases treated by Dr. Michael Brunsvold of the University of Texas Health Science Center, some tori recurred at 11 years after initial removal and 14 years after initial removal.