If you have been told that you need to have bone grafting performed, you may be scared and confused about what it is, if it hurts, and what to do next. Before you panic, it helps to fully understand what it is and how Dr. Nguyen can help you.
Bone grafting is considered a surgical dental procedure and it is used to add additional bone to the jaw, when a patient is missing it. Bone can be missing for a variety of reasons and is usually a result of trauma to the area, problems with the joint, or gum disease, and or most commonly due to tooth loss. Once the bone has been lost, it does not automatically regenerate, thus the reason for bone grafting.
Bone grafting is done after an extraction to preserve the area for optimal implant placement, and or for optimal restoring of the space with a dental bridge.
Bone grafting is also done in conjunction with many other periodontal surgeries in order to preserve the health and the strength of your bone, your teeth, and your gum tissue.
If you are wondering where exactly the bone comes from that is injected into your jaw, you may be in for surprise. It is almost always YOUR bone. Dr. Nguyen will extract bone from another area in your body and then inject it into your jaw. If you do not have additional bone that can be used, bone from an animal will be used. Once your body has accepted the injected bone, it will begin to regenerate on its own. Most often, the bone is accepted and rarely is it rejected. Freeze-dried cadaver bone is also an option. You can ask Dr. Nguyen in person for a more detailed explanation of the differences in types of bone graft material.
Why Have Bone Grafting Performed?
Bone grafting is beneficial for all patients who are in need of it. As we mentioned briefly above, dental implants cannot be placed when there is not enough bone in your jaw. Typically, bone is lost because of gum disease and or tooth loss, and bone does not regenerate.
When gum disease is allowed to persist, you will notice that your gum hurt more, your teeth loosen, and you may eventually lose your teeth. Once your teeth have been lost, the bone in that area will disappear unless there is something there to prevent it from being lost.
If the bone is lost, you may notice that your face does not sit the same and your bite may be uneven. Bone grafting can restore bone into your jaw that may have been lost.
Are There Any Benefits to Bone-Grafting?
Of course there are. Bone grafting is performed to add more bone into your jaw, so that you can have dental implants placed or to prevent facial shrinkage or loss of any additional teeth. This procedure will help restore your smile.
Is the Procedure Painful?
When you hear the words bone grafting, you may instantly think it is going to be a painful procedure. One of the best things about it is that it is not painful and many patients are pleased with the actual procedure. You will receive a local anesthetic when you are in our office and Dr. Nguyen will make sure you are comfortable before the procedure begins.
How is the Procedure Done?
When you come into our office and want to have a bone grafting procedure performed, Dr. Nguyen will look over your teeth and evaluate your oral health prior to beginning. The entire goal of the process is to help your body jump start the regeneration of bone growth in your jaw, so you must be a good candidate or else the procedure won’t work.
When it is time for the procedure to be performed, you will be given a local anesthetic and Dr. Nguyen will separate your gums from your teeth. Once your gums have been pulled away, Dr. Nguyen will then take a look at your jawbone and roots to determine where bone is missing.
Sometimes, a root cleaning needs to be performed and will be done at this stage. If your roots do not need to be cleaned, the procedure will simply continue on as planned. Once holes in the bone have been identified, an injection of either your bone or animal bone will be injected into the pockets to help regenerate bone.
After the injection of the bone, a protective liner is placed over top of the material used to graft the bone. Your gums will then be reattached in place.
It is important that you follow all aftercare instructions and care for your teeth properly to ensure a successful graft. Dr. Nguyen will instruct you on the aftercare process while you are in our office. Healing takes anywhere from six months to about nine months and once the time period has passed, we will check for successful bone regeneration.
Are There Any Risks Associated with the Procedure?
Yes. There are risks associated with any procedure; however, they are minimal. Of course, Dr. Nguyen will go over all of the risks with you while you are in our office. The biggest risk you face is that the bone may be rejected by your body. While this is not common, it can happen and you should be prepared in case it does. Basically, if the bone is rejected, no additional bone will be regenerated.
Next, your teeth may become more sensitive after the procedure, but they should not be overly sensitive or painful. It is important to note this though as some patients have referred to new sensitivity on their teeth.
Lastly, there is a risk of swelling, infection, and bleeding after the procedure. Following the aftercare instructions and taking the prescribed medication will prevent this.
If you are interested in learning more about the bone grafting procedure, call Sunlight Dental Group today. Whether you have lost bone due to trauma or gum disease, Dr. Nguyen is here to work with you and help you understand the benefits and risks of the procedure.