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The idea of “bone grafting” is enough to send many patients running from their dentist. Although bone grafting sounds like a frightening procedure, it is actually not as serious as it sounds. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure for patients who do not have enough bone in their jaw to support other dental procedures. Lack of bone in the lower jaw can contribute to gum disease and cause other complications. Bone grafting is an excellent treatment that can greatly improve your oral health.
A bone graft procedure involves a surgeon taking a section of bone from another area of the body and grafting it onto the jaw. Today, surgeons often use synthetic bone grafting material or bones from an animal, which eliminates the need for a separate surgery to remove bone from another part of the body.
What situations require bone grafting? The American Association of Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) recommends bone grafting for patients whose jaw bone is too thin or too weak to hold an implant. A successful grafting procedure strengthens the jaw enough to support a dental implant, so that people with missing teeth can have a stable base for the replacement teeth.
The grafting procedure replicates bone, enabling bone regrowth. Bone grafting has a nearly 100% success rate, because the jaw accepts new bone readily. Bone is rarely rejected in these situations. In the event that a patient experiences a rare failure, the procedure can be performed again.
Patients who need dental implants are usually evaluated thoroughly to ensure they have enough jawbone to support the implantation of the posts. Not all patients who are being evaluated for implants need bone grafting. When a patient is seeking implants, Dr. Riopelle will do a thorough evaluation of the person’s jaw and teeth to determine whether they are ready to have the procedure. If Dr. Riopelle finds that you do not have enough bone, then a bone grafting procedure is recommended.
Although implants are the most common reason for bone grafting procedures, there are many other reasons that bone grafting may be necessary. Often, a person with periodontal disease has experienced bone loss. Many adults have periodontal disease but are not aware that they have the disease. Regular dental checkups will ensure that any problems are detected and treated before bone loss occurs.
If gum disease is not treated early, you may experience bone loss in the jawbone. This can eventually result in tooth loss. For some people, this also results in a misshapen jaw. When your teeth shift, the bite can become misaligned. This can cause pain and difficulty while chewing since the teeth are now off-center.
Patients fear bone grafting because of the surgery, but the procedure is routine and will not cause significant pain. Bone grafting procedures tend to be painless. Once bone grafting is completed, your jaw will be able to handle a variety of dental treatments to replace lost teeth.
Like all surgery, bone grafting has some minimal risks. There is a chance that the bone will be rejected by your body. This is a rare occurrence, but it is important for patients to understand all the risks of bone grafting surgery. If your body rejects the bone, you can get the procedure again or explore alternative ways to add bone to the jaw.
Another risk is that after bone grafting, a person’s gums will recede, pulling away from the teeth. Thankfully, if this happens, the dentist can cosmetically correct the issue. Your teeth and gums may be sensitive after the procedure. Some people will experience extra sensitivity, including pain when exposed to heat or cold.
All surgeries carry the risk of infection. Some swelling after a bone grafting procedure is normal. However, if you continue to have swelling and bleeding after the procedure, then it is important to contact Dr. Riopelle immediately.
Bone grafting is a routine procedure that is performed by Dr. Garth Riopelle in his San Ramon, California dental offices. The goal of the procedure is to help the body replicate bone in the jaw, leading to new bone growth.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Riopelle will separate your gums from the teeth. Dr. Riopelle will pull the gums down and away from the teeth so he can see your roots and bone structure. Dr. Riopelle will then carefully clean the roots to remove buildup of plaque and tartar. Once the cleaning is finished, Dr. Riopelle will find any holes in the jaw bone and inject bone material into these holes. He will then stitch the gums back together and you will go home to heal.
It is important that you follow Dr. Riopelle’s aftercare instructions in order to prevent infection and promote fast healing. The healing timeline is different for each person, and depends on how quickly your body is able to heal. Normally, this process can take anywhere from six to nine months.
During the healing phase, you will need to make an appointment with Dr. Garth Riopelle to ensure that the bone is growing in the jaw.
If you are interested in getting a dental implant for missing teeth, or you think you may need a bone grafting procedure in your jaw, contact us now for an appointment. Dr. Riopelle will give you a thorough explanation of how the process works.
At the consultation, he will evaluate your jaw, gums and teeth to let you know if you are a good candidate for the bone grafting procedure. Most patients who have bone loss will be candidates for the surgery and will be able to get the procedure done. There is a high success rate for the procedure and minimal risk.
Dr. Riopelle and his professional staff are highly experienced in bone grafting procedures and they can help you today. Contact us now for an appointment.