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When Do You Need Dental Bone Grafts?

We often think about oral health in terms of our teeth and gums, but the health of your underlying bone tissue is also of great importance. A strong alveolar ridge – the part of the jawbone where the teeth attach, is key to having strong teeth or stable dental implants and/or permanent dentures.
Bone grafts are sometimes needed to repair the damage when your bone mass has shrunk, deteriorated, or otherwise has been damaged. A bone graft may also be needed to prepare the way for another dental procedure like dental implant placement.

When Might You Be In Need Of Bone Grafting?
You will need to get an oral checkup with your periodontist to be sure exactly what is the condition of your alveolar ridge and whether or not you need bone grafts. But here are the basic reasons why you might need bone grafting that you should be aware of:

  • An extracted tooth or other tooth has been missing for years, and the underlying bone material has largely resorbed into the body.
  • Your jaw or tooth was injured, which led to it fissuring, cracking, or becoming at least partially exposed – and then it deteriorates.
  • You have a congenital disease which leads to already shallower bone tissue in your jaw. This may then be complicated by other issues as well.
  • The bone that will support a dental implant is too thin or weak and must be built up before you can safely receive the implant.

How The Bone Graft Process Works
The first step is the discovery of the fact that you need a bone graft. Your periodontist or general dentist will probably find this out during a checkup – and then your periodontist should handle the graft since most general dentists aren’t as experienced in this kind of procedure.

X-rays of the relevant area of your jawbone will need to be taken. A cross-section of the bone will be produced via a CT Scan to help reveal the true condition of your bone mass. Your periodontist will also interview you about your medical history and any relevant symptoms you may be experiencing.

On the day of the procedure, some bone will have to be removed from the target zone to prepare the surface for the new bone so it will adhere and grow properly. Next, either bone from another part of your own body or from a tissue bank will be placed, with special membranes sometimes placed as well to help hold the old and new bone together while it ossifies and regenerates.

For the most part, if you use your own bone, it comes from the tibia in your lower leg or from another part of your jaw.

What Will Happen Post-op?
A local anesthetic and/or dental sedation will be used during the surgery to control pain. Post-op, however, you will need to use a painkiller, such as ibuprofen or another medication suggested by your periodontist. Also, you may need an antibiotic to lower risks of infection.

You will also need to have someone else drive you home after the procedure and may need to take a day or two off work. Follow a soft diet for the first week or so post-op, don’t put unnecessary pressure on the affected area, and don’t brush that area for now – just use medicated mouthwash. It can take 3 to 6 months to fully and be ready for implants, so be patient.

To learn more about bone grafts or for a free, no-obligation periodontal consultation, contact Dr. Stuart Beauchamp of Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today!

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Ormond Beach Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is conveniently located on Nova Road in Ormond Beach, Florida. We help seniors, adults, and teenagers smile with confidence.

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