The bone around your teeth, known as the alveolar ridge, is an important part of your oral health. Damage to the alveolar ridge can affect the stability and function of your existing teeth. It can also affect your chances of receiving Dental Implant treatment for a missing tooth. At Rai Oral Surgery & Dental Implants we offer bone grafts to restore deficiencies in your alveolar ridge and improve your oral health.
What Is A Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that fixes problems in the bone. These problems are usually the result of trauma, gum disease, or tooth loss. During a consultation appointment, Shaun B. Rai DMD will determine if you are suitable candidate for a bone graft. Your consultation may include a complete review of your medical and dental histories, as well as a comprehensive exam. Once we determine a suitable candidate, we will schedule your bone graft procedure.
Before the procedure, we will administer local anesthetic and some form of sedation to reduce any pain, discomfort, and anxiety. Next, we will make a small incision in the gum tissue above the area of bone that needs the graft. After we expose the alveolar ridge, we will shape the graft material to fit the damaged area. Once the graft material is in place, we will stitch up the incision. We may secure the graft material to the bone with pins, plates, screws, or mesh wires.
The length of your recovery period depends on the size and location of the graft. While the pain may dissipate within a few days or a few weeks, the recovery period is much longer. The graft material is meant to foster new, strong bone. This process may take several months to a year.
Reasons for a Bone Graft
Bone grafting can be used to maintain bone structure after tooth extraction, injury, or gum disease. Most people need a bone graft after they lose a tooth. Once you lose a tooth, you lose the stimulation that keeps the alveolar bone from resorbing into the bloodstream. Patients with bone deterioration may not initially qualify for dental implant treatment. If the bone is too thin or too soft, implant failure may occur. A bone graft can restore deteriorated bone to a level healthy enough to support a dental implant. Your jawbone also affects your outward cosmetic appearance. A bone graft can be used to preserve a more youthful facial structure.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are a few variants of the bone graft procedure, including socket preservation, ridge expansion, and sinus lift. Socket preservation is usually performed immediately following tooth extraction. A ridge expansion is used to widen the jaw enough to support an implant. A sinus lift is used to improve the bone structure in the posterior region of your upper jaw. This area is naturally thin, which poses its own set of problems for Implant treatment. During a sinus lift, the sinus membrane is gently “lifted” upwards to make space for the grafting material.
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