If you’re looking to receive a dental implant or any other tooth restoration procedure, but the tooth you’re looking to replace has been missing for a significant amount of time, you may need a bone grafting procedure before your dentist can go forward with treatment.
Your teeth stimulate growth in your jawbone. When they are missing, it can result in significant bone loss. A deteriorated jawbone will not be able to support a tooth restoration, and in order to give it the support it needs, a bone graft is often required.
Dr. Alex Farnoosh and the team at The Total Smile proudly offer bone grafting procedures to qualified candidates looking to strengthen their jawbone in order to receive a dental implant.
Read on if you’re interested in learning more about this important procedure!
What Is a Bone Grafting Procedure?
A bone grafting procedure is a process in which a piece of bone or a synthetic alternative is transplanted onto the jawbone in order to strengthen it.
Bone can be sourced from another part of the patient’s jaw, elsewhere in their body, or it can be obtained from an outside source, such as from a bone bank or from a cow or other animal. Synthetic alternatives can also be used and are similarly effective.
When you receive a bone graft, you will be allowed to choose where you want your bone material to come from. All sources are considered to be safe, effective, and ethical. The one you use for your procedure will generally be whichever one you are most comfortable with.
The bone grafting procedure is relatively simple. Your dentist will provide you with local anesthesia, make a small incision in order to determine how much material is required, and then the new bone material will be transplanted to the site and safely stitched up.
Am I a Candidate for Bone Grafting?
Your dentist will be able to determine whether bone grafting is necessary, but in general, there are only a handful of reasons why you may need the procedure.
The number one reason for a bone graft is to prepare you for a dental implant procedure.
A dental implant is a titanium tooth root that is made to fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration so that an artificial tooth can then be fixed into your mouth. If your jawbone is not strong enough to support the artificial tooth root, it will need to be strengthened with a bone graft.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth or you have had gum disease for a prolonged period of time, it’s likely that your jawbone has deteriorated, so you may be a good candidate for bone grafting, as well.
You don’t necessarily need to receive a dental implant in order for the bone graft to effectively strengthen and stabilize your jaw in order to prevent the various issues that bone loss can cause.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
If you’re tentative about undergoing a bone grafting procedure, don’t worry. No dental procedure is fun, but the benefits you will receive from your bone graft will far outweigh any of the negative aspects of treatment.
If you need more reassurance, just check out all of the many advantages that this procedure has to offer.
Restore and Maintain Facial Structure
When you have missing teeth for a prolonged period of time, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. That deterioration can actually become visible in the form of sunken cheeks, sagging face and lips, wrinkling around the mouth, a pointed chin, and an overall aged look. This can be quite damaging to your self-esteem.
These consequences can all be avoided with a bone grafting procedure. Strengthening your jawbone will prevent the shifting of your facial structure and keep you from looking older than you really are.
Helps to Avoid Health Issues
Jawbone degeneration can cause a variety of health issues, including headaches, face and jaw pain, expansion of the sinuses, and difficulty eating, which can lead to poor nutrition.
While undergoing a surgical procedure to treat jawbone loss may seem daunting and unpleasant, dealing with the persistent issues that can arise from degeneration are even more unpleasant in the long run. A bone graft procedure can help you avoid these issues and live a healthier, happier life.
Fixes Speech Problems
If your bone loss is significant enough, it’s likely that it will affect your ability to speak. Not being able to enunciate is not only potentially embarrassing, but it can also make it difficult to communicate.
Receiving a bone grafting procedure will help restore your ability to speak so you don’t have to feel insecure or uncomfortable every time you have something to say.
Allows for Dental Implants and Other Procedures
If you want to replace the missing tooth or teeth that caused your jawbone degeneration in the first place, you may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure in order to do so.
The benefits of restoring the function to your teeth and getting your smile back are innumerable, which makes the bone grafting procedure a valuable option for patients in the long run.
Is the Bone Grafting Procedure Painful?
Any dental procedure as significant as a bone graft is going to come with a bit of discomfort, but with advances in modern dentistry, that discomfort is going to be relatively minimal.
The bone grafting procedure is a fairly minor one, particularly if you’re not receiving the bone material from another part of your body, so you shouldn’t have to worry all that much about any pain that will be involved.
During the procedure, the site will be numbed and sedated. After that, either over-the-counter or prescription medication should be enough to make the recovery tolerable.
How Long Is the Recovery Period for a Bone Graft Procedure?
There are a few different factors that will determine the recovery period after your bone graft procedure. Those factors include the size of the bone graft, whether the bone material was harvested from your body, and the issue that was being treated.
You can expect to recover within about two weeks, but the bone graft itself will not be fully healed for around three months.
Your dentist will provide you with prescription medication to deal with the discomfort, as well as antibiotics to prevent any potential infections.
After your procedure, you will also receive a list of foods and activities to avoid while you’re in recovery. Make sure to follow directions for appropriate care of your teeth and gums given at the time of your procedure.
Finally, you may also be given a temporary bridge to take the place of your missing tooth during the healing process.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
Bone graft procedures are not particularly risky, but there is always a chance that it may fail or become infected. Should the procedure fail, the graft will be removed and the area will be allowed to heal, after which a second graft can be attempted.
Are You in Need of a Bone Graft Procedure?
Receiving a bone graft can improve your quality of life and help you to avoid health complications. If you think you might be a good candidate for one, request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Alex Farnoosh today!
If you’re missing a tooth, you really may be missing a whole lot more. Tooth loss or other dental injuries are not only unsightly, they also cause nearby bone to deteriorate and recede.
For instance, within 3 years after tooth extraction, research has shown that patients can expect to lose 40 to 60% of the nearby bone. As a result, patients looking for an oral surgeon in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles considering dental implants or other oral surgery first may need to build up the bone in the surgical area before cosmetic improvements can be performed.
A bone graft helps build and strengthen bone by encouraging the grafted material to bond with existing bone over several months. Ridge preservation methods limit bone loss following tooth extraction so that a solid bone foundation remains for subsequent implant or bridge placement.
Find out if your smile would benefit from bone grafting or ridge preservation/augmentation: request a consultation with Dr. Alex A. Farnoosh, a celebrity Beverly Hills periodontist. Or, call (310) 657-0503 to set up a consultation.
Expert in Gummy Smile & Dark Gum Correction
- Certified by the American Board of Periodontology
- International authority on cosmetic dentistry
- Invented minimally invasive gummy smile correction techniques
- Pioneered patented gum lightening treatment
- Authored 40+ works in medical journals
- Trains dentists in gum bleaching and gummy smile treatments
- Transformed smiles of thousands of patients around the world
Candidates for Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation
My patients need bone grafts to restore bone that was lost to periodontal disease, trauma, prior tooth extraction, or infection.
Before my patients receive dental implants or have certain other periodontal procedures performed around their natural teeth, a bone graft may be required to stabilize the treatment area and maximize the success of the procedure.
Some of my other patients need grafting to increase the height or width of bone, fill anatomical voids, or correct congenital defects.
For those patients who will have a tooth extracted and subsequently replaced with a dental implant, I recommend ridge preservation/augmentation to maintain an adequate amount of bone for later implant placement.
Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation/Augmentation Benefits
These procedures offer many advantages to patients who suffer from loss of dental bone:
- Bone grafting helps to secure and stabilize the jaw for future surgery or to protect existing at-risk teeth, correct deformities, or restructure the bone for functional reinforcement.
- Ridge preservation prevents the loss of bone in circumstances where bone normally recedes such as following tooth extraction.
Before the procedure, I will help you select one of three materials that can be used for bone grafting. In almost all cases, the best material to use is your own bone, collected from the chin or jaw. If your own bone is not used, you still have other options. First, you can choose natural human bone fragments provided by surgical bone banks through the use of cadavers.
This source is well-regulated and extremely safe. Second, you may want to consider synthetic bone or “coral” bone. Third, bovine (cow) bone is also available and has been used extensively; I find that this option is as good as your own bone. I will help you choose bone material based on what you’re comfortable with and what your surgical needs require.
During the surgery, I use local anesthesia to numb areas where bone will be extracted and grafted. I make an incision in the gum to determine how much and what type of bone is needed. To place new bone at the graft site, the site will be prepared and the new bone will be anchored in place. Finally, I may place a membrane over the site and stitch the incision closed.
Dr. Farnoosh also uses several exciting new innovations to regenerate bone. These include bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP 2) and stem cells, both of which can stimulate regeneration of a patient’s own bone to correct defects.
Risks and Recovery
After the graft procedure, I prescribe antibiotics and pain medication, and provide instructions on avoiding certain foods and caring for the graft site during the healing process.
I may provide you with a temporary removable or fixed bridge to fill in the gap. After adequate time for healing, your bone graft will be strong enough to support dental implants.
As with any surgery, there is a possibility that a bone graft may fail, even when your own bone is used. Infection may develop or the grafted bone may become loose from your jaw.
Smokers and certain people with other medical conditions generally have a higher risk of graft failure than other patients. Failed grafts must be removed and the site must be allowed to heal before a second graft can be attempted.
Your treatment results may vary depending on the complexity of your case.
I recently went through an implant with Dr. Farnoosh. His work was outstanding, carefully going over my options and thoroughly explaining them all to me in detail. He carefully considered all factors that were important to me, such as the need for extensive surgery, recovery time and my insurance coverage. Together we reached the best solution that fit my needs. His demeanor is extremely energetic and positive. I felt like I was really being taken care of very well. If I ever need similar procedures done, I would not hesitate to return to Dr Farnoosh. Jane B.