Dental Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is a regenerative treatment option for patients who have lost quality and quantity of supporting bone tissue as a result of periodontal disease. This procedure is often needed before dental implants can be placed. It also helps protect the teeth from bacteria, trauma and further degeneration.
The Bone Graft Procedure
During the bone graft procedure, the gums will be separated from the teeth so that the periodontist can gain access to the tooth roots and underlying bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned and any holes or damaged areas of the bone will be filled with a graft material. A barrier will be created to protect the bone. Once the graft is in place, the gums will be reattached to the area with sutures. The graft used during this procedure may come from the patient’s own body, a cadaver, cow bone or synthetic material. The most effective results are often achieved when the patient’s own bone is used for the graft.
Recovery After a Bone Graft
After the bone graft procedure, patients may experience swelling and pain for several days. It is important for patients to keep their mouth as clean as possible while the bone graft heals. The patient will return to the periodontist’s office about 7 to 10 days after the procedure for a follow-up so the mouth can be evaluated to ensure proper healing. Over time, new bone and soft tissue will develop in the treated area to help firmly reattach the tooth to the jaw, significantly reducing the patient’s risk of tooth loss and reversing the effects of periodontal disease
Ridge preservation, also known as socket preservation, is a type of bone grafting. Designed to stimulate bone growth in an empty tooth socket following a tooth extraction, ridge preservation is a type of periodontal surgery. While tooth extraction is normally uncomplicated, at times, particularly following several extractions, bone at the site may collapse, becoming unable to support incoming implants. In such cases, ridge preservation is necessary before dental implantation can successfully take place. The purpose of ridge preservation is to prevent the area from collapsing by establishing enough bone growth to support the implants.
Benefits of Ridge Preservation
Ridge preservation helps to restore tooth function and stability during and after dental implantation. It also helps to give the dental patient natural-looking teeth and appropriate facial contours. It is important that a necessary ridge preservation procedure be performed at the time of the extraction so that the socket does not heal over before the preservation is performed. Ridge preservation dramatically delays a process called bone resorption during which tooth tissue is broken down and reabsorbed into the body.
The Ridge Preservation Procedure
There are several steps involved in the ridge preservation process. Once the tooth has been extracted, an empty socket is exposed in the alveolar ridge, the ridge of the upper and lower jaw bones surrounding the roots of the teeth. Incisions are made in the gum line to create flaps. The sockets are filled with regenerative bone grafting material.
This grafting material may be composed of the patient’s own tissue, freeze dried human bone from a donor bank, processed bone elements from animals (usually cows) or a synthetic bone substitute. A protective dressing is then applied, the gum flap is replaced over the tooth socket, and the wound is sutured. A ridge preservation procedure usually takes about an hour to complete.
Recovery from Ridge Preservation
Ridge preservation enables dental implantation to take place much sooner than would otherwise be possible. For the patient, recovery from this dental surgery is similar to recovery from a simple tooth extraction. Extensive time, however is required for healing to take place before dental implantation can take place. Depending on the size of the ridge preservation procedure, the patient’s age and healing ability, graft healing typically takes between 3 and 6 months.
A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that adds bone to the upper jaw to make room for dental implants. The bone is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are located on both sides of the nose. A sinus lift is most often performed on patients who have lost teeth in the upper jaw, or who have lost bone from gum disease or tooth loss.
The Sinus Lift Procedure
During the sinus lift procedure, the sinus membrane is lifted to make room for the bone, which is taken from another part of the patient’s body, bone morphogenic material or from a cadaver. The surgeon first cuts the gum tissue to expose the bone, and then opens up an area through the bone to separate the sinus membrane from the jaw. The bone graft is then placed into the space where the sinus was, and the area is stitched shut. Dental implants are placed four to nine months later, which gives the bone graft time to mesh with the bone.
Recovery from a Sinus Lift
After the sinus lift procedure, patients may experience swelling and bleeding, and should avoid forceful sneezing or nose-blowing. Stitches are removed after seven to ten days, and several follow-up visits are required to make sure the area is healing properly.
Risks of a Sinus Lift
Although a sinus lift is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks associated with any kind of procedure. Some of these risks may include puncturing or tearing of the sinus membrane, infection, or failure of the bone graft to integrate with the patient’s bone. These risks are considered rare, and can be further reduced by choosing an experienced surgeon to perform the procedure.