Your jawbone plays key roles in supporting your teeth and providing definition to your face and head. A damaged jawbone can not only affect your oral health but also your confidence as your features become less pronounced. Damage to your jawbone can occur through trauma or as a result of severe untreated gum disease.
If you have experienced a loss of density to your jawbone through disease or damage through trauma, our team at Advanced Dental Specialty Group can help through a procedure called a bone graft. By using this procedure, our team can restore the strength and function of your jawbone and make several other restorative treatments possible.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to strengthen and repair your jawbone. During the procedure, our team will first administer an anesthetic. After the anesthetic has taken effect, our professional will make an incision in your gumline at the procedure site. They will then graft several bone fragments to your existing jawbone.
Once the graft is complete, they will suture your gumline. The bone used for the graft can be obtained from one of several sources. It is most commonly obtained from a cadaver, which is called an allograft. A more recent development involves the use of synthetic bone material that is created in a lab.
How Long Is the Recovery?
The initial recovery process only takes a few days. Our team will provide detailed aftercare instructions, such as what food and drinks you should avoid to prevent irritating the surgical site. They may also provide you with an oral antibiotic if you have an increased risk of infection. Approximately one week after your procedure, you should be able to resume normal eating and drinking habits.
While the recovery is relatively short, complete bone fusion takes substantially longer. According to WebMD, this process will take anywhere from a few months to a year. Our team will monitor your progress by taking digital images of your jawbone at regularly scheduled intervals. Once fusion is complete, our team can proceed with the next step of the restoration process.
Why Is Bone Grafting Needed?
Bone grafting is needed to restore the normal strength and function of your jawbone. A weakened or damaged jawbone will result in less pronounced facial features and can contribute to tooth and soft tissue loss. Bone grafting is sometimes needed before you are eligible for certain restorative procedures, such as dental implants and implant-supported dentures.
Dental implants involve the installation of titanium posts into your jawbone. If your jawbone has been weakened by the effects of gum disease, then a bone graft will be necessary to ensure your jaw can handle the added stress of implants. Installing implants into a weakened jawbone without first completing a bone graft will result in the implants failing, potentially fracturing your jawbone.
If you think you may be a good candidate for a bone graft or would like to learn more about restorative dental procedures such as dental implants, our team at Advanced Dental Specialty Group can help. During your consultation, our professionals will complete a thorough oral exam and take panoramic x-rays of your oral cavity to determine if a bone graft is right for you. You can schedule your appointment by calling our office at 385 381-6464.