When people think about their mouth and oral health, they usually focus on their teeth and gums. However, there’s another important area that requires attention: the bone that supports them.
Your jawbone supports your teeth and helps create your facial appearance. Unfortunately, it can be susceptible to bone loss. And if this occurs, it can put your teeth and face at risk.
But there’s good news.
A dental bone graft can reverse bone loss and rebuild your jaw. Caesar Sweidan, DDS, and Laura Smith, DDS, perform these procedures at Gulf Coast Periodontics & Implants in Gulfport, Mississippi, and they know there’s nothing to be concerned about.
In this blog post, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith explain what to expect during a bone graft procedure to help put you at ease.
How a bone graft works
During a bone graft, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith insert bone graft material into the area with bone loss. This material works with your body to rebuild healthy new bone tissue. Think of it as a scaffold for bone cells to grow and regenerate.
There are different dental bone graft procedures. However, they all share the goal of adding density and volume to an area of your jaw.
Types of bone grafts Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith might recommend include the following:
- Ridge augmentation, which builds width and volume for restorative treatments, such as implants
- Sinus lift, which adds volume underneath the sinuses to support the upper back teeth
- Periodontal bone graft, which is placed around existing teeth for additional support
- Socket preservation, which is performed at the time of a tooth extraction
As you can see, bone grafts are beneficial when replacing missing teeth. However, they can also help prevent additional bone loss and stabilize your jaw, even if you aren’t getting an implant.
What to expect during a bone graft
To start, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith thoroughly numb the treatment site to keep you comfortable. After applying the anesthetic, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith make a small incision in your gum tissue so they can see the jawbone. Once they clean and disinfect the area, they can insert the bone grafting material.
Just like there are several bone grafting procedures, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith can also use a variety of grafting materials, such as:
- Autogenous: your tissue
- Allograft: human donor tissue
- Xenograft: animal tissue
- Alloplast: synthetic tissue
If your bone graft involves your own bone tissue, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith use a special ultrasonic method called Piezoelectric procedure. This technology allows them to extract a precise amount of bone from your jaw without causing harm to your gums.
After your graft material gets placed, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith cover it with a protective membrane before repositioning your gum tissue and closing the incision.
What to expect after your bone graft
While your bone graft procedure shouldn’t be uncomfortable, you may have some slight discomfort, swelling, and bruising as the anesthetic fades. These symptoms typically disappear within a few days, and you should be able to manage them with pain relievers. And, most patients report little — if any — discomfort at all.
During the first few days, you may notice small pieces of bone coming out of the site. They often resemble sand or salt and aren’t a cause for concern. However, Dr. Sweidan and Dr. Smith provide personalized guidance on what you can expect, along with postoperative instructions to follow closely.
In most cases, you can expect to feel like yourself again within 1-2 weeks, and the graft should fully heal within 3-9 months or so.
Do you need bone grafting? We can give you a thorough evaluation, answer any questions you have, and discuss your next steps. To learn more, call 228-868-9615 or request an appointment online with Gulf Coast Periodontics & Implants today.