Dental Bone Grafting Chapel Hill
fall in love with your smile
Dental Bone Grafting to Facilitate Bone Growth
Dental bone grafting is often suggested for individuals who are missing teeth and have experienced significant deterioration of the jawbone. The procedure attempts to facilitate growth of bone tissue in the affected area by placing a graft that is either made of bone (human or animal) or synthetic material. When successful, the bone graft will restore the jawbone and create a structural integrity necessary for placing a dental implant.
A bone graft is most typically performed for patients who would like to have a dental implant placed. Dental implants are a common procedure that is performed for individuals who have a missing tooth or teeth. Dental implants offer significant benefits for patients including the following:
- Improved Aesthetics: Dental implants can improve the appearance of your smile as well as your jawline and prevent any changes in the shape of your jaw or face that can develop due to missing teeth.
- Structural Integrity: By filling in gaps, dental implants not only preserve the original bone, but they also significantly reduce the likelihood of infections developing.
- Oral Health: Patients who have implants placed often report an improved ability and likelihood to brush and floss regularly, which results in improved overall oral health.
- Upgrade from Dentures: Because they are adhered to the jawbone, dental implants will not have to be removed, like dentures, which can improve your ability to chew foods and talk comfortably.
Although a dental bone graft can be a wonderful option for patients who are looking for a long-term solution for their missing teeth, it is important to be aware that the success of the bone graft is not guaranteed. Although our staff will do everything we can to ensure your graft is a success, there are times when the graft becomes infected or simply fails to take.
If you would like to learn more about dental bone grafts, please read below, or contact our staff, who will be happy to answer any of your questions and/or set up a consultation.
Types of Bone Grafts
The process for having a bone graft performed is generally the same, but there are several different types of bone grafts that can be performed depending upon the specific needs of the client, which include the following:
- Socket Grafting: This approach maintains the jawbone structure following a tooth extraction. The grafting material is placed immediately following the extraction of the tooth or teeth to restore the jawbone.
- Bone Substitute: After the grafting material is placed, it is covered with a membrane, which helps facilitate the healing process and bone growth.
- Blocks: If bone loss is significant, bone grafting blocks can be installed using titanium screws.
It can take several months for the bone graft to grow to the point where it is ready for the implant. During this time, your dentist will schedule regular visits to monitor how the graft is progressing. Once it has developed enough, the implant can be placed.
The dental implant process will begin with the extraction of a decayed or damaged tooth (if necessary) followed by an x-ray to determine if there is sufficient jawbone to properly hold a dental implant. If there is insufficient jawbone, a dental bone graft may be required. If it is determined that you are a viable candidate, a titanium implant will be placed into your jawbone. After this has healed, the replacement tooth or bridge will be placed on this post and adhered using dental cement or a screw.
Proper Care Improves Longevity of the Dental Bone Graft
To ensure the success of your bone graft and speed up the healing process, it is essential to follow post-operative instructions. Be mindful to not touch the area, and when you do brush your teeth or rinse your mouth, be sure you do so gently. If you are prescribed pain medication and/or antibiotics, it is important that you follow the prescription instructions.
To continue enjoying the benefits of your dental bone graft and avoid similar issues in the future, be sure to practice the following important oral hygiene habits every day.
- Brush twice daily (minimum) and practice proper brushing technique. In addition to brushing regularly, it is also important to brush effectively. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about proper brushing techniques.
- Floss daily. If you are someone who tends to avoid flossing, you may want to consider flossing alternatives, such as interdental brushes or floss picks.
- Be mindful of your diet. One of the best ways you can prevent dental issues from developing is to avoid foods that are sugary or high in starch. If you do drink soda or sugary beverages, try to use a straw to limit exposure of sugar to your teeth. It is also important to swish your mouth with water following meals, as doing so can dislodge food remnants, which, if left alone can create future tooth decay.
- Schedule regular dental exams. Unchecked dental issues can result in additional issues and progression of decay, which is why it is so important to visit your dentist every six months. In addition to providing a deep clean for your teeth and diagnosing potential issues before they progress, these regular checkups also allow your dentist to monitor the status of your dental bone graft.
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.