If you’ve ever heard of a skin graft, a dental bone graft is a very similar concept. The jaw doesn’t have enough bone so a doctor either removes a small amount of bone from another part of the body or uses a bone grafting material (Dr. Rob‘s preferred method) to generate bone growth.
The majority of people who come into our office needing bone grafting surgery are dental implant patients. While there are a few other cases where bone grafting is appropriate, most of the time dentists use it to create a better “base” for dental implants. During dental implant consultations with Dr. Rob Stanley, he takes a look at each patient’s jaw bone and runs some tests. If he finds that the jaw is too thin or soft to successfully support an implant, he’ll do a bone graft to ensure the longevity and stability of the dental implant.
Some patients with bad periodontal disease may also need a bone graft. Periodontal disease doesn’t just hurt the gums, it also hurts the bone beneath the gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can eat away at the bone, leading to tooth loss. Sometimes, our doctors can use a bone graft to help revitalize the bone structure in that area, decreasing the likelihood of tooth loss. If tooth loss is inevitable, our doctors will recommend a bone graft and dental implants.
If the bone loss is very small, Dr. Rob can place the bone graft during the implant surgery. If there is significant bone deterioration or the jaw is too small, he will do the bone graft surgery first and allow it to heal for several months before completing the implant surgery. That waiting period ensures that the graft has successfully strengthened the bone. Forgoing that waiting period would mean risking the outcome of the implant surgery.
Bone grafts come with a minimal pain level similar to dental implants. If the worry that the surgery will be especially painful is holding you back from getting it done, don’t let it. We typically use IV sedation on bone graft surgeries so patients feel and remember nothing about the procedure. Afterward, we can prescribe painkillers though most patients prefer to stick with Tylenol and Advil since those tend to work just fine.
If you need bone grafting and a dental implant, Dr. Robert Stanley at Stanley Dentistry can do both in just a few appointments. He’s completed hundreds of bone grafting and dental implant cases and knows the safest and most effective techniques to give you the smile you deserve.
Call today to schedule or fill out a digital form to see how our dental experts can help you.