Bone Grafting – San Marcos, TX
Helping Your Jaw Regain Its Strength and Size
If you’ve lost a tooth, you may be a candidate for dental implants; however, some patients need a little more help than others before the treatment. A jawbone that has atrophied needs to be rebuilt before it can support false teeth. With bone grafting, Dr. David Earnest and the rest of his team can grow back bone where it’s needed the most. Contact our San Marcos, TX dental office today to schedule a free dental implant consultation and learn whether bone grafting might be part of that process.
When is Bone Grafting Needed?
While bone grafting isn’t always a part of the dental implant process, it’s usually necessary whenever the bone in your jaw has broken down. This is normally a consequence of losing your teeth. When you bite or chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the jawbone; this stimulation keeps the bone strong, but it won’t occur if the tooth has been lost. In a way, it’s similar to a muscle starting to atrophy if you don’t use it enough. An unused jawbone will start to degenerate if the body thinks it isn’t needed anymore.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll need a bone graft after suffering from gum disease. Bacteria that enters the gums can eventually reach the bone tissue underneath, destroying it. This is a common cause for tooth loss, so your jaw will most likely need to be rebuilt after your gum disease has been treated.
What Can You Expect During Bone Grafting?
Basically, bone grafting encourages the jawbone to repair itself by placing new tissue in the place where healing is needed. Most of the time, the grafted tissue will be taken from part of your own body, normally the hip bone, tibia bone, or another part of the jawbone. However, you can also receive a graft from a cadaver or animal donor; there are even grafting procedures where synthetic material is used.
Once the bone tissue has been collected, it will be placed in your jaw. Your mouth will be numbed for the surgery, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you stay comfortable. The procedure may involve special membranes that dissolve under the gum to protect the graft. We might also need to perform a nerve repositioning, ridge expansion, or sinus lift procedure in addition to (or in place of) the bone graft. Dr. Earnest will walk through the procedure with your beforehand so that you fully understand what’s needed.
Recovering from Bone Grafting
After the grafting procedure, you might experience some mild discomfort, swelling in your gums, minimal bleeding, and bruising of the skin. You can take medication to control the pain, but in general you can expect these symptoms to subside given enough time; call us right away if they become severe or last longer than normal.
It can take about 3 to 6 months after bone grafting for the jaw to fully regenerate itself; at that point, we can schedule dental implant placement.