De-mystifying dental bone graft surgery: North Hollywood dentist addresses common concerns
A dental implant functions, feels, and looks like a natural tooth. This is presently the best solution available to replace a missing tooth, or to stabilize a bridge or denture. In some cases, however, tooth loss has contributed to diminished bone density. That could rule out the possibility of a dental implant. Bone augmentation, or grafting, makes dental implant placement a healthy reality for many individuals. Yet the idea still sounds a bit unsettling. Dr. Fadi Edmond Elzayat shares this insight into dental bone graft surgery to ease the concerns of patients in North Hollywood and surrounding areas.
When is a bone graft needed?
Anytime the bone under gum tissue is not tall, wide, or thick enough to support a dental implant. Grafting supplements existing bone with new material. Over the course of several months, surrounding bone fuses with the transplanted graft, growing into and around it.
Where does the graft come from?
Historically, bone for the graft was taken from your own body for reduced risk of rejection. It usually came from the chin or back portion of the lower jaw. If the dentist was unable to harvest a sufficient amount from the mouth, it was taken from the hip or shin bone. This method remains viable, but many patients want a quicker, less invasive alternative.
Other options include “off-the-shelf” bone from human cadavers, processed mineral content from bovine (cow) bone, or synthetic grafting materials. Don’t worry – Dr. Elzayat will explain the procedure, benefits, and risks associated with each option, to determine the best bone grafting method for you.
Does it hurt?
Be assured that your wellbeing is top priority. Although the work is extremely precise, it is pre-planned with the use of 3-D imaging, for a brief procedure. IV sedation is administered, and the treatment area is thoroughly numbed. The incision is inside the mouth, at the gum line. A thin membrane is placed over the grafted material, and the incision is closed with a few small sutures. You are given prescriptions for post-procedure pain management, as well as antibacterial mouthwash and antibiotics to prevent infection and speed healing.
What is the success rate?
Each patient is unique, but in general, dental bone grafting is very successful. Dr. Elzayat has a great deal of experience in this area, having handled hundreds of bone graft procedures and even more dental implant placements.
Is there risk of nerve damage?
There is a risk with dental bone grafting, as with virtually any surgery. The usual concern is with the inferior alveolar nerve that resides in the lower jaw, giving sensation to the chin and lips. If a patient has a significant amount of bone loss in the lower jaw, a special technique can be used to reposition the nerve. Incidence of nerve damage is low.
In the hands of an experienced DDS, dental bone graft surgery is safe and effective. It allows patients in North Hollywood and surrounding communities to enjoy the benefits of dental implants, including:
- Restored chewing function.
- A gap-free smile.
- Soft tissue support for a fuller, more youthful facial appearance.
- Straighter teeth (keeps other teeth from shifting).
- Improved oral hygiene.
Have you been told that you are not a good candidate for a dental implant due to bone loss? Call A-Dental Center at 818 593 0700 for a consultation with Dr. Elzayat.