When you lose a tooth, the supporting bone begins to deteriorate. It’s a process that occurs over time. So you only need a dental bone graft surgery if you’ve lost a tooth sometime in the past. If you decide to replace the tooth with an implant, your cosmetic dentist at Sohosmile first ensures that you have enough bone mass for the implant. If not, you may need bone grafting, an in-office procedure that restores your bone within six months. Leave it to the professionals at Sohosmile!

Bone Graft

In 2014, as many as 200 million Americans are missing at least one tooth,  which includes more than 40 percent of adult New Yorkers age 35 and older. While there are many reasons for tooth loss, Dr. John Koutsoyiannis at Sohosmile has a number of replacement options. Dentures and bridges are two traditional options for replacing teeth, but implants are gaining popularity.

With the number of implants growing by 500,000 each year, bone graft surgery has become a focal point in many of Dr. John’s dental implant consultations. You need enough bone mass to support an implant. When you lose a tooth, the bone begins to disappear, which only becomes evident over time. A bone grafting procedure restores the bone beneath your missing tooth.

What Is Bone Grafting?

A dental bone graft procedure is minor surgery that combats severe bone loss in your jawbone or in the sinus area of your skull. You may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure before you’re ready to accept a dental implant body.

If bone graft surgery is required, the process may involve taking a piece of bone from another part of your body. But the more common solution is to use bone substitute material. The whole bone grafting procedure takes 45 to 90 minutes under local anesthesia in your dentist’s office. The aim of a dental bone graft is to generate new bone cells strong enough to support your dental implant.

Reasons for a Dental Bone Graft

There may be several causes of your bone loss. An untreated gum condition like gingivitis or periodontal disease is the most common reason. Other reasons that lead to bone deterioration include:

  • Trauma to your teeth, such as from a sports injury or fall
  • Dental cavities
  • Wearing dentures for a long time, as dentures do nothing to prevent bone loss
  • A tooth infection
  • A tooth extraction
  • Defective tooth development
  • Diseases that affect your dental health, such as diabetes or cancer

Types of Bone Grafting

The loss of a tooth due can lead to a deep concavity in your bone and gums. There are three methods of performing a dental bone graft:

  1. Socket grafting places bone graft material into the deficient socket to replenish your bone. This technique promotes new bone cell regeneration, essentially replacing the lost bone.
  2. Ridge augmentation is an effective bone graft surgery to repair severe jawbone loss that has spread to surrounding areas. The graft fills the deficiency in your jaw to restore the original structure of your jawbone.
  3. Sinus lift procedure is for a tooth missing in your upper jaw. To ensure enough bone for dental implants, your dentist accesses your upper jaw and eases your sinus tissue upward. The bone graft material fills the space provided.

Aftercare for Bone Grafting

The success of a bone graft depends on a combination of factors. Follow your dental team’s instructions for your aftercare. Expect a recovery time of three to nine months, during which time the bone grafting completely heals and fuses with your existing bone.

Temporary swelling and general soreness in your face, jaw and neck are normal. Use ice packs and take the recommended pain medications. Only eat soft or pureed foods. Chewing may become difficult for a few days due to the swelling. If you have dentures, you have to stop wearing them for a few weeks until the surgery area heals.

Why Choose a Cosmetic Dentist?

A cosmetic dentist knows what it takes to maintain, restore or improve your smile. Your health comes first, because a cosmetic dentist understands that healthy teeth make the best smile. When you opt for dental implants — whether you want a single-tooth implant or full mouth dental implants — the right diagnosis regarding bone grafting can save you months of recovery time.

The Sohosmile boutique dental clinic offers expert care, a welcoming environment and a convenient location in SoHo. Visit the cosmetic dentist who can do it all in Downtown NYC. Sohosmile serves patients from all over Lower Manhattan, including:

  • The Financial District
  • Tribeca
  • Battery Park City
  • South Village
  • Hudson Square
  • Greenwich Village
  • West Village
  • NoHo
  • Nolita

When you want a dental implant, but aren’t sure if your jawbone is strong enough, make an appointment to see us. You may not even need a bone graft surgery, but it’s best to find out for sure before you decide to get any implants.