Your jawbone's strength is very important to your overall oral health. If your jawbone is weakened from physical trauma or missing teeth, you may need bone grafting so your jaw can properly fit both dental implants and your natural teeth. A bone graft helps to augment and build up your jawbone so it's dense enough to hold an implant. At Contemporary Dental Arts, osseous surgery is offered to strengthen your jaw before implant surgery to replace missing or weak teeth. Schedule an appointment with dentist Dr. Lauren Shanard at her office in Williston, VT to get more information on bone grafting.
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Your jawbone may be weak if you have some oral diseases, like gingivitis, or if you had a physical trauma to your mouth. Atrophy can also weaken the jawbone if you were missing a tooth (or teeth), and it wasn't treated/was replaced with a removable or cemented restoration instead of a dental implant. Bone grafting strengthens and prepares the jaw for a dental implant; however, you'll have to be willing to commit time to the process. Bone grafting may need several months to heal, but you'll get a stronger, healthier jawbone that will not only support your dental implant but also your natural teeth for better overall oral health.
What To Expect
The process of your bone grafting procedure will depend on the source of the graft and how much grafting is needed. You may have bone taken from one area of your body, such as your chin, hip, or lower leg, which is known as an autograft. An autograft may be done in our office using sedation and local anesthesia, or at a surgical facility using general anesthesia. Additional graft options include an allograft, which uses bone harvested from another human. A xenograft uses bone taken from an animal, typically a cow. An alloplast is a synthetic bone graft. During your consultative appointment, Dr. Shanard will discuss your graft options and help you determine the best choice.
When your selected graft is ready, Dr. Shanard will numb the treatment area and place an incision through the gum tissue to expose the bone. Your prepared graft will be affixed to your jawbone along with proteins and collagen that encourage the graft to attach and grow. The gum tissue will be sutured closed and the mouth will be cleaned.
In the following 6 – 9 months, the graft should bond with your jaw, a process known as osseointegration. Within this timeframe, it is important to maintain a good oral care routine with flossing and brushing plus any additional products suggested by Dr. Shanard. She may write a prescription for pain medication or antibiotics for any inflammation or discomfort after your bone graft. You may need to make follow-up appointments at Contemporary Dental Arts to check your progress and to decide when your jawbone is strong enough for a dental implant.
Our office can talk to your dental insurance company to determine your benefits and out-of-pocket cost, although if it is medically necessary, part of your costs for the surgery are typically paid. At your consultative appointment with Dr. Shanard, she may estimate your costs with or without dental insurance, and discuss payment options including low-interest medical financing.
Help strengthen your jaw so it can hold both your natural teeth and dental implants with bone grafting at Contemporary Dental Arts. During your consultation with dentist Dr. Shanard, you can learn about your bone graft options and get a custom plan for treatment that leads to a stronger jaw and healthier mouth. Contact our office in Williston, VT to make your appointment.