If you’re missing a tooth, you really may be missing a whole lot more. Tooth loss or other dental injuries are not only unsightly, they also cause nearby bone to deteriorate and recede. For instance, within 3 years after tooth extraction, research has shown that patients can expect to lose 40 to 60% of the nearby bone. As a result, patients looking for an oral surgeon in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles considering dental implants or other oral surgery first may need to build up the bone in the surgical area before cosmetic improvements can be performed. A bone graft helps build and strengthen bone by encouraging the grafted material to bond with existing bone over several months. Ridge preservation methods limit bone loss following tooth extraction so that a solid bone foundation remains for subsequent implant or bridge placement.
Find out if your smile would benefit from bone grafting or ridge preservation/augmentation: request a consultation with Dr. Alex A. Farnoosh, a celebrity Beverly Hills periodontist. Or, call (310) 657-0503 to set up a consultation.
Expert in Gummy Smile & Dark Gum Correction
- Certified by the American Board of Periodontology
- International authority on cosmetic dentistry
- Invented minimally invasive gummy smile correction techniques
- Pioneered patented gum lightening treatment
- Authored 40+ works in medical journals
- Trains dentists in gum bleaching and gummy smile treatments
- Transformed smiles of thousands of patients around the world
Candidates for Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation
My patients need bone grafts to restore bone that was lost to periodontal disease, trauma, prior tooth extraction, or infection. Before my patients receive dental implants or have certain other periodontal procedures performed around their natural teeth, a bone graft may be required to stabilize the treatment area and maximize the success of the procedure. Some of my other patients need grafting to increase the height or width of bone, fill anatomical voids, or correct congenital defects. For those patients who will have a tooth extracted and subsequently replaced with a dental implant, I recommend ridge preservation/augmentation to maintain an adequate amount of bone for later implant placement.
Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation/Augmentation Benefits
These procedures offer many advantages to patients who suffer from loss of dental bone:
- Bone grafting helps to secure and stabilize the jaw for future surgery or to protect existing at-risk teeth, correct deformities, or restructure the bone for functional reinforcement.
- Ridge preservation prevents the loss of bone in circumstances where bone normally recedes such as following tooth extraction.
Before the procedure, I will help you select one of three materials that can be used for bone grafting. In almost all cases, the best material to use is your own bone, collected from the chin or jaw. If your own bone is not used, you still have other options. First, you can choose natural human bone fragments provided by surgical bone banks through the use of cadavers. This source is well-regulated and extremely safe. Second, you may want to consider synthetic bone or “coral” bone. Third, bovine (cow) bone is also available and has been used extensively; I find that this option is as good as your own bone. I will help you choose bone material based on what you’re comfortable with and what your surgical needs require.
During the surgery, I use local anesthesia to numb areas where bone will be extracted and grafted. I make an incision in the gum to determine how much and what type of bone is needed. To place new bone at the graft site, the site will be prepared and the new bone will be anchored in place. Finally, I may place a membrane over the site and stitch the incision closed.
Dr. Farnoosh also uses several exciting new innovations to regenerate bone. These include bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP 2) and stem cells, both of which can stimulate regeneration of a patient’s own bone to correct defects.
Risks and Recovery
After the graft procedure, I prescribe antibiotics and pain medication, and provide instructions on avoiding certain foods and caring for the graft site during the healing process. I may provide you with a temporary removable or fixed bridge to fill in the gap. After adequate time for healing, your bone graft will be strong enough to support dental implants.
As with any surgery, there is a possibility that a bone graft may fail, even when your own bone is used. Infection may develop or the grafted bone may become loose from your jaw. Smokers and certain people with other medical conditions generally have a higher risk of graft failure than other patients. Failed grafts must be removed and the site must be allowed to heal before a second graft can be attempted.
Your treatment results may vary depending on the complexity of your case.