The strength of your jawbone is important to your total dental health. With a weakened jawbone due to missing teeth or physical trauma, you may need to get a bone graft so the jaw can securely hold both your natural teeth and dental implants. Bone grafting helps to reinforce and rebuild your jawbone until it is stable enough to support a dental implant. At SmilesNY Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, this surgery is performed to prepare your jawbone for subsequent dental implant surgery to replace weak or missing teeth. Make a consultation with board-certified periodontist Dr. Kevin Loshak at our office in New York, NY to learn more about surgical bone grafts.
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A weakened jawbone may be caused by certain oral conditions, like gum disease, or if you experienced a physical trauma to your face. The jawbone may begin to atrophy if a tooth was missing, and if it was either untreated or replaced with removable dentures or a cemented bridge. A bone graft builds up the jaw and prepares you for a dental implant; however, you will need to be patient with the process. Some procedures can take months to complete, but you will have a stronger jaw that will support your dental implant and your natural teeth to give you a healthier mouth.
What To Expect
The exact process of a bone grafting surgery will vary based on the graft source and the amount of grafting being done. Your bone graft may be removed from your own body from areas like the chin, hip, or lower leg, which is called an autograft. This may be performed in our office with local anesthesia and sedation, or in an accredited surgical facility under general anesthesia. Other graft methods include an allograft that harvests bone from another person. A xenograft is a bone graft from an animal, usually a cow. A synthetic bone graft may also be used, known as an alloplast. At your consultation, Dr. Loshak will go over your options for bone grafts and help you select the best method for your needs.
Once the graft is ready to be placed, Dr. Loshak will prepare the areas being treated and make an incision in the gums to reveal the jawbone. The bone graft will be attached to the bone with collagen and proteins that stimulate growth in the graft. The incision will be closed with sutures and the area will be cleaned.
Over the next six or more months, the graft will heal into your jawbone (osseointegration). During this time, it's critical to follow a proper home oral care routine with brushing and flossing along with any products recommended by Dr. Loshak. He may prescribe antibiotics or pain medication for any discomfort and inflammation after the graft. You may have additional appointments at SmilesNY for progress checks and to determine when you are ready for the dental implant process.
We will contact your insurance company to understand your coverage and personal costs, but if it's deemed medically necessary, some of the expenses for the procedure are usually covered. During your consultation, a member of our team will be able to estimate your costs whether you have insurance or not, and explain payments we accept including medical financing.
Help strengthen your jawbone so it can support both dental implants and your natural teeth with bone graft surgery at SmilesNY. During your meeting with periodontist Dr. Kevin Loshak, you can get more information about your options for graft material and establish a unique treatment plan that gives you a stronger jawbone. Contact us in New York, NY to schedule your appointment.