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Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a regenerative treatment option for patients who have lost quality and quantity of supporting bone tissue as a result of periodontal disease. This procedure is often needed before dental implants can be placed and also helps protect the teeth from bacteria, trauma and further degeneration.

During the bone graft procedure, the gums will be separated from the teeth so that your periodontist can gain access to the tooth roots and underlying bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned and any holes or damaged areas of the bone will be filled with a graft material and then protected with a barrier to protect the bone. Once the graft is in place, the gums will be reattached to the area with sutures.

The graft used during this procedure may come from the patient's own body, a cadaver, cow bone or synthetic material. The most effective results are often achieved by using the patient's own bone.

After the bone graft procedure, patients may experience swelling and pain for several days. It is important for patients to keep their mouth as clean as possible while the bone graft heals. You will be asked to return to your periodontist's office in about seven to 10 days so that your mouth can be evaluated to ensure proper healing. Over time, new bone and soft tissue will develop in the treated area to help firmly reattach the tooth to the jaw, significantly reducing the patient's risk of tooth loss and reversing the effects of periodontal disease.

Dental Extractions

A dental extraction, commonly known as getting a tooth pulled, is one of the most common procedures performed at a dentist's office. While your dentist will first make efforts to treat your condition and save the tooth, this is not always possible. Dental extractions are often performed to relieve a broken tooth, significant tooth decay or to remove wisdom teeth that cause overcrowding in the mouth.

Once your dentist has decided that dental extraction is necessary, he/she will perform an X-ray examination in order to further evaluate the tooth. The extraction procedure is performed under local anesthetic to minimize discomfort, and involves rocking the tooth back and forth to ease it out of its socket for simple removal. Stubborn teeth may need to be removed in sections.

After the extraction, patients will likely experience a certain amount of pain. This can be relieved by applying ice to the area, rinsing the mouth with water or taking antibiotics or painkillers if needed. Patients are advised to avoid certain foods for a few days, and should feel completely better within one to two weeks. The extraction procedure is safe for most patients and does not involve any major complications.

Laser Dentistry

Lasers allow many dental procedures to be performed with no noise and very little pain. They are versatile tools that can be used in oral surgery, curing of restorative materials, and removal of hard and soft tissue. Other benefits of laser dentistry over traditional methods can include:

  • Reduced heat and vibration
  • High precision
  • Little or no need for anesthetic
  • Little or no bleeding
  • Faster treatment time
  • Increased rate of curing/bleaching
  • Less post-operative pain and swelling
  • Fewer pain medications/antibiotics

Many patients find that laser dentistry is far more comfortable than traditional methods using drills. The only noise comes from air as it cools the area being treated. Laser technology also allows several procedures to be performed during a single appointment by your own dentist, so you can be in and out of the office faster.

Sinus Lift

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure that adds bone to the upper jaw in order to make room for dental implants to be placed. The bone is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are located on both sides of the nose. A sinus lift is most often performed on patients who have lost teeth in the upper jaw, who have lost bone because of gum disease, or whose tooth loss has caused bone loss as well.

During the sinus lift procedure, the sinus membrane is lifted to make room for the bone, which is taken from another part of the patient's own body or from a cadaver. Your surgeon will first cut the gum tissue to expose the bone, and then open up a window through the bone to separate the sinus membrane from the jaw. The bone graft is then placed into the space where the sinus was and the area is stitched close. Dental implants are placed four to nine months later, allowing the bone graft to mesh with your own bone.

After the sinus lift procedure, patients may experience swelling and bleeding, and should avoid forcefully sneezing or blowing their nose. Stitches will be removed after 7 to 10 days, and patients will continue to see their dentist for several follow-up visits to make sure the area is healing properly.

Although a sinus lift is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks associated with any kind of procedure. Some of these risks may include puncturing or tearing the sinus membrane, infection or a failure of the bone graft to integrate with the patient's actual bone. These risks are considered rare, and can be further reduced by choosing an experienced surgeon to perform your procedure.

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