San Luis Obispo Dentist

Bone GraftingSan Luis Obispo, CA

Bone grafting has a variety of uses in dentistry, including to promote healing in the mouth, acting as a scaffold and filler that promotes the formation of new bone tissue, and more. As an oral surgeon and periodontist, Dr. Sayre-Carstairs can provide bone grafts to help promote the patient's oral health and overall appearance of their teeth.

Bone grafting has a variety of uses and can even help promote a patient's oral health. During an appointment, we will help determine if bone grafting is right for you before we customize the procedure to your needs. Our goal is to help you achieve the smile you desire while maintaining your oral health.

If you want to learn more about bone grafting at Coast Periodontics and Laser Surgery in San Luis Obispo, then give us a call at 805-952-1147 to learn more.

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What Bone Grafting Can Do for You

A dental patient might need bone grafts when considering dental implants, or to correct some abnormality in their jaw. Our periodontist and oral surgeon, Dr. Sayre-Carstairs, will help to determine if bone grafting can help improve the patient's teeth. While the procedure counts as minor oral surgery, it is commonly used by oral surgeons as a way to thicken a patient's jaw before the installation of implants.

The procedure has a high success rate, and local anesthetics help keep the patient numb during the treatment. The purpose of bone grafting is typically to bolster the patient's existing bone tissues. Reasons why we might recommend bone grafts can include:

  • Treating developmental defects
  • Restoring supporting structures of teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay
  • Repairing bone damage caused by trauma to the face or a facial injury
  • Filling up the space created after a tooth is removed
  • Creating the bone thickness needed to install dental implants

Causes of Bone Tissue Loss

Bone grafts are sometimes required to make a patient eligible for implants due to the bone tissue loss that takes place after a tooth falls out. The alveolar bone is responsible for holding teeth in place and supporting them. It begins to disintegrate when it is no longer holding a tooth in place. Also, the jawbone gets stimulated by bite forces when a person chews, and it begins to wear down when it stops getting the stimulation it needs to remain healthy.

The installation of implants requires a process called osseointegration to take place. This is a fusion of bone tissues and the implant to hold the oral prosthetic in place securely. Osseointegration cannot take place if there are no bone tissues for the implant to fuse.

The Bone Grafting Process

There are different types of bone grafts performed by oral surgeons. Each is recommended based on the patient's unique circumstance. Commonly performed types of bone grafts include:

  • Socket graft: This is one of the most widely used types of bone grafts, and they are used to prevent the deterioration of the alveolar bone. It typically involves the oral surgeon placing a piece of bone tissue from a human donor right into the socket of a tooth that has fallen out. It takes three to six months for the patient to recover after the procedure. A bonus that comes with getting a socket graft is less post-operative discomfort and pain after getting dental implants
  • Lateral ridge preservation graft: These bone grafts widen the width of a patient’s jawbone, so there is enough bone tissue to insert an implant. This process may also use human donor bone tissues
  • Block bone graft: These grafts address defects in the jaw. It is when the dentist harvests donor bone tissue from the back of the patient’s jaw and uses it to fix any defects
  • Sinus lift: A sinus lift graft might be needed if the patient lacks the bone tissue needed for implants in their upper jaw. It often includes a combination of human bone tissues and equine bone since the latter allows for the additional growth of bone tissues in the sinus. This type of bone grafting takes the longest to recover from, and the patient might need to wait up to a year before they can proceed with implants

Recovering After Bone Grafts

Once bone grafting is complete, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection. They might also prescribe pain medication to help reduce any discomfort that arises as a result of the treatment. Most people who get bone grafts do not need prescription painkillers to cope with recovery.

The patient then has to wait for the bone tissues transplanted to fuse with bone tissues around them. That usually takes somewhere between three months to a year, depending on the type of bone grafting performed. The dentist will not proceed with treatments like the installation of implants until the patient is fully recovered from their bone graft.

Call Us Today

With bone grafting, we can help you restore your teeth, enhance your smile, and more. Call us at 805-952-1147 and schedule an appointment to learn if bone grafting is the treatment to meet your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do bone grafts help with periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the advanced stage of gum disease, and it leads to damage to the bone and tissue structures that hold teeth in place. An oral surgeon or a periodontist can use bone grafts to repair tissues that have been damaged by gum disease to prevent the patient's teeth from falling out.

How long does it take to recover from bone grafting?

The answer to that question varies based on how well each patient heals. Generally speaking, it takes an average of three months to recover from bone grafts, but it can be up to a year for some people.

What should I expect when getting a bone graft?

Patients who get bone grafts might have to deal with some swelling, minimal bleeding, and some discomfort for the first few days after the procedure. The inflammation and discomfort should diminish within a week.

How long before I can eat after getting a bone graft?

Patients are advised to wait until the local anesthetic used during the procedure wears off before eating after a bone graft. Dentists recommend sticking to a liquid and soft food diet after getting bone grafts. It is essential and beneficial to avoid foods that can aggravate the site of the surgery.

How long does bone grafting take?

The process of transplanting bone tissues to places that need them takes anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes per graft. The initial recovery can last up to two weeks while the surgical site heals. The bone tissues added will then fuse with the patient's bone tissues for three months to a year.

Contact Us

Coast Periodontics and Laser Surgery is located at
620 California Blvd Suite L
San Luis Obispo, CA
93401

(805) 952-1147