Bone and tissue grafts are a common part of periodontal treatment. They allow for the body to regenerate and heal following serious periodontitis. After tooth loss, the bone that makes up the jaw and socket begins to reabsorb. This means that the bone slowly atrophies and is no longer strong enough to support a false tooth. The best way around this condition is through bone and tissue grafts. They allow you to have your jaw rebuilt to be strong enough to hold a dental implant, plus repair any aesthetic changes that occur from the bone loss. Here are a few things to know about bone and tissue grafts.
The Basics of Bone and Tissue Grafts
During bone and tissue grafts, you are getting either bone or tissue replaced in your mouth. This can be from an injury, or as a result of gum disease. Sometimes you may get both bone and tissue replaced. The bone or tissue grafts can include grafts of donor tissues, synthetic tissues, or even your own tissues. It all depends on the type of grafts you need. The point of bone and tissue grafts is to replace whatever type of tissue is missing from the mouth. By grafting in new tissue, you are able to restore health and functionality to your mouth.
When you get bone and tissue grafts, your current tissues are surgically opened up. The new tissues are placed in the right spots, and sutures are placed to hold the grafts in place. Your oral surgeon then closes the area once opened. From there, you need to heal up and allow those new tissues to meld with your new ones. During this fusion, your mouth needs to be kept very clean and healthy. The more bacteria and debris you can keep away from the surgical site, the better your chances of a successful graft become.
Why Bone and Tissue Grafts Are Necessary
When you struggle with gum disease, it can cause a lot of problems in your mouth. Things like gum recession and bone resorption cause you to lose tissue. This can lead to tooth loss, which only exacerbates the problem. In order to put any type of implant in to replace that tooth, you need to be able to have the right tissues in place. They need to be plentiful in quantity, and they also need to be top quality tissue to hold the implants in place. When you have endured tooth loss some time ago, chances are you do not have enough quality or quantity of tissue left to support an implant. This leads to bone and tissue grafts.
What bone and tissue grafts do is replace the missing tissues. The new tissues fuse with your old tissues, helping improve the overall health of your mouth. Once the tissues have fused together, your jaw is likely going to be a much better candidate for getting things like dental implants. This can help restore the functionality you lost when you lost your teeth. Plus, it can also help you look much more like you once did prior to losing any teeth. Not only your smile changes when you lose a tooth. The structure of your jaw changes, too, which can affect how your face looks. By getting bone and tissue grafts, this can restore your face while also restoring your tooth.
Recovering Following Bone and Tissue Grafts
Following bone and tissue grafts, you do need to take it easy. Ideally, you should take the day of surgery off, and the next day, if possible. That way, you are not trying to do too much, too soon after surgery. You should wait 2-4 days for light exercise, and about a week for strenuous exercise so that you do not increase your chances of bleeding. There will be some bleeding after surgery. How much bleeding depends on the type of bone and tissue grafts you received. Plus, it will also depend on how much you tend to bleed. Each person is different in this regard.
You should sleep upright following bone and tissue grafts for the first night or two. This keeps your blood pressure down, which can decrease swelling and bleeding. Sleeping propped up on the couch or in a recliner is usually all you need in this instance. You want to make sure you also eat soft foods for the first 24-48 hours. That way, you do not do anything that may rip open the sutures in your mouth. You also must remember to go through and keep up with your oral hygiene routine following bone and tissue grafts. You should brush the next morning following surgery, being careful in the area that you had surgery. You should also make sure to swish with salt water every 3-4 hours following the bone and tissue grafts. This keeps the area free from many types of bacteria. Plus, it speeds up healing.
Come In and Find Out if Bone and Tissue Grafts Could Help Your Oral Health
If you are ready to see if dental implants could help restore your oral health, give our office a call. Here at Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we want to help you get the best oral health possible. This includes helping you restore your mouth to fully functional following any type of tooth loss. We will evaluate your mouth, and let you know if you would be a good candidate for bone and tissue grafts. If you are, then we can set up an appointment to get the process started for you. By having bone and tissue grafts done now, you have the opportunity to get your smile and confidence back. Reach out to us and let us help.
When you decide that you want to get your oral health back under control, and possible replace any missing teeth, reach out to us here at Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.
You can contact us by dialing (972)462-9800 today. Let us help you decide if your mouth could benefit from bone and tissue grafts!
Stephen S. Walker, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Walker is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology. He grew up in Dallas and attended Baylor College of Dentistry. While at Baylor, he was a member of the Odontological Honors Society and was selected to receive the Oral Biology Award and Merritt-Parks Award in Periodontics.