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!
When you struggle with gum disease, it is incredibly important that you find the right gum disease therapy to help. Gum disease is not something to ignore, thinking it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, once you get gum disease, it is only going to progress until either you have it treated, or you lose your teeth. Ideally, you will come in and get treatment before your gum disease affects your smile. Here are some types of gum disease therapy that do not involve surgery, that are often very effective.
First of All, What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is literally a disease that affects your gums, and most call it gingivitis. It is when bacteria get between your teeth and gums, and form inflammation. This can cause a lot of swelling in your gums, bleeding gums, and eventually, can also hurt more parts of your mouth. When gum disease progresses, it goes from gingivitis to periodontitis. At this stage, the gums are not the only part of the mouth affected. The disease progresses to damage your teeth, which could end up falling out due to instability. It also hurts the underlying jaw bone. This can cause the bone to regress and dissolve, leaving no structure to hold your teeth in place. If you do not get any type of gum disease therapy, you will lose your teeth, and your jaw will begin to reabsorb.
Gum disease can also harm other parts of your body. When you have gum disease, there are bacteria within your gum tissue. These, along with the tartar that caused the gum disease in the first place, can be harmful to your body. The plaque from your teeth can move throughout your body, and settle in other places. If this plaque lands in your arteries or in your heart, it can lead to heart trouble. There is even evidence that shows the plaque related to gum disease could be a contributing factor to dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. The sooner you get gum disease diagnosed and treated, the better.
Non-Surgical Gum Disease Therapy Options
There are two main types of non-surgical gum disease therapy. The first is scaling and root planing. This is basically a deep cleaning of your teeth. The other are trays of medication. Both of these can be effective options of gum disease therapy. When used together, it can help reduce and even stop the progression of gum disease. However, in the event that these two options of gum disease therapy do not work, surgery may be the only option remaining.
What Is Scaling and Root Planing?
Scaling and root planing are just one form of gum disease therapy. This is a deep cleaning that goes beneath the gum line and cleans down to the root of the teeth. During scaling, an electronic scaler removes tartar build up and cleans if off of the teeth. During root planing, more tools go down and completely clean off the root of the teeth. During both of these processes, the gaps between the gums and the teeth get clean. All bacteria that were living in this gap are removed, and the area is left sanitary. By the time the procedure is done, there should be no bacteria left between the teeth and gums. Once the procedure is done, the gums begin to adhere more firmly to the teeth. This is what protects the gums from having bacteria move into that space again.
Are Trays an Effective Form of Gum Disease Therapy?
Trays are another effective type of gum disease therapy. This is when molds are made of your teeth, and custom trays are created. Those trays are then packed with medication, which you bite down into. The medication then sinks into your gum tissue and kills off any bacteria left behind. Patients use these trays at home. They deliver the medication we prescribe directly on to the tissues that need them most. These trays are safe to use, according to the FDA. Plus, they have been proven effective. This lets patients have more they can do to help fight back against gum disease.
Turn to Professionals for Gum Disease Therapy
When you struggle with gum disease, it is not going to go away on its own. You need to get professional gum disease therapy to help rid your body of this disease. The more progressed your gum disease gets, the more damage it does. If you get gum disease therapy early, some, if not all, of the damage is reversible. However, as the damage progresses, it can no longer be reversed.
Coming in and getting gum disease therapy in our professional office allows you to get the health of your mouth back. Gum disease does not hurt when you first get it. What happens is that by the time you feel it, it has already progressed. If it is no longer in its initial stages, you need more advanced gum disease therapy than a simple cleaning.
Come in today, and let us examine your mouth. We can then talk to you about the state your oral health is in, and what steps need to be taken to correct it. The more proactive you are about taking care of your mouth, the less likely your teeth are to succumb to the effects of gum disease. We will help you get the treatment you need to have a healthy mouth again. We have the experience and the technology to help restore your oral health. Do not wait another day. It could be one day too many.
For more information on what you can do to restore your oral health once you have gum disease, contact the professionals here at Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. You can contact us by calling (972)462-9800. Let us help you get your oral health back by pairing you with the right gum disease therapy.
People usually don’t think of dental implants as a solution to their oral healthcare problems, when in fact, dental implants are replacing dentures all across the country. You may be asking yourself, “What are dental implants and what do they do?” There’s a lot of reasons as to why one would get dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
If you’re missing a tooth, a lot of things can happen. It can affect your oral healthcare. Even if you’re perfect at brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash, you can still get a cavity and lose a tooth. It happens to the best of us. Dental implants make it as if that tooth was never missing in the first place.
When you get a tooth removed, you’re getting the roots removed from your jaw and/or skull depending on which tooth you’re getting pulled. It shifts your teeth around in a negative way. A dental implant is a surgical item that affixes to either your jawbone or your skull, and makes way for a dental crown or a bridge to be placed, all without messing with your alignment. It’s the foundation to your new tooth/teeth, and it’s extremely necessary for a number of reasons.
When you visit your periodontist, one of the first things they’re going to look at is the alignment of your bite. A lot of Americans don’t have s perfect bite. If you have a misaligned bite, it could be due to a number of reasons. One of the more common is that you have a missing tooth somewhere in your mouth, and your teeth are shifting in one direction. This completely throws off your alignment, and can lead to a lot of negative things.
You Just Miss the Tooth
If you’re someone who pays extreme attention to your oral healthcare, then there’s no doubt that you miss that tooth. Oral hygiene is nothing to take lightly, and sometimes, infection or cavities are unavoidable. That being said, you don’t have to carry on with that empty space in your mouth. A dental implant, and later, a dental crown, can help you.
With any dental procedure, there is associated risk. However, having an open hole in your mouth after the tooth has been removed can lead to infection, but a dental implant can fill that space and avoid infections heading down to your jawbone. If your tooth was removed due to an infection that led down the root and went to the jawbone, it’s bound to happen again if you aren’t careful.
How Long Does it Take to Heal?
The healing process can take six weeks up to twelve weeks. You would feel discomfort after a short while, and then you would feel a lowering threshold of discomfort as time goes on. Since the titanium fixture is being affixed to your jaw, it’s a big deal. It’s a foreign object that your body is trying to accept as an extension of you, so the process can be a bit unpleasant.
How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
It varies on the specific case. You have to remember that the cost is not directly associated with the cost for a crown after the implant has some time to heal. The cost could be relatively low for one single implant, and scales upward per additional implant. In some cases, if you are receiving more than one at a time, your periodontist can work out discounted prices for each additional implant.
Can Multiple Implants Be Installed on the Same Day?
It depends on your case, and if there is an associated infection with the site. For implant surgery, you will most definitely be put under general anesthesia. If you’re going in for multiples, the total procedure can take up to a year in order to allow multiple sites to stop swelling, and to become ready for additional implants to be placed.
Why Do You Need a Periodontist Over a General Dentist?
When you’re getting dental implants put in, you’re almost always referred to a periodontist. A gene4ral dentist is there to ensure the health of your teeth, while a periodontist is there to ensure the logistics of your teeth. Is your bite aligned, are your teeth being worn down, do you have gum disease—these are all questions that a general dentist cannot answer, and hence, they refer you to a periodontist.
Periodontists also have all of the training that general dentists do, but they continued their education experience. While they understand all of the components that make up perfect dental hygiene, they focus on the areas around your teeth. For this, they are a better match to properly place dental implants in your mouth. They understand how the logistics are going to play out with every little detail that general dentists alone aren’t trained for.
Your Periodontist Will Tell You If You Should Get Implants or Not
Periodontists take close attention in your potential periodontal disease, (more commonly referred to as gum disease). If your gums aren’t healthy enough to foster the new implants, then they will not recommend that you get them. When you go to a general dentist, even if they have prior knowledge and suggest dental implants, they could possibly be wasting your time and money by sending you along to a specialist without knowing.
You can skip all that mess and save time by going straight to your periodontist to discuss your options for dental implants. In most cases, your gums will not be healthy enough right away to get dental implants, since most Americans suffer from gum disease. However, with due diligence and the care provided by your periodontist, you can both ascend your oral health to a level where you will be able to receive dental implants.
Your Next Periodontal Visit
When you want to ensure complete accuracy and attention to detail, there’s one single periodontist for you. Call Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (972) 462-9800 to schedule your consultation and discover what dental implants can do for you.
Before you explore the world of dentistry, you may be puzzled to learn that there are vastly different branches. There’s a general dentistry knowledge about every specialist, but much like seeking out doctors for specific parts of your body, different dental specialists look at different aspects of your oral healthcare. As the gateway to our bodies, dental care is one of the most overlooked and important parts of our overall health. A periodontist could be exactly what you’re looking for, and for many reasons.
Periodontics: Major Schooling
General dentists go through a basic level of schooling. However, periodontists have to go through that, and more schooling and certification programs to grab the title. Periodontists focus on the analytical aspects of oral healthcare, and it’s for that reason that they need to know everything there is to know about general dentistry, and more. Periodontics are the outline to how your oral healthcare is, like the frame to a picture.
Why See a Periodontist?
There are a few major reasons that you may be referred to a periodontist instead of your general dentist. You may be confused. “Why are they sending me to another dentist? I already see them, can’t they help me?” Going into the intricate details of periodontics isn’t for everyone. A general dentist often seeks out assistance from specialists. Think of a periodontist as someone who’s preserving your perfect smile, while your general dentist is responsible for maintaining it.
If you’re going to see a periodontist, there can be several reasons:
What Else Does a Periodontist Perform?
A periodontist may perform certain extents of oral surgery. For example, if you lose a tooth and have it extracted, you can see major misalignment coming your way if it’s not taken care of properly. While many people don’t get a bridge between two teeth, they can get a revolutionary piece of dental tech called dental implants. Your periodontist does as you would image—they implant them in your gums to connect to your jawbone, as your other teeth do, and keep that space properly occupied.
This can help you in more ways than one. When your teeth are all in place, whether they are implants or not, you won’t see your smile misalign. This can avoid all the problems we covered earlier. Even if you perfectly brush three times a day, floss, use mouthwash, and you’ve never missed a dental appointment, you can still get a cavity from time to time. Then, you can lose that tooth. From there, your smile can misalign and wear down, and cause a lot more problems.
When your smile is misaligned, it can also lead to lisps and a sore jaw. Your periodontist is ensuring that your mouth is perfectly straight, and that issues with everything surrounding your teeth are all in check. To put it lightly, a periodontist is a tactician of how to perceive your oral healthcare.
Americans Don’t See Periodontists as Often as They Should
It’s estimated that half of all Americans over the age of thirty have gum disease in one form or another. That number is estimated because they don’t’ see periodontists as often as they should. Gum disease can lead to a lot more problems than just having pink in the sink, or other immediately impactful things. You can experience slow degeneration of your gums, as well as other parts of your body. Your oral healthcare affects a great deal of your body.
Improperly managed oral healthcare has been linked to dementia, cardiovascular issues, and respiratory problems. While science is still figuring out all of the connections, the numbers are staggering, and the evidence of improper oral healthcare affecting the rest of your body is stacking up. Think of your periodontist as your oral healthcare manager. You just need a performance review every few months.
The key to avoiding a lot of health issues comes with protecting your oral health. It’s not just about your teeth; your gums, your tongue, and the walls of your cheeks. Glands in your mouth absorb everything, so when you’re looking to have the best possible oral health, you need to look at a few things that will help you.
Avoid The Issues With a Periodontist
You can avoid every issue listed here by visiting your periodontist. If those issues persist regardless, your periodontist will be more than equipped to help you and handle your needs, bringing you back to a perfect smile and the best oral healthcare you’ve ever had. Contact Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (972) 462-9800 to get a handle on your oral healthcare with the most trusted professionals in the dentist. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t see a periodontist sooner.
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.