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Severe fractures, multiple tooth extractions, advanced tooth decay, and chronic gum disease can reduce the available bone structure in certain parts of your jaw. This can lead to a wide variety of issues. It could also cause a partial or denture to fit poorly, or make it difficult to anchor a dental implant.

In a situation like this Dr. Rafla might recommend a bone graft procedure. The simple graft can help to restore the lost structure and make other treatment options available to you, such as dental implants for example.

The process starts with a thorough examination of your mouth to assess the available bone structure. This often involves taking series of X-rays or performing a CT scan. Be sure to let them know about any medical conditions or medications you are taking.

A bone graft procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and sedation can be an option. This means if you chose such an option, you will need to have a friend or family member to drive you and help at home.

The bone material used for the graft can be taken from a different part of your mouth or from a bone bank. The surgeon will then create an incision in your gums to expose the jawbone. The new material is set into place and the gums are sutured closed. Over time your body will naturally fuse the graft into your existing bone structure.

Recovery time will vary depending on your age, overall health, and quality of aftercare. If you use tobacco it will irritate the gum tissues, which increases recovery time and risk of infection. So it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about a cessation program to eliminate tobacco use and increase your oral health.

If you have questions about a bone graft procedure, please feel free to call us at 508.499.3566 to schedule an appointment.