Naples Dentist uses bone grafts to preserve dental health after oral dental surgery

Surgical tooth extraction is one of the oral surgery procedures performed by Engle Dentistry. Surgical extraction is required when a tooth cannot be easily pulled, has broken below the gum line, or it is partially impacted. Often this procedure is performed as emergency surgery when a patient has acute pain or the result of trauma or an accident.

For the patient, the urgent concern is to alleviate their discomfort and inflammation. What they may not consider at that time is how best to preserve the integrity of their gums and bone structure and maintain their facial appearance. Bone grafting gives patients options for future restorative work.

At Engle Dentistry in Naples, Florida, Dr. Brad Engle suggests to patients to incorporate a bone graft as part of the tooth extraction. This two-part process (extraction/ bone graft) helps give patients the best possible outcome. During a routine tooth extraction, the dentist will create an incision into the gum line to access the affected tooth and may need to scrape away bone tissue using a dental drill to have full access to the tooth if it is impacted. Depending on the complexity of the case, the tooth may be broken into several smaller pieces to make the removal easier.

What remains is an empty tooth socket that can allow the bone to begin to shrink (atophy) immediately after surgery or could lead to a condition known as “dry socket” if the blood clot on the bone is disturbed. If several teeth and a substantial amount of bone were removed, the jawbone will eventually recede and cause an overall sagging, aged appearance to the face.

Bone grafting allows bone to be re-grown/ preserved in the surgical area and can provide a base for future reconstructive dentistry such as adding a dental implant or bridge. It also retains bone structure so the jaw functions properly and appears more normal.

Bone used for grafting is harvested from the patient’s jaw or hip or obtained from a tissue bank. If the affected area is in the upper posterior jaw region, the dentist may need to ultimately perform a sinus bone graft prior to the placement of a dental implant. Although it sounds invasive, bone grafting is a relatively simple procedure with dramatic positive results.

Bone grafting typically takes place under local anesthetic. The dentist packs the bone tissue into the hollow tooth cavity. This provides for a scaffold that allows the body to rebuild/ preserve bone. Over the next several months, the area could be ready for dental implants or a dental bridge.

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