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Bone Grafting in Westchester NY

Dr. Brisman, a Chappaqua Dentist, talking with a patient about the dental procedures we offer

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Whenever you chew, ligaments attached to your teeth stimulate your jawbone, which keeps the bone strong and healthy. If you lose those ligaments, your jawbone loses the stimulation, which causes the bone to deteriorate. You suffer from trouble chewing, jaw pain and facial deformities that get worse as the bone continues to absorb.

Bone grafting reverses this process and prepares your jaw for restorative procedures that replace missing teeth. If you commit yourself to good oral hygiene, you’ll enjoy a firm, healthy jaw that supports your teeth, enables you to talk and chew easily, and provides a base for dental fixtures.

What is Bone Grafting?

Bone grafting is the process of taking bone from another source and inserting it in the gap where the bone has dissolved. After the procedure, the existing bone integrates with the new bone to reverse the damage from jawbone deterioration. The procedure takes place in a safe, sterilized environment with professionals who perform bone grafts on a regular basis.

What Causes Bone Loss?

If you lose a tooth and don’t get a replacement fixture, the jawbone starts to degrade. Tooth loss can happen from infections, tooth decay and gum disease that lead to tooth extraction. Sudden trauma, like a kick to the face, can also knock your teeth loose. For this reason, it’s important to call the office shortly after you lose a tooth so you don’t expose yourself to complications.

In rare cases, bone grafts replace bone that was lost or didn’t exist to begin with due to facial deformities. Bone grafts also replace parts of the jawbone that the patient lost in surgery. If a patient has misaligned teeth, some teeth get less use than others, leading to bone deterioration.

Who Needs a Bone Graft?

Candidates for bone grafts experience mouth and facial issues that reduce their quality of life. You may need a bone graft if you have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Wrinkles and sunken cheeks near the area with bone loss
  • Headaches, jaw aches and facial pains
  • Tooth shifting and crowding
  • Pain while chewing
  • Difficulty talking

These symptoms are associated with dozens of conditions, so schedule an appointment with Chappaqua Dentistry to rule out other causes. We might suggest an alternative treatment.

Bone grafts typically come before another restorative procedure, like dental implants. The bone graft makes the jawbone healthy and sturdy so the procedure can take place. After giving your mouth time to heal, the dentist moves on to the main procedure.

What Are the Types of Bone Grafts?

Dentists take bone from three main sources. Depending on your comfort level, you could use bone taken from your body or accept bone from another source. Here’s a look at the three types of bone grafts:

  • Autograft. This graft uses bone taken from another part of your body. While some prefer this graft because they know where the bone came from, an autograft requires another procedure with its own risks and drawbacks.
  • Allograft. This graft is more popular because it doesn’t involve an extra procedure. Instead, the dentist sources the bone from a cadaver. The bone is 100% clean, safe and sterilized, but some might feel uncomfortable with the source.
  • Xenograft. This graft uses a different outside source–animal bone. While this graft has a lower success rate, the animal bone is usually compatible with human bone. This option also allows dentists to source large amounts of bone that they can’t take from their patient. However, unlike allografts and autografts, xenografts don’t stimulate bone growth.

What Happens During a Bone Graft?

Before the procedure, you’ll choose a source for the bone. You’ll undergo a separate procedure if you choose an autograft. During the main surgery, the dentist numbs the area, then makes a small incision and inserts the bone graft underneath the tissue. The dentist stitches the incision to finalize the procedure.

Afterward, your dentist gives you aftercare instructions so you can resume your routine without damaging the grafts. Over time, the grafts heal and integrate with your existing bone tissue. Grafts can take several months to completely heal, so we schedule follow-up procedures months in advance.

Are Bone Grafts Worth the Investment?

Some are hesitant to invest in bone grafts because they don’t want to spend the money or the procedure sounds intimidating. While bone grafts require an up-front cost and a little discomfort, they improve your quality of life and restore your confidence, making it easy to talk, eat and smile in public again.

Combined with restorative surgery, a bone graft reverses signs of jawbone loss, like sunken cheeks and facial deformities. You’ll also experience fewer headaches, reduced jaw pain and a straighter bite. Bone grafts eliminate teeth crowding and shifting that cause discomfort and increase the risk of complications. You’ll spend money today, but you’ll save money in the long run by preventing serious issues before they start.

If you’re worried about the cost, we’ll discuss your insurance coverage and factors that influence the cost, like the size of the graft that you need. For people with medical anxiety, Chappaqua Dentistry offers a clean, secure facility that’s almost as comfortable as your own bedroom. Ask questions and tell us about your situation during your consultation.

Schedule Your Appointment

Request an appointment with Chappaqua Dentistry today to schedule your consultation. If you’re suffering from jaw pain, trouble chewing, tooth decay, headaches, tooth misalignment or another issue, we’ll evaluate your symptoms and rule out potential issues. Once we’ve isolated the problem, we’ll figure out how to restore your teeth’s natural appearance and function.

In addition to bone grafts, other restorative dentistry treatments include bridges, implants, crowns, fillings and root canals. We provide regular cleanings, sealants and exams to prevent issues before they begin. Additional services include veneers, teeth whitening, dentures and full mouth reconstruction.

Reach out today to learn more about Chappaqua Dentistry. After you schedule your first appointment, print out the online forms and bring them to your appointment to save time. Contact us any time if you have questions about your upcoming consultation.