We tend to think of our bones as pretty well fixed. When it comes to periodontal disease, bones are just as susceptible to damage as is gum tissue. If left untreated, periodontal disease eats away at your jawbone. The result is tooth loss, more disease, and pain. The good news is that in most cases bone loss can be stopped. Your periodontist has viable options and will suggest one or the other based on your particular case.
Treatments to Regenerate Bone Loss
- Natural Bone Regrowth (without a bone graph)
- Using Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR), a small piece of mesh-like material is inserted between the gum tissue and bone. This stops the gum from growing into bone space, giving the bone and connective tissue a chance to regrow. The dentist may also use special proteins or growth factors to support regrowth.
- Bone Grafting
- Bone graphing is a surgical procedure that uses transplanted bone material from other parts of your body or synthetically produced grafting materials to repair and rebuild diseased or damaged bones.
Is Bone Grafting Painful?
Anytime you have to sit for an extended period while your dentist probes around in your mouth there is a degree of discomfort. As far as bone grafting, the discomfort will be mild and easily regulated with medication.
How Long Does Bone Grafting Take?
The most frustrating part of grafting is the time it takes to “take.” Like any foreign addition to your natural body structure, acceptance of new material takes time. A dental bone graft can take from six months to a year to “set.” Your periodontist will wait until the graft is secure before any further work, such as the insertion of implants, can be done.
Bone Grafting – Pros and Cons
- Bone loss can start to affect nearby teeth and gum tissue. Stabilizing the jaw with a bone graft helps prevent further bone loss and other long-term health complications. While grafting may be necessary if you’re considering implants, it is also desirable from a cosmetic point of view. Bone grafting can improve the size, shape, and general appearance of your smile.
- On the other hand, as with any surgery, there are risks involved. Infections related to bone grafting, though rare, do occur. Antibiotics quell the infection.
The best advice is not to let a periodontal disease get the upper hand; however, if it does, you need an expert periodontist to assess bone loss and what to do about it. If you don’t address gum disease and subsequent bone loss, you may be risking further tooth loss. Some studies even suggest that disease and bone loss may be related to heart problems.
Periodontal disease and bone loss are serious concerns. If you live in the Paoli, PA area and need a consultation call us now at (610) 550-3333. Think Oral Implants and Periodontics offices are located at 250 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 215, Paoli, PA 19301.