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Bone Grafts (Periodontal Regenerative Surgery)

space placeholder.space placeholder
space placeholder.What Is It?.
space placeholder.What It's Used For.
space placeholder.Preparation.
space placeholder.How It's Done.
space placeholder.Follow-Up.
space placeholder.Risks.
space placeholder.When To Call a Professional.
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space placeholder.What Is It?
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A bone graft is used to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues lost due to gum disease. It's also called regenerative surgery.

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space placeholder.What It's Used For
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Regenerative surgery is a treatment for the gum disease called periodontitis. People with periodontitis lose gum coverage and bone support around their teeth. Regenerative surgery regrows these lost tissues.

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space placeholder.Preparation
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Before your surgery, you need to have basic periodontal treatment called scaling and root planing. You also must be taking good care of your teeth. You should brush twice a day and floss daily.

A local anesthetic is used to numb the area for surgery.

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space placeholder.How It's Done
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The goal of this surgery is to coax the body into rebuilding the bone and other structures that attach a tooth to the jaw. It is done by a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating gum disease.

First, the periodontist will separate the gums from your teeth to gain access to the roots and bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned. The holes (defects) in the bone will be filled in with a graft material. Then they will be covered with a physical barrier.

Bone grafting materials commonly used include bits of:

  • Your own bone
  • Cadaver bone
  • Cow bone
  • Synthetic glasses

Your own bone is best.

Barriers are used to cover the grafting material in the early stages of healing. They also prevent the gums from growing into the bony defect. Barriers are made from human skin, cow skin or synthetic materials.

After the graft is in place, the gums will be put back over the treated site and stitched into place. The site also may be covered with a bandage known as a periodontal pack or dressing.

During the next six to nine months, your body fills in the area with new bone and soft tissue. In effect, this reattaches the tooth to your jaw.

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space placeholder.Follow-Up
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You most likely will get a prescription for pain medicine to be used after surgery. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions on when and how often to take all medicines that are prescribed for you.

It is very important for you to keep your mouth as clean as possible while you heal. This means you should brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. If you don't have a periodontal pack over the surgical site, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove plaque from the teeth.

Mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine are commonly prescribed after periodontal surgery. These rinses do not remove plaque from the teeth. However, they slow down the growth of plaque by killing the bacteria and helping your mouth heal.

You may also have some swelling after surgery. You can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack to the outside of your face in the treated area. Antibiotics usually are prescribed to prevent an infection. Be sure to take them as instructed. Your periodontist will want to examine you in 7 to 10 days.

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space placeholder.Risks
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After your surgery, you may have some bleeding and swelling. There is a risk that an infection may develop.

Your gums in the area that was treated are more likely to recede over time. The teeth that were treated may become more sensitive to heat and cold. They may develop cavities in the roots.

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space placeholder.When To Call a Professional
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Your periodontist will monitor you closely after surgery. He or she will examine you often during the next few months. Call your periodontist if you have bleeding that does not stop. In addition, call if the surgical area becomes swollen and the pain gets worse one week after the surgery. It may be a sign of developing infection that must be treated promptly.

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