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Tooth Extractions: How Bone Grafting Works

Sometimes despite our best efforts, dentists are unable to save a tooth, and the only solution is to extract it before it causes damage to the rest of the surrounding bone. Thanks to bone grafting, we can successfully extract your tooth and promote bone growth in the socket. This gives you the option to get a tooth replacement should you choose to get a dental implant later on. Chester Family Dentistry, located in Warren, Ohio, is here to provide you with all the information you need to know about bone grafting before coming in for your appointment. 

About bone grafting

Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure we perform after removing a tooth that has started to decay. It is necessary when you don’t have enough healthy bone in the socket to support a dental implant. Sometimes the procedure is necessary to protect the health of your mouth. 

There are a number of reasons you may not have enough bone in the surrounding area. The most common are: 

Prevent bone loss

After losing a tooth, you continue to lose bone density until you replace the tooth. Bone grafting can buy you more time before you get an implant. 

The bone we save with bone grafting is called the Alveolar bone. Its main purpose is to support and hold your teeth in place. When your tooth is removed, the Alveolar bone will begin to atrophy, since it is no longer working to support your tooth. Alveolar loss can also lead to jawbone loss every time you chew. 

What happens during bone-grafting?

The most common kind of bone-graft is called the socket graft. An incision is made in your gums to gain access to the Alveolar bone. We use local anesthesia to reduce any pain, as well as sedatives if needed. 

During this procedure, we place grafting material consisting of bone fragments from a donor, on the socket itself. The grafting material is usually obtained from human donors, although animal bone or synthetic material can also be used. Graft material goes through an extensive sterilization process before the procedure. It comes in the form of powder, granules, putty, or a gel that is injected with a syringe. 

The graft material stimulates bone growth in the socket. This will create a base to keep the socket sturdy and provide a place for a dental implant once the area is healed. This process takes about four to six months, perhaps longer. 

Healing and applying dental implants

Since we create a small incision at the beginning of the procedure, you may experience soreness in the area for a few days. You can take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine or pain relievers, as well as ice therapy to numb the pain. We also give you antibiotics to prevent infection.

Once the graft is completely healed you’ll be ready for a dental implant. Healing time can vary significantly among patients. It’s important we continue to check the healing process during regularly scheduled checkups. You can choose to wait as long as you want before getting an implant. For most people, the bone graft is only the first step to getting a brand new tooth. 

It’s important to keep in mind, not everyone needs a bone graft after removing a tooth. We recommend you schedule a consultation with us to find out if this procedure is right for you. Please contact Chester Family Dentistry by phone or online

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