What Is Bone Grafting and How Can it Help?

Of all the dental procedures patients can face, bone grafting usually inspires the most questions – most likely because the fusion of these two words inspires questions and fears.

Patients of Dr. Jeffrey Sevor know that he welcomes questions because the answers are the best way to calm fears. The second best way: knowing that you’re in the expert hands of central Florida’s foremost dentist. Dr. Sevor is an accomplished periodontal specialist who has performed many dental procedures with the same skill that he answers patients’ questions about bone grafting. Among the most common questions:

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What exactly is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a process that rebuilds bone in the jaw where it has been lost. It is a minor surgical procedure that has many benefits.

Why would someone consider bone grafting?

The procedure is beneficial for someone who:

  • Has been missing teeth for an extended period of time, leading the jaw bone to deteriorate
  • Has experienced a traumatic injury
  • Has undergone oral surgery, such as tumor removal, which caused bone loss
  • Was born with congenital defects that created a deficiency of bone tissue

How can bone grafting help me?

Bone grafting is a great way to strengthen the jaw bone for procedures such as dental implants. Bone grafting also promotes the health and growth of a patient’s natural bone structure, and it ensures that a patient’s jaw and bite are properly aligned, leading to greater physical comfort. A more intrinsic but still important benefit: Patients who undergo bone grafting feel greater confidence about their health, teeth, and appearance.

What does the procedure involve?

Dr. Sevor applies a local anesthetic to the area (or areas) where bone has been lost. Then he makes an incision in the gum tissue, cleans the area and fuses the grafting material to the jaw. He then stitches the gum tissue together.

Does bone grafting hurt?

The local anesthetic dulls the area sufficiently so that any pain is mitigated, though a patient is fully aware of what is taking place during the procedure. Afterward, a patient may feel some soreness. But this can be managed with ice packs and, if necessary, a pain reliever or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.

What if the grafting material cannot come from my body?

Many options are available, including laboratory-produced bone from a human donor or even an animal donor. Most often, this is a cow. Sometimes, synthetic materials are used, too.

Is bone grafting safe?

Bone grafting is a very safe procedure – no matter what the source of the graft. Under ideal circumstances, the graft comes from the patient’s body, though the disadvantage is that it requires a second surgical procedure to obtain the bone. Meanwhile, substitute bone grafts undergo rigorous safety screenings and so pose very little risk of infection. You may be heartened to know that in both cases, the graft is eventually replaced by a patient’s own bone material.

Is it possible that my body would reject the substitute graft?

No, this is not possible because the graft contains only minerals and no living material. As Dr. Sevor monitors a patient’s progress after a bone graft, he carefully assesses how much bone a patient’s body produces in response to the graft. This is often an enjoyable part of the process for patients since they can see actual progress taking place.

How long does it take to recover from bone grafting?

Most patients recover fully after a day or two of soreness or sensitivity. Ice packs can help, as can a pain reliever.

Dr. Sevor cares about answering all his patients’ questions, though he is always better equipped to address them after a consultation. Every patient is different, and you deserve a personalized, in-depth assessment that Dr. Sevor has made his specialty.