Bone Grafting for Dental Implants: Then and Now

These days, bone grafting is seen as an important procedure in dentistry. It is also known however, that as recently as the 1980s, missing teeth were replaced with removable dentures that helped patients eat and speak but looked fake. Since then, thanks to dental implants and bone grafting procedures in North York dental clinics, developments have meant that even people with weak jawbones can receive realistic-looking replacements.

Why Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

To receive a dental implant, your jawbone needs to be strong enough to hold a titanium post in place. The presence of a working tooth keeps your jawbone strong, but a lost tooth leads to atrophy over time. The more teeth you are missing, the more severe is the jawbone atrophy.

Jawbone Restoration in the Past

In the past, complicated procedures were necessary to restore a jawbone. This could even involve replanting a patient’s rib. Often, such action was necessary to both restore the function of the jawbone and prevent fractures. However, even in these cases, it was impossible to repair the jawbone sufficiently for implants.

Bone Grafting Today

Whenever possible, dentists take action to prevent the need for bone grafting entirely, such as by providing patients with an implant soon after extracting a tooth. In cases where bone grafting is necessary, it tends to be minimal and the procedure takes place at the dental clinic.

Better still, dentists no longer need to take large quantities of the patient’s own bone. Most bone grafts are using bovine (cow) bone. This requires just the sterilized mineral content — the organic material is removed prior to the graft. The bovine bone stops surrounding tissues in the jawbone from collapsing. The graft is combined with guided tissue regeneration, which leads the jawbone to resorb the bovine bone and replace it with native bone.

Dry Socket Information and How to Handle This Dental Emergency

Dry socket can occur after a tooth extraction due to a complication that stops a blood clot from forming at the extraction site. Although it is one of the most painful types of dental emergencies, it is luckily easy to treat with a dental emergency North York service.

Symptoms of Dry Socket

Discomfort caused by dry socket can range from a throbbing ache to a sharp pain. It is provoked by eating or other contact with the extraction site. This usually occurs around three days after a tooth extraction and only ceases with treatment. Although it is more common in the lower jaw, it can also occur in the upper jaw.

Emergency Treatment for Dry Socket

As soon as you experience any indication that you are suffering from dry socket, contact the dentist who performed your tooth extraction. If the pain starts when the clinic is closed, you may need to contact an emergency dentist in North York instead.

The dentist will clean the extraction site and may apply a dressing with a paste that promotes healing and eases pain. Usually, symptoms disappear entirely within 24 hours of this treatment. If you continue experiencing pain, you will need to return to the dentist daily for a fresh dressing. Your dentist may also prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

You can prevent this dental emergency by following the dentist’s instructions for post-surgery oral care. This will include refraining from smoking for at least 72 hours and using antibacterial mouthwash. You should also talk to your dentist about any medication you are currently taking, particularly oral contraceptives, as these have been linked to an increased risk of dry socket.

It is important to continue maintaining good oral care paired with compliance to post-operative instructions in order to avoid getting this painful dental emergency.