Bone Grafting: Reasons, Procedure & Recovery

Bone Grafting: Reasons, Procedure & Recovery

Bone Grafting: Reasons, Procedure & Recovery

Bone grafting is a procedure where your body is stimulated to produce bone in a certain area. It sounds daunting, but dental bone grafting is an outpatient procedure. It helps the bone in your jaw become strong enough to support a dental implant or another prosthesis or replaces the bone that was lost through gum disease.

Other Reasons for Bone Grafts

Doctors may give a patient a bone graft if they have a bone anywhere in their body that’s been broken so badly that it can’t heal on its own. Doctors may also recommend a bone graft for a fracture that hasn’t healed properly or if the bone is diseased. Some people have a bone graft if they undergo spinal surgery or to support a prosthetic such as a knee or hip replacement.

Bone Grafting Procedure

The procedure depends on where the bone graft is needed. During a bone graft for a dental procedure, the bone material is either harvested from you to remove the risk of rejection or it is taken from a cadaver or an animal and purified. Some dentists use material made of calcium and other minerals. This is called an alloplastic. Nowadays, most dental bone graft material doesn’t come from you. The material comes in the form of powder, gel, putty, or another material that is easy to inject through a needle.

Most patients only need local anesthesia for a dental bone graft, though if you’re are sensitive or nervous about the operation, you can choose IV sedation. During the procedure, the dentist opens the gum, removes debris, cleans the area then inserts the graft material. They add mesh filters or proteins that further stimulate the production of bone and other tissue. Sometimes the dentist places a mesh between your gum and your jawbone to keep the gum from growing where it shouldn’t.

If the graft is used for spinal surgery or to repair a fracture, the patient is treated in the operating room under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes incisions in the area that’s to be treated and in the pace where the bone is to be harvested. Bone grafts usually come from the pelvic bone, a leg bone or one of the ribs. The surgeon takes away a small bit of bone from one of these areas.

During this surgery, the graft serves as a bridge between two bones that need to fuse. It is secured with screws, cages, plates or rods. Then, both incisions are closed.


As with surgery, the recovery period for a dental graft and another kind of graft varies. Some patients who get bone grafts stay in the hospital for a night or two while others go home soon after the surgery. A person who has had a graft to help a broken bone heal may need to keep the area immobile for a long time. The doctor prescribes painkillers and anticoagulants to keep the blood from clotting. Some patients may need drains to take away excess fluid from the surgical site, and they’ll need to return to their doctor to remove sutures or staples and make sure that they are healing properly.

With a dental bone graft, you can go home the same day. The dentist prescribes pain medicine, but the pain goes away after a few days. You may also need to have a soft diet for a few days. As with a larger bone graft, it will take some time for your body to replace the bone that was lost. In the case of a dental graft, the replacement can take weeks or months. You’ll need to visit your dentist regularly to make sure that the surgery is healing well and that the bone in your jaw is being replaced. The dentist does this by taking X-rays of your mouth.

At some point, the dentists will decide that there’s enough bone in your jaw for dental implants or dentures.

If you live in Phoenix or Gilbert area and are wondering if you need a bone graft for a dental procedure, don’t hesitate to call Dental Specialty Associates for a consultation. Our Gilbert number is 480 633-9977 and our Phoenix number is 602 795-5995.

Jaw Surgery: Procedures, Preparation & Benefits

Jaw Surgery: Procedures, Preparation & Benefits

The jaw is a pair of bones that create the framework behind the mouth of animals and humans, which usually comprises of the teeth, a movable lower jaw (known as the mandible) and a fixed upper jaw (known as the maxilla). The jaw functions by moving in opposite directions in order to help organisms bite, chew and handle food. Sometimes, however, the jaw may come across irregularities that can only be fixated through surgical interventions.

What Is the Purpose of Surgery?

Jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, corrects some of these irregularities so that the bones of the jaw and the teeth will improve the way they will work. Corrections can also have a cosmetic effect by improving one’s facial appearance.

In terms of what it is used for, there are a variety of reasons. Primarily, surgery will make biting and chewing an easier experience. For those who may have trouble speaking or swallowing, surgery can help with these issues as well. Other reasons that one may want to consider surgery are to repair congenital defects, provide relief for sleep apnea, improve the ability for the lips to close and to correct facial asymmetry. As you can see, the reasons range from improving activities of daily living to the cosmetic effects.

What Are The Different Kinds of Procedures?

There are a few different kinds of surgery because it depends on which part of the jaw requires correction.

If you are fixing the upper jaw, then you will be getting a maxillary osteotomy. This kind of surgery corrects an upper jaw that recedes, cross bites or if there are too many teeth showing. It can also help an open bite.

If you need to correct the lower jaw, you will be getting a mandibular osteotomy. This will fix a receded lower jaw, and the surgeon will move the jawbone backward or forwards, depending on what the best bite alignment or adjustment is determined to be.

Surgery of the chin is known as a genioplasty. This typically accompanies a receded lower jaw. In this kind of surgery, surgeons are capable of altering the jaw and restructure the chin during surgery.

Once the jaw is aligned to the surgeon’s liking, plates and screws will hold the bone into proper position. In medical terms, they are osseo integrated and are formulated in a way where it is compatible with your body. Over time, they will gradually integrate with your bone and will not have to be taken out. If there is an insufficient amount of bone material in your jaw, surgeons can add that as well by grafting reserves from your hip, rib or leg.

Jaw Surgery Preparation

In order to prepare for jaw surgery, an orthodontist typically places braces on your teeth prior to surgery. Braces are typically left in the mouth for about 12-18 months prior to surgery so that your teeth can be properly aligned for surgery. The orthodontist and your surgeon will work in conjunction to develop a comprehensive treatment plan which will involve CT scans, X-rays and potential crowns that will be needed to complete the correction.

Prior to the procedure, surgery under anesthesia is done in the hospital and requires around a 2-4 day stay. During the procedure, the surgeon typically makes cuts in the jaw bones and moves them into the proper position. Once jaw movement is completed, tiny plates, screws, and wires could be used to secure the bones to secure them in a new position.

Post-procedure, your doctor will provide you instructions in terms of what activities you may need to refrain from. This treatment plan will involve what your diet should be, proper oral hygiene, tobacco and strenuous activity avoidance and medications to take in order to control pain. Complete healing from surgery can take up to 12 weeks, but relief has shown to be found in about as little as six.

Benefits of Jaw Surgery

The benefits from proper jaw alignment include balanced face appearance, health benefits in the form of improved sleep, breathing and eating, and improvement in speech. Secondary benefits may include improvement of appearance and self-esteem. The psychological benefits tend to be some that are often overlooked during surgery.

As you can see, surgery of the jaw is a comprehensive procedure with many steps involved and lifestyle changes that must be implemented afterwards. While the initial process might be frustrating to some, the positive effects have the capacity to last a lifetime. Consider surgery at Dental Specialty Associates if you had some of the listed precipitating issues.

Sinus Lift: Benefits, Cost, Risks & Recovery

Sinus Lift: Benefits, Cost, Risks & Recovery

As dental technology evolves, better dental care becomes more accessible and affordable. Treatments that seemed reserved for the wealthy 20 years ago are now more common. Dental sinus lifts are an example of a more accessible type of treatment.

More and more people are needing a sinus lift, so it’s good to have information available about what to expect.

Who Would Benefit?

A sinus lift is a procedure where the surgeon increases the amount of bone in the upper jaw. If you need dental implants but lack support in the jawbone, you may need this lift. The sinus must be moved to make space for the graft. Usually, it takes six months for this graft to settle before moving on to implants.

Trying to get implants without enough bone support makes the replacements more likely to fail. They can also perforate the sinus membrane.

How Is It Done?

Several kinds of materials are available to act as bone matter. The best material is a patient’s own bones. Otherwise, donor material will work. The technicians must prepare the material before surgery day. If you’re using your own bone matter, it’s usually taken from the tibia or hip ahead of time.

As for the actual procedure, the dentist makes an incision in the gums, then exposes the jawbone. This allows them to cut into the hole, gently nudging the sinus upwards. From there, they’ll pack the bone graft material and stitch the gums shut.

For this procedure, you can have local or general anesthesia, or either nitrous oxide sedation or IV sedation. Either way, the procedure lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours.

How Much Does it Cost?

On average, a sinus lift costs between $1,500 to $2,500 per side, meaning you may pay up to $5,000 if you need to lift both sides. Because it’s a dental procedure, standard health insurance likely will not cover it.

If you need to take antibiotics before surgery, the surgeon will prescribe them. During recovery, you may need prescription-strength pain medication and an antihistamine. These are all costs that aren’t included with the original quote.

Finally, after several months to one year, you should have no problem getting your dental implants. These will cost up to $3,000 each.

What Are The Risks?

The biggest risk associated with a sinus dental lift is that membrane could tear. If this happens during the surgery, you’ll either need a patch placed over it or to have the tear stitched. If this doesn’t work, the surgeon might need to wait until the hole has time to heal before resuming.

After the membrane heals, the surgeon can attempt the lift once again. It takes a few months for a torn sinus membrane to heal. Fortunately, it will likely grow back thicker and stronger, increasing the odds of success. Of course, there are other factors involved.

Any surgical procedure carries the risk of infection but is rarely happens with lifts.

Rarely, the bone won’t integrate with the graft material, never allowing the area to gain a blood supply. If this happens, there won’t be any live bone to support any implants, causing them to fail if installed. If your implants fail, you can repeat the dental lift procedure.

Sinus Lift Recovery

Following the procedure, the dentist will likely have you bite down on a gauze pad. This gently applies enough pressure to stop the bleeding.

Change the gauze pad once an hour. Expect the gauze to become red, but seek help if the area won’t slow bleeding. Ice packs can help reduce the swelling.

Remember that you need the blood clot to form and remain to keep the bleeding at bay. That means you don’t want to smoke, rinse your mouth excessively, or blow your nose for one week.

It seems like most people who need extensive dental work treatment end up making appointments all over town. This can’t be easy on your schedule, not to mention confusing and somewhat intimidating. Each office has its own system, staff members, and reputation.

No more. Now everything you need is available under just one roof in Phoenix. Our team at Dental Specialty Associates is on standby, ready to take your call! We’re ready to answer your questions or schedule a consultation for your dental needs.

Ridge Augmentation: Causes, Procedure & Recovery

Ridge Augmentation: Causes, Procedure & Recovery

If you are considering getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth or teeth, a ridge augmentation or otherwise known as ridge preservation may be required first. Having a ridge preservation procedure in order to get a dental implant can be a life-changing decision. Making your smile whole again (or for the first time) can improve several aspects of your life.

Before the introduction of ridge preservation, you would not be able to get a dental implant because the jawbone would be too compromised to be able to support it. Thanks to modern-day dental technology, ridge preservation has made it possible to rebuild that bone enough to be able to make dental implants a viable option.

What Is It?

Ridge preservation is a procedure that helps to reconstruct or preserve the natural shape of your jaw and gums. The shape and structure of the jaw may have been lost from certain oral conditions, trauma to the jaw or face, or from a tooth extraction. The base that the natural tooth roots are anchored into is a jawbone extension that is called your alveolar ridge.

With an unstable and deteriorated alveolar ridge, there is not enough bone for a dental implant to be secured into. Implants require the alveolar ridge to be an adequate height and width to successfully hold a dental implant in place without causing damage. Ridge preservation is a way to make the alveolar ridge whole and healthy again.

Who Needs A Ridge Augmentation?

When you lose a tooth, have a tooth extracted, or have a damaged tooth that you avoid placing pressure on, your body begins to reabsorb the bone material that lies underneath that tooth. This underlying bone deteriorates rather quickly, and around a fourth of the bone tissues that were present will be absorbed within a year from when the tooth was lost or pulled. You may need ridge preservation if you have waited too long after the extraction or tooth loss to get an implant done.

In other cases, the bone may already be thin around your tooth prior to losing it or having it extracted. Some individuals have a naturally weak outer wall of the alveolar ridge and may need ridge preservation for that reason. In addition, those who have suffered from alveolar bone loss due to gum disease, periodontal disease, jaw injury, or face injury may need ridge preservation to reconstitute the natural contours of the facial structure.

About The Procedure

The procedure to have ridge preservation is generally minimally invasive and painless. A local anesthetic is used to ensure that the areas that will be worked on are numb. A small incision is then made in your gum in order to gain access to the bone. Some sort of bone graft material is then attached to the exposed bone. Once that is finished, your gums are sutured to close up the tissue of your gum. There are special proteins and collagen that are infused into the bone material that will stimulate bone growth. Your new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material that is absorbed by the body.

Graft Material Options

The bone graft material can be made with a number of different methods. The bone can be a section of bone that comes from another part of your body. If this is the method used, local anesthesia and sedation will usually be used in order to obtain that piece of bone. Another option for bone graft material is bone of which has been harvested from a cadaver or another donor that is referred to as an allograft.

Another option utilized for bone graft material is called a xenograft which is bone taken from an animal, which would usually be a cow. The last type of bone graft material that can be used for ridge preservation is one that is synthetically produced bone graft that is made in a laboratory called alloplast. Any bone that has been harvested from an animal or another human is completely disinfected so that no bacteria or disease can be passed on to you upon the use of the bone graft.

About Recovery

Once the procedure is complete, you will get detailed instructions on how to care for the site until the new bone is regenerated. It can take the bone anywhere from a couple of weeks to nine months to grow and heal enough to be able to support the placement of dental implants. The amount of time this takes depends on the status of your existing bone and the extent of your bone graft. There are usually restrictions on eating certain foods during this time.

You may be provided with or recommended to use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce the risk of developing an infection at the incision site. You may also be given a round of antibiotics to take as a precaution. You may experience postoperative pain and will be given medication to help alleviate it for the first week. After seven days the pain should be reduced dramatically or gone.

If you are in the Gilbert AZ or Phoenix AZ areas, call Dental Specialty Associates for a consultation today

All Things Arthrocentesis

All Things Arthrocentesis

What Is Arthrocentesis?

There are many dental procedures that are less known and hard to pronounce – arthrocentesis being one of them. But as complicated as it might be to say – this minor procedure is actually pretty straightforward.

Arthrocentesis, which many call a joint tap is a procedure where a surgeon inserts a needle into the joint for a multitude of reasons. This needle can distribute medicine or extract unnecessary fluids. Most commonly, this procedure removes fluids from joints to relieve pressure, providing relief for ailments like TMJ.

How Does One Perform The Procedure?

This surgery, although minor, best performs under general anesthesia. It generally performs better in the oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s office or in an outpatient surgical center.

As this procedure is minimally invasive, it tends to be a fairly easy process at a low cost to the patient. However, this procedure doesn’t allow the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to see inside the joint, which doesn’t allow them to see any further problems that might be going on. Eventually this creates the need for further procedures if the problem persists.

Have questions about TMJ or Arthrocentesis? Give our experts a call at (480) 633-9977!

What Can Orthognathic Surgery Do For Me?

What Can Orthognathic Surgery Do For Me?

Many times, if there are issues with the alignment of your jaw, these problems can be fixed using braces. If that is not the case, as it is in many situations, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon might suggest corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery. But what is orthognathic surgery, and what problems does it fix? (more…)

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Our highly trained teams specialize in all areas of dental care treatments, from general dentistry to cosmetic and surgical procedures.
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Dental Specialty Associates of Gilbert

2730 S Val Vista Dr
BLDG 11, # 164
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 633-9977

Dental Specialty Associates of Phoenix

4216 N 44th St
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 795-5995

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