Oral & Facial Surgery Center

203A Energy Parkway Lafayette, LA 70508 (337) 234-1780 staff@omfsc.com

2351 Larkspur Lane Opelousas, LA 70570 (337) 948-9878 staff@omfsc.com

Bone & Soft Tissue Grafting

Bone Grafting

We are experts in providing grafting procedures to restore form and function to your jaw and face. Both bone and soft tissue grafting may be used in your treatment.

Why do I need Bone Grafting?

Your jawbone is stimulated by your tooth roots; much like exercise stimulates your muscles. When you have missing teeth, your jawbone is no longer stimulated by the tooth roots, and it will shrink over time. When this occurs, there may not be sufficient bone required to place dental implants. Bone grafting is also used to repair supporting bone around your teeth that has been damaged by periodontal disease.

Bone grafting is a procedure to rebuild bone in the bone deficient areas of your jaw. This allows for the placement of dental implants and for repair of the supporting bone around your teeth damaged by periodontal disease.

What does Bone Grafting Involve?

The bone used in the bone grafting procedure is either taken from your jaw, hip, or tibia (below the knee), or obtained from a tissue bank. Special membranes may be used to protect the bone graft and promote natural healing and bone growth – this is known as guided bone regeneration.

What types of bone grafting may be appropriate for my case?

We may recommend one of several types of bone grafting, including:

Sinus Lift Graft:

Why do I need a Sinus Lift?

The key to the successful placement of dental implants is the quality and quantity ofthe bone where the implant will be placed. Sometimes, dental implant placement is in the upper back jaw is difficult because there is insufficient bone and is in very close proximity to your sinus. If you have lost bone in the upper back jaw due to tooth loss or periodontal disease, there may not be enough bone to place a dental implant. A sinus lift (or sinus augmentation) can correct this issue by lifting the sinus floor and promoting the development of new bone for dental implant placement.

What is Involved in getting a Sinus Lift?

There are many techniques that may be used to raise your sinus to allow for new bone growth. Often, bone can be placed though the small hole drilled to place your dental implant. This allows your sinus lift and implant placement to be done at the same time.

If greater bone is missing, a separate sinus lift may be done by a small bone window carefully created in the lateral wall of your sinus. The soft tissue lining of the sinus is “lifted,” and a bone graft is inserted in the newly created space. Once the sinus lift has healed, a dental implant can be placed. We will explain what types of material can be used for the bone graft which will regenerate lost tissue and bone.

Alveolar Onlay Graft:

Alveolar onlay grafts may be necessary to recreate bony size for a dental implant in areas where teeth have been missing for a long time, or where an infected tooth has caused destruction of the bone in the area. Most often, we will use your own bone (usually from the wisdom tooth or chin areas) and closely fit the graft to lie over the area of bone deficiency. Onlay bone grafts are then fixed to the underlying bone with special bone screws which will be removed when your dental implant is placed. In cases where a very large deficit of bone is present, your surgeon can take large bone grafts from other areas (such as the hip) in order to reconstruct your jaw bone. We have years of hospital-based training in order to provide you with the latest in safe, comfortable care.

Normally, several months are allowed for the bone graft to heal and fuse with the underlying jaw bone. When this healing is complete, we will place the dental implant and follow your healing until your restoration is ready to be made by your family dentist. When you are considering any bone grafting procedure, please ask any questions that you may have. Our goal is not only to provide excellent surgical care, but to completely inform you about all aspects of your treatment.

Socket Graft:

What is a Socket?

A socket is the area of the jaw bone where the tooth is anchored. When advanced periodontal disease or injury has caused significant bone loss in the socket area, the tooth socket may need to be reconstructed.

What is Socket Grafting?

The bone which surrounds the tooth socket deteriorates very quickly once a tooth is removed. If a socket continues to be empty after tooth loss, the accelerated bone loss can impact adjacent teeth, and prevent placement of a dental implant later on. Thus, it is important for appearance and health to rebuild the socket at the time of tooth loss.

Socket grafting is a procedure which can rebuild or preserve the bone in the tooth socket, allowing future replacement by a dental implant or bridge restoration. At the time of your dental extraction, if you are unsure whether you will want a dental implant in the future, socket grafting may decrease the rate of bone shrinkage and may allow a dental implant to be placed later on without any other bone grafting procedure.

What is Involved in Socket Grafting?

At the time of tooth extraction, all remaining root particles will be removed to leave a clean empty socket. Bone grafting material will then be placed into the socket, which will build it into a firm foundation for reconstruction. There are several types of bone grafting materials available and we will choose the appropriate type to suit your needs.

There normally a healing time of several months for the grafted material to fully combine with your natural bone. Once the new bone is solidified, dental implants can be placed to restore full function. Socket grafting greatly improves the chances that the missing tooth site will allow the patient to have a dental implant.

What are the Benefits of Bone Grafting?

By regenerating bone tissue, patients who previously did not qualify for the placement of dental implants due to insufficient bone, can now become candidates for this tooth replacement procedure.

For patients affected by periodontal disease, control of this disease will be necessary prior to bone grafting in order to decrease the change of infection of your graft. We will work with your family dentist and other dental specialists in order to give your bone graft the greatest chance of success.

Overall, the form and function of your teeth and jaws will be enhanced by the comprehensive treatment possible using dental implants, bone and soft tissue grafting.

Soft Tissue Grafting

As Board-Certified Oral &Maxillofacial Surgeons, we are the surgical experts in dentistry. Often, the soft tissues inside the mouth requires surgery to reshape or restore tissues around teeth or implants. Soft tissue surgery can include augmentation, reduction or reshaping. The goal of oral soft tissue surgery is to restore and maintain attractive and healthy tissues.

Reduction/Reshaping Procedures

Soft tissue reduction is sometimes necessary for such conditions as:

  • Gum enlargement (due to medications or irritation)
  • Excess soft tissue when full or partial dentures are planned
  • Access to impacted teeth to attach orthodontic devices (braces)
  • To allow your dentist to prepare teeth for crowns or place dental restorations

We will work closely with your family dentist or dental specialist when reducing and reshaping the soft tissues of the jaws.

Augmentation Procedures

Often, a lack of quality tissue around teeth or dental implants can be treated by soft tissue grafting. This enhances the look and maintenance of teeth and implants. It is also important for long-term health. Soft tissue grafts are often taken from the roof of your mouth and transplanted to the graft site. In some cases, soft tissue graft substitutes may be appropriate for your case. We will recommend the type of soft tissue graft that is best for your care. Soft tissue grafts may take a number of weeks to heal. Since the final size and form of the graft cannot be exactly predicted, it may be necessary to do some minor recontouring of the grafted tissue after it heals in order to give the best result.