Splinting And Bone Grafts As Alternatives To Full Dental Extraction
If your dentist has recently diagnosed you with a serious form of periodontal disease that involves the degradation of your jaw bone, then you may be asked to consider a full dental extraction. This may be ideal if you are prone to infections, if your teeth are extremely painful, or if you are in generally poor health. If you are healthy and if you want to keep your teeth though, then you can speak with your dental professional about treatments that can be used to save your teeth. Some of the options below may work for you, so consider them and the information provided.
Periodontal Stabilization Splints
If you have lost a good deal of bone mass across your jaw, then your teeth may seem to be loose or mobile. If all of your teeth are loose, then it may be difficult to provide treatment without the need for a total extraction. If several teeth move or if you experience difficulties on one side of your mouth though, then your dentist may be able to place a splint in between your mobile teeth to better secure them in place. Securing your teeth will prevent discomfort from movement and it will also allow the jaw bone to grow and solidify around the tooth roots.
Depending on your condition, your dentist can either place a temporary or a permanent splint in your mouth. Temporary splints are ideal if you are younger and much more likely to regrow bone tissue underneath the teeth. This option may also work if bone loss is not severe.
Temporary splints can be either placed inside or outside your teeth. External splints are created when the loose teeth are secured together with a bonding material. The material may then be attached to a small metal device that sits near the teeth to keep them in place. Internal splints are placed within the teeth to attach them together once a small channel is created.
If you have a much more serious bone loss condition, then your dentist may opt to place a permanent splint in your mouth. Your dentist will make a series of crowns that fit over your loose teeth. These crowns are attached to a metal splint device, and the device is bonded to your teeth so they cannot move.
If you have undergone extensive periodontal treatments that include gum flap removal, tissue grafts, and deep root cleanings, then your gum tissues have likely recovered from your gum disease condition. Your dentist can then try to increase the mass across your jaw to prevent the need for an extraction. This may mean that a bone graft is your best option to stabilize your teeth and to encourage the growth of new bone tissue.
The Grafting Process
During the bone graft procedure, your dentist will cut into your gums until your jaw is visible. The professional will look for holes within the jaw bone, and these holes will be filled in with bone material. The bone will be taken from your own body or donor tissues will be used. Animal bones and synthetic bone material may also be utilized. Once the bone is secured, a piece of mesh is placed over the graft. This helps to prevent your gum tissues from growing over the newly placed bone. The gums are then placed over the mesh, and they are stitched into place.
Your body will start to build new tissues that attach to the graft, and the holes in your jaw will eventually fill in. Once this occurs, your dentist will be able to remove the mesh from your mouth, and your dental roots will be fully covered.
During the healing process, you should make sure to eat plenty of foods that contain calcium, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, and phosphorous. All of these nutrients are required to build strong and healthy bones.
If you have advanced periodontal disease, then your dentist may advise you to consider a full dental extraction due to bone loss issues. If you feel that this is not the best option for you, then make sure to consult with your dentist about splints and bone grafts.