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FAQ:  Bone Grafts

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Video:
Tunnel Grafts: Regrowing NEW Gum Tissue
Autogenous Bone Harvesting
The Importance of Bone Grafts
Jawbone Graft - The Procedure
Pictures: Graft Results


Bone Graft Failure Ask The Periodontist Marie Schweinebraten Question:
Bone graft failure? I had two teeth extracted (30 & 31) along with bone grafts perfomed 8 days ago.

The pain was bearable the first few days, but then the graft material seemed to swell and mold above and around the sutures creating what appeared to be four separate "humps" of grafts.

On day 5 the tips of the sutures were cutting my tongue and inner cheeks so the oral surgeon snipped the tips which caused them to come out completely. Now there is what looks like a hole behind one of the 4 "humps" and two round bumps behind where the 2nd molar was.

I have also had extreme pain and swelling of the jawbone where the grafts were placed. Given antibiotics yesterday. Graft failure? Bone infection? Thanks ...Visitor from TX

Answer:
It is difficult to tell exactly what happened without seeing your mouth.

It could be that there is an infection present, and the antibiotics should take care of it after a few days. Please know that antibiotics do not work immediately but take at least 48 hours to begin to see any effect.

If you are a smoker, or grind your teeth this could be contributing to the pain you are having. I would also make sure you are putting heat on the outside of your jaw a few times a day. This helps the healing progress faster.

Sometimes a dry socket can occur. This is more common in the lower jaw and in smokers. The pain is intense and does occur after the area seems to get better. Medication is placed where the teeth have been taken out to help relieve the pain.

The bumps you describe could be several things. They may or may not be the graft. Sometimes there is a "cover" put over the graft material that helps it stay in and this will dissolve and come out. The hole you see is also normal at times.

In either case it does not necessarily mean that the graft has failed. The material in the deeper part of the socket may still be in place. I would be patient with the antibiotics taking effect, use heat, and take the pain pills if any have been prescribed.

If you do not see a noticeable improvement after three days then call the doctor who extracted the teeth back again.

Marie C. Schweinebraten, DMD
Atlanta Periodontist
2925 Premiere Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097
(770) 623-0930

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