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A strong and healthy jaw structure comes into play in many aspects of dental restoration. Insufficient jaw structure can affect the alignment of your remaining teeth, make it difficult to securely anchor a dental implant, or cause your dentures or partial to fit loosely in your mouth. In a situation like this Dr. Crawford A. Tatum Jr. might recommend you have a bone graft procedure to restore sufficient bone structure to resolve the problem.

The initial consultation involves the oral surgeon examining your mouth and jaw to assess the available bone structure. This usually involves taking series of X-rays or performing a CT scan. It’s important to let them know about any medications you are taking, or medical conditions that might increase your bleeding risk or slow your recovery process.

A bone graft procedure usually requires deep sedation. You should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you and help at home for a while, until you’re back on your feet.

Most bone grafts can be sampled from the sturdy bone in your chin. However, if you choose it can be taken from a surgical grade cadaver. During the procedure, your surgeon will create an incision in your gums to gain direct access to the relevant area. The bone graft is inserted into place and the gums are sutured closed. Over time your body will naturally fused the graft into your existing bone structure.

Your recovery time will vary depending on your age, overall health and quality of aftercare. If you use tobacco it will irritate the gum tissues, which increases recovery time and risk of infection. If you use tobacco regularly, you should talk to your physician about a cessation program.

If you are interested in exploring your restoration options, please call Dr. Crawford A. Tatum Jr. at 334-745-6393 to schedule an appointment.