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  • update on bone graft and guided tissue regen

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    Old 05-31-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
    sedulous's Avatar
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    update on bone graft and guided tissue regen

    I've received a couple of questions about my bone graft and guided tissue regeneration, so I'll post an update.

    I had the bone graft and GTR on April 24.

    The day of the surgery, the area was very sore and painful. I handled it with ice packs and ibuprofen, but opted not to take the codeine tablets given to me.

    The stitches had to stay in for 2 weeks, and the post op instructions said, "only soft, cool food." The post op instructions also said to maintain a good, balanced diet as it's key to recovery, and obviously, these people never tried to do that with only soft, cool foods. Very difficult. Also, the stitches were a massive inconvenience. I was told not to chew using the affected teeth, but I had the graft around tooth #7, which sits just to the right of my right front tooth. It's difficult not to let food get to the middle of one's mouth.

    The discomfort wasn't bad, but like I said, the stitches were a nuisance and difficult to brush around.

    So far, I have mixed feelings about the bone graft. On one hand, it looked like I was likely to lose the tooth, and if this bone graft saves it, I'll be happy about that. However, there were some things the periodontist did NOT warn me about, so if you're considering the same, or similar procedures, be sure to ask about some of these things. I asked a lot of questions, but I can't ask all the questions, and I think I should have been informed of the following:

    1. Cosmetically, the outcome is NOT good. I have little black triangles at my gum line, and basically a section of my mouth that makes me look like a 52 year old (I'm 32). I have nothing against 52 year olds, but I'm pretty sure they don't want to look 72. Of course it's more important to maintain a healthy mouth, but dentists and perios collect enough money in elective, cosmetic procedures, it's not as though they're simply ignorant of all things cosmetic.

    2. Sensitivity: the area with the graft is very, very sensitive. It's sensitive to heat, cold, sweets, and even brushing. I had two teeth in the area with exposed roots from gum recession and now they're more exposed from the way the gum tissue was reflected in the surgery. Ouch.

    3. Food impaction! Prior to surgery, I would brush and floss after a meal, and maybe a couple particles came out, especially if I'd had spinach, or anything with seeds. Now, I can practically fit an entire broccoli floret in the spaces in my gums created by the surgery. NOT fun. It also means that any meal I eat, I need to follow up with at least a good rinse, if not all out brushing and flossing, to remove the junk that got stuck in the surgical area.

    I'm not thrilled with my periodontist right now. Initially, he wanted to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant. My reasoning was that the tooth was perfectly healthy, and he was going to yank it only to place a synthetic one into a diseased area. Sure, I would've been on antibiotics, but I certainly can't stay on them forever. Antibiotics are only a temporary fix. I told my perio that the extraction and implant was too drastic for me, and asked about a bone graft.

    It really points out that as consumers, we need to stay informed. I'm sure most dentists and medical professionals do their best, and strive to prescribe the best course of action. However, none of their degrees give them a degree in inhabiting your body, and living your life. Always ask around, get as much information from reputable sources as you can, and ask a million questions.

    I spoke with my dentist before the surgery- he may not have the training in periodontology however, he's been cleaning and looking after my teeth 4 times a year for 5 years, and I feel he's qualified to weigh in. He said that he felt the bone graft was the best choice (the perio used Gem21, for those that are curious).

    I follow up with the perio in August. Hopefully, x-rays will reveal a lot of bone fill, and will indicate a really good prognosis for the tooth. If that happens, I will probably begin to look past the issues above. For now, I'm on the fence, but hopeful.

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    Old 05-31-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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    Re: update on bone graft and guided tissue regen

    In your opinion, for what you went through time, pain and money with the bone graft, if it were your back tooth would you still have done it?

    Old 05-31-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
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    Re: update on bone graft and guided tissue regen

    I would probably make the same decision for a back tooth, over losing the tooth. If this graft works out really well, then I don't think I'd hesitate to do the same thing all over again, even for a back tooth.

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