Dear patients.

We are happy to say that we are now open and operating under our full schedule.

COVID-19 has been a very difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care, and we deeply appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Your health and well-being continue to be our highest priority, and we opened with carefully planned and revised office procedures to greatly minimize the risk of infection for our patients and our team members. Our own families are also patients here, so you can be assured that we’ll be taking care of you just as well as we’ll be taking care of them.

For your peace of mind, the measures we are taking to provide a safe dental treatment experience include, but are not limited to, the following:

Upon Your Arrival at the Office

●     Patients will be screened BEFORE treatment and temperatures will be checked. Any patients showing signs of a fever or other symptoms of illness will be asked to reschedule their appointment.

●     ONLY patients will be allowed entry into the office. Parents and other family members will be asked to wait outside whenever possible.

●     Patients are asked to wait in their cars or outside the office until their scheduled appointment time.

●     The waiting area chairs will be spaced apart to allow for 6 feet of distancing.

●     We will ask that you continue to practice social distancing measures in common areas of the office, including the front desk.

●     The front door and the door between the waiting area and operatories will be propped open all day.

●     There will be no physical contact with patients with the exception of treatment.

During Treatment

●     All rooms will be COMPLETELY sterilized before each patient is seated, and public areas, including restrooms, will be cleaned and sterilized frequently throughout the day.

●     All operatories have high-volume air filtration and we have installed a whole office purification system. This system will kill the Covid virus along with other contaminates

●     Our team will STRICTLY follow guidelines set forth by the CDC, OSHA, and ADA in regards to personal protective equipment (PPE) and office sterilization.

●     During patient care, goggles or face shields will be worn by everyone and changed between patients.

●     All surfaces that came in contact with the patient will be wiped with disinfectant including the patient chair.

Checking Out After Your Appointment

●    We will be requesting prepayments when we know the amount of payment which will expidite your visit 

●     All efforts will be made to complete scheduling in the back of the office so you can leave without stopping at the front desk

We are proceeding with an abundance of caution, but we want you to feel as confident as we do that any visit you make to our office will be a safe one.

We also realize that many of you have been impacted financially during this outbreak, and we have solutions to keep dental care affordable for you and your family.

To discuss these payment options, schedule an appointment, or ask us any questions you may have about your next visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 757-473-8482

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Parr, Dr. Frey and the Smile Center Team

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

Missing teeth can make eating and speaking challenging and impact your confidence. If your smile is incomplete, dental implants offer a long-lasting solution. However, in order to qualify for treatment, you must have sufficient jawbone tissue to support implant posts. Unfortunately, bone recession is a common side effect of tooth loss. To supplement existing bone and encourage new growth, your doctor may recommend bone grafting for dental implants. A graft can restore candidacy for implant posts, and in turn, improve the health of your smile.

The Dental Implant Revolution

Previously, patients were limited to replacing missing teeth with a fixed bridge or removable denture. However, neither option is ideal. To place a bridge, the doctor needs to reshape adjacent healthy teeth, which can jeopardize their structural integrity. Removable dentures present different challenges. Partial restorations must be held in place by metal clasps, which are highly visible. Full removable dentures can cause embarrassment if they shift out of place when you eat or speak.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement. These small titanium posts are embedded in the jaw and create a strong, sturdy foundation for dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. In addition to the aesthetic and functional benefits that come with replacing missing teeth, dental implants help to keep the jawbone strong and healthy. Though restorations will need to be replaced in the future, dental implants are designed to provide a lifetime of support.

When Is Bone Grafting Recommended?

Your dentist will most often recommend a bone graft after tooth loss. In a healthy smile, the dental roots stimulate the jawbone when you chew or bite down. Without this stimulus, the jaw can begin to shrink. Pronounced bone recession can result in more widespread tooth loss and changes to your face shape.

Thanks to bone grafting, most healthy patients will qualify for dental implants after treatment.

Bone grafting is most commonly performed in preparation for dental implant surgery. Like natural teeth, these posts rely on nearby bone tissue for support. If you have suffered bone loss, you face a high risk of implant failure. By building up the diminished areas of your jaw, your dentist can increase the likelihood of a successful treatment.

Bone grafting process

Types of Bone Grafts

A bone graft involves surgically implanting bone or bonelike material at the site of jawbone degeneration. There are several types of grafts that can be used during surgery, including:

  • Autograft: This graft is harvested from your own body. Bone is typically taken from the hard palate or chin. Though there is no risk of allergic reaction with an autograft, it does require two rounds of surgery.
  • Allograft: In some cases, an allograft, or donor tissue, provides the best solution. Many patients prefer this method, as it eliminates the need for a second surgery. However, there is a small chance that your body will reject the new material.
  • Xenograft: Less commonly, your doctor could use animal bone tissue. The most frequently used xenograft for dental implants is bovine (cow) bone. Unlike humane bone, which induces bone formation, bovine acts almost exclusively as a calcified placeholder. In time, newly generated bone will replace bovine tissue as it resorbs.
  • Alloplast: This graft consists of synthetic material. Alloplasts are typically made from hydroxyapatite, though they can also be composed of calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, and other polymers. Though this method is safe, it does pose a risk for both allergic reaction and rejection.

The best option for you will depend on your health, lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences.

Bone grafting creates a stable base for dental implants.

Preparing for Bone Grafting

Before recommending a bone graft, your dentist will thoroughly evaluate your jaw and overall oral health. X-rays or other advanced images, such as computed tomography (CT) scans, enable your doctor to assess the stability of your bone and identify areas of tissue loss. Your doctor can then determine the appropriate size and location for the graft.

In addition to planning your procedure, your dentist can outline steps you can take at home to ensure surgery goes smoothly. If you are a smoker, you will need to quit at least three weeks before treatment. Similarly, you may need to stop taking medications such as anticoagulants and aspirin two weeks prior to bone grafting. It is important to eat a healthy diet in the weeks leading up to surgery. Incorporate plenty of lean proteins and vitamin-rich produce, which can encourage healing.

What to Expect during Treatment

Prior to bone grafting, a local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area. You may also elect to receive sedation to help you relax. Nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) medications are all safe and reliable choices.

Once you are comfortable, the doctor will create a small incision above the recessed area and place the new tissue. Some dentists will also apply a special membrane over the graft to promote tissue regeneration. This is called guided tissue regeneration, or GTR. Once the bone graft has been secured with small posts, the doctor can close the incision with sutures. Over the next six to nine months, the graft will fuse with surrounding tissue in a process known as osseointegration. This is integral to the success of any future dental implant treatment, as it creates a strong base for implant posts.

Sinus Lifts and Ridge Augmentation

Depending on the shape and size of your jaw, you may require a more specialized procedure. A low or drooping upper jaw may need to be lifted to make space for implant posts. Also known as a sinus lift, this procedure involves raising the sinus floor and filling the space beneath with grafting material. A sinus lift can prevent damage to the sinuses from implant placement.

Ridge augmentation is a form of bone grafting that focuses exclusively on the alveolar ridges. These lines of bone run just below the gum tissue beneath the teeth. In many cases, this procedure will take place right after tooth extraction. Ridge augmentation can help prepare you for implant placement, and it can also provide a more secure fit for removable dentures.

Recovery after Your Procedure

After a bone grafting procedure, it is common to experience some discomfort, as well as bleeding, swelling, and inflammation. To relieve pain and swelling, you can take over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatories. You should also eat a soft diet for a few days and avoid strenuous exercise. Though you will be able to reintroduce more food over time, you may need to avoid spicy, crunchy, and hard foods for a few weeks. While it is important to practice good oral hygiene, make sure to brush gently around the surgical site to avoid irritation.

Temporary side effects of bone grafting should subside within one or two weeks, but it will usually take six to nine months for your jaw to heal completely.

The Potential Risks

Bone grafting has a very high success rate. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are some risks involved. In addition to temporary side effects, there is a small chance of:

  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Rejection of the grafting material
  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Abnormal bone development
  • Blood clots

Choosing a reputable oral surgeon can greatly reduce your risk of complications.

Experience the Benefits of Bone Grafting

Thanks to bone grafting, most healthy patients will qualify for dental implants after treatment. Implant posts can not only improve your dental function but also restore your confidence in your appearance.

The Smile Center

The Smile Center

The Smile Center in Virginia Beach has been providing high-quality dental care since 1988. We are proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (757) 473-8482 today.

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Virginia Beach Office

200 Grayson Rd
Ste 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

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