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Years of untreated tooth loss can trigger jawbone atrophy. Because a successful dental implant treatment requires strong, healthy bone, many patients with missing teeth cannot qualify for implants. To boost your candidacy and enhance your chances for success, Dr. John Rink performs bone grafting procedures at his practice in Charleston, SC. Depending on whether the upper or lower jaw needs treatment, he may recommend either a traditional grafting surgery or a sinus lift.

What Causes Jawbone Atrophy?

Like the rest of your body, the bone tissue in your jaw needs to receive a minimum amount of nutrients to stay strong and healthy. However, without stimulation from tooth roots, your body does not know that the jawbone still needs these nutrients and consequently redirects them elsewhere. As a result, losing teeth often triggers deterioration of the jawbone. Without a replacement for both the tooth and its root, the jaw will continue to atrophy.

Understanding Bone Grafting

When a patient is missing teeth but suffering from jawbone atrophy, bone grafting is the most commonly recommended treatment. The goal of the procedure is to use harvested or synthetic bone tissue to reinforce the upper or lower jawbone. Over the course of several months, this will ideally trigger new bone growth and provide a stronger area of support for dental implants. Depending on the severity of bone loss and the technique used, Dr. Rink may need to perform more than a single bone grafting procedure for optimal results.

The surgery itself is usually performed several months in advance of implant placement. To begin the surgery, we will administer an anesthetic to numb your gums and keep you comfortable. The doctor can then make an incision into the gums, to create the space necessary to place bone grafting material. Once the grafting material is in place, we will suture the incision shut. The goal of bone grafting is to use harvested or synthetic bone tissue to reinforce the upper or lower jawbone.

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What to Expect After Surgery

During your recovery, the bone grafting material will slowly integrate with your existing bone tissue. After four to six months, we will schedule an appointment so Dr. Rink can evaluate your progress. If the procedure has catalyzed a sufficient amount of bone growth in the jaw, we can schedule the implant placement surgery.

Is a Bone Grafting Procedure Right for Me?

If you have lost teeth and never received treatment or if you do not have the adequate bone strength for your tooth replacement, a bone grafting procedure may be right for you. To set up a consultation and examination to learn more about Dr. Rink, please send us a message online or give us a call at (843) 242-0284.

Socket Preservation Following Extraction

If you need to replace a tooth that has not fallen out yet, Dr. Rink will first need to extract it. In certain cases, the doctor may also recommend undergoing socket preservation to ensure that no bone is lost afterward. Once Dr. Rink has removed the tooth at your appointment, he can immediately insert grafting material to preserve the socket and prepare it for an implant.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update

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To Our Wonderful Family of Patients:

Last night, my wife Connie and I enjoyed the most delicious take-out dinner from FIG restaurant. As always, the food was excellent; however, it was most satisfying to see the local restaurant, along with others, begin its comeback. Our resilient city feels like it is coming back to life—parks are opening and folks and families are enjoying the wonderful spring Charleston air. The Rink dental team is, too, readying itself for the next chapter of practicing dentistry as the community begins reopening its doors.

We are concentrating on continuing to advance our rock-solid foundation of state-of-the-art infection control. We were blessed to keep our dedicated and passionate team employed during the crisis, and have devoted the entire month of April to research, systematically developing, purchasing and installing the best additional infection control protocols and equipment available. We are ready. This month we will begin the process of a “soft opening” of our practice. What this means for our patients is a resumption of the same excellent restorative, esthetic, and preventive care in the safest and most secure environment available anywhere.

Additional safety steps will include asking our patients to wait for their appointments in their cars rather than in the reception area. We will ask that you take a moment to fill out a short questionnaire upon your arrival regarding your health and recent travels. We will take everyone’s temperature (including the team) with a forehead scanner as you enter the practice. We will clean and disinfect all touchpoints in the office in between each patient. We have procured the highest quality KN95 masks and face shields for the staff and have carefully researched and purchased the most advanced aerosol containment and purification systems available for the safety of all our patients. These are a few examples of how we have added additional layers of protection for your and our staff’s benefit.

Finally, I wholly understand that each one of you is an individual with specific desires, needs, and comfort levels. I want you to know that we are here to actively listen to you and to create the best environment for your emotional health. Some will be ready sooner than others to receive care again at our office. Let’s keep the lines of communication open and please know that our relationship with you and your family is our highest priority.

We look forward to reuniting with everyone but until that time it is our wish that you enjoy good health, good spirits, and peace.

To your optimal dental health,

- John F. Rink, DDS, AAACD and team

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