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Dentistry/Bone graft vs bone augmentation

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Question
Hello, my Mom had her teeth taken out 8 upper to put in dentures. The dentist said she needed a bone augmentation instead of bone graft to fill the holes. The dentist insisted she needs augentation so she had procedure done.  The dentist pulled the teeth and put a powder like substance in the holes and sowed it up then gave her temp dentures until the stitches are taken out. I don't believe  he did a true augmentation. She has no implants. The diffence was in $$$$ . Was this correct procedure? I think she got ripped off.
Thank you

Answer
Dear April,

Bone augmentation is a procedure that is done to add bone height and width to a jaw that has shrunk due to extractions, age, or pressure from wearing dentures, or a combination of these.  It sounds like what her dentist did was more to preserve the height and width of her jawbone.

When teeth are extracted, the healing jaw tends to shrink in height and width by several millimeters.  For this reason, more dentists are placing freeze-dried demineralized bone into extraction sockets in an effort to preserve the jawbone that will support a denture or receive implants.  These materials come in the form of tiny beads, sponge-like fibers, or may come from other areas of the patient's body where bone may be harvested, like the chin or hip.  In rare cases a rib is removed, then reshaped to place over the jawbone, then is sutured to place.

I haven't seen your mother, nor have I heard the reason given for the procedures done.  So I cannot answer if this was the correct procedure.  All I can tell you is that it is being done in more and more dental practices over time, and it does seem to help maintain bone height and width for longer periods of time.  

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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO

Expertise

I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.

Experience

Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center (floridaimplantcenter.com). On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (nobhilldentalcenter.com), I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

Organizations
American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

Publications
"How To Save Money At The Dentist" Going to press soon.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Awards and Honors
Membership in The Vedder Honors Society

Past/Present Clients
HIPAA rules do not allow me to post this information.

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