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Periodontics/Perio Regen Bone Graft


About ten days ago, I had oral surgery to graft bone into a recessed space with near 80% bone loss between #8 and #9. Due to the severity of the bone recession, an abscess had formed, which is how I found out about the bone loss.

My inquiry concerns the recovery process. I had gotten a second opinion before I went with the perio I chose to do the surgery, but he put me on edge, saying that it was likely that the bone graft would not take because of the depth and angle of the cavity that would have to be restored.

So far, I have had no complications. The surgical site quickly went down in swelling about 4-5 days post-op. There is gum recession, which I was told would be likely, but there has been no indication of infection or bleeding, just a bit of a lump in the roof of my mouth behind the teeth where the material was packed in. It is not sore anymore, like most of the rest of the surgical area. All the stitches are visible but not aggravating the site; it all seems on the mend.

However, I am concerned about success rates in a case like mine where there is so much bone loss to begin with. My front left incisor feels a little loose, and my perio said it had been due to bone loss so to avoid bumping or putting pressure on it. What kind of statistics for success rates are there for this kind of surgery, versus resorption of the graft material and continued bone loss? If there is a worrisome probability that this might occur, what are some of the symptoms that the graft is not taking?

Secondly, I can find nothing that describes the experience of a successful recovery with bone growth. Is there literature somewhere that describes the recovery experience, how it should feel for the patient (success/complication)? With that tooth feeling a little loose, I'm not sure if it's just sensitivity post-op or if it is actually loose; it's not wiggling on its own but doesn't feel really stable.

Additionally, there is a gradual separation developing between 8 & 9. It's small, but I think I could shoot a small stream of water through it if I were to try. That space did not exist before. Is this a good sign? Bad sign? Or just normal consequence of bone regeneration surgery between those two teeth?

If the graft does take, then, and gum recession presents a cosmetic concern, how long does would I likely need to wait to have membrane graft done so the gums around my front teeth don't look deformed when I smile?

I'm just hoping for a bit of information on similar case studies and some statistical grounds for rates of success. I understand that probabilities are descriptive of a population and not specific to a single case; however, I would like to know enough about what I might need to expect versus what I am needlessly worrying about.

Hi Amber,
It will take a few months to see if the bone grafting is clinically successful.

It seems from your narrative that your healing is within normal limits.  It's not unusual for the gums/papilla to recede a bit after surgery, hence the 'gradual separation b/t 8&9.'

Your periodontist or dentist can evaluate you for cosmetic options for your front teeth after a few months of allowing the bone graft to heal to better determine the amount of supporting bone surrounding those teeth.



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John Kong, DDS,


I am a board-certified periodontist and an expert on dental implants. I am currently in private practice at Better Living through Dentistry. I can answer questions related to the treatment of periodontitis (gum disease), dental implants, sinus lifts, bone grafts, gum grafts, surgical exposure of teeth, and minor orthodontics.


I have been practicing periodontics and placing dental implants since 2006 on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY and in Forest Hills, Queens, NY at Better Living through Dentistry. I am currently an attending and Chief of Implantology at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

American Board of Periodontology, American Academy of Periodontics, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association

Wesleyan University / Amherst College, BA; SUNY Stony Brook Dental School, DDS; University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Certificate in Periodontics; New York University, 1-year program in Full-Mouth Reconstruction; Certified in Invisalign

Awards and Honors
Northeast Society of Periodontists Achievement Award

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