Dental bone graft didn’t take

August 30th, 2012

Q: After having a lower molar removed, the oral surgeon did a bone graft as I was considering an implant. This was two years ago. That area has felt uncomfortable recently and the oral surgeon went in and cleared out the area. He indicated that the graft did not work. He said it was still in little particles as though it had just been placed there. And he indicated that he had never seen this happen before. My question is, what are the possible reasons that this occurred? And should I try again? I spent $500 out of pocket already. Thank you!

A: I would be curious to know what type of graft material was used. There are many different types available. Some have a predictable record and others are less proven for reliability, although still used. It is extremely rare that this happens in our office. Were there any medical conditions that might have influenced your healing? Did you have any problems when the bone graft was originally placed? As you can see, there are many reasons that could explain why the graft failed. Perhaps using a laser next time around will help prevent any future infection or rejection. Best of luck. Dr. Eric Linden

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