Understanding Bone Grafting in Dentistry
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that is carried out to replace missing bone of a person using a material that comes directly from the body of the person or a natural or synthetic substitute. Some of our patients here at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery wonder how this is possible. It is possible because bone tissue can regenerate completely when it is given enough space and the right conditions to grow. What is fascinating about bone grafts is that the natural bone eventually replaces the graft material completely once it grows. This results in a completely integrated region of the new bone.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are several types of bone grafts used in dentistry, one of which is an autograft or autologous or autogenous bone grafting. This is the most preferred type considering that it hardly poses any risk of rejection since the graft material comes from the body of the patient. Bones for this procedure can be harvested from the iliac crest and chin area, among others. Allograft is another type of bone graft that is derived from humans. Unlike autograft, however, the allograft is harvested from another person and not from the patient who will undergo the procedure. Bone used for this type is commonly sourced from a bone bank and not from the patient.
A xenograft is a type of bone graft wherein the material is sourced from a different species other than humans such as bovine. Alloplastic grafts, on the other hand, make use of hydroxyapatite, which is a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium. Hydroxyapatite is now commonly used because of its hardness, acceptability by bone and osteoconduction. It is also a less invasive procedure.
Uses of Bone Graft in Dentistry
Bone grafting is a procedure that we carry out mainly to help patients who have lost many, if not all, of their natural teeth for quite some time and wanted to have dental implants. Loss of teeth can cause atrophy or deterioration of remaining alveolar bone. In fact, a person loses bone volume of up to 60% in the first three years after extraction of teeth and up to 0.5% every year after that. Unlike dentures that are worn, dental implants look and feel like natural teeth because they are implanted in the jawbone. Given this mechanism, a successful dental implant requires a healthy jawbone that can support the metal cylinders that would be implanted in it.
If the jaw bone is too thin or too soft to hold the implant in place, we have no other recourse but to carry out a bone grafting procedure to address this. After a successful bone graft surgery is done, the patient needs to wait for a couple of months until the procedure results in a new and stronger bone. Once we have ascertained that the jaw bone is ready, we can then carry out the dental implant procedure. The process of bone grafting for the dental implant may be difficult and long, but the results do not disappoint as the patient could later enjoy a natural looking and beautiful set of teeth.
If you want to know more about bone grafting, dental implants, and other dental procedures that may be most beneficial to you, visit us at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, so we can address all your concerns or give us a call at (805) 267-9766.
Dental implants and All-on-4® Treatment Concept has literally transformed millions of lives. Why not see what they can do for you or someone you love? Want to know more?
Call us at (805) 267-9766 to schedule a consultation, to see if dental implants are right for you.
Request an Appointment