Understanding Bone Grafting

October 31, 2019

At Relaxation Dental Specialties, we treat patients for a variety of conditions. Because we want to ensure that you have access to a full range of treatment options, we now offer bone grafting as well. This procedure can help to build up the bone underneath the gums to increase bone strength or an attachment site for dental implants. Bone grafting is a surprisingly simple and straightforward procedure that can help many of our patients reclaim their oral health and their confidence.
 

Understanding Bone Loss

 

There are many reasons that you can lose bone density or mass around your mouth. One of the most common causes is periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums. As your body fights this infection, it can impact the ability to grow or maintain the nearby bone. Bone can also be compromised, damaged, and destroyed by infection.

 

Additionally, if you have lost teeth, your body may begin to recycle the bone that once surrounded the root of the tooth in a process called resorption. This occurs when your body recognizes that the bone is no longer needed to support a tooth. Unfortunately, the longer that you do not treat this condition, the more drastic the effects can be. In untreated cases, bone resorption can alter the facial shape or reduce the strength of the jaw bone so that it is easily broken with even relatively minor traumatic events.

 

The Bone Graft

 

Fortunately, bone grafting is a process that can be used to help restore and rebuild the lost tissue. Additionally, bone grafts can also trigger the body to begin growing new bone around the graft location. There are four basic types of bone grafts.

 

  • Autograft – An autograft is a type of bone graft that uses the patient’s own bone. This graft can reduce the potential of infection or rejection, but also creates an additional surgical site that the patient must heal from. The donor material will often be harvested from a patient’s hip bone.
  • Allograft – This bone graft uses another human as the donor for the bone material. If patients cannot use their own bone or do not feel comfortable with that, allografts are often their next choice. However, allograft donors can be more difficult to come by, and the donor material might not be readily available.
  • Xenograft – This graft uses an animal for the donor bone material. This is often harvested from a cow. While many patients do not feel as comfortable using an animal donor, the material is usually readily available for your procedure.
  • Alloplast – This bone graft is a synthetic material. It can be ordered and is the most readily available of all four types of bone grafts.

The Procedure

 

In order to place the bone graft, you must first be in good general health. While the bone graft is not considered a major medical procedure, your body will have to recover from a wound and be able to rebuild the tissue. Any other infections can compromise your ability to heal properly.

 

When you go in for your scheduled appointment, you may only be given a local anesthetic, meaning that you are conscious and awake for the procedure. If the graft is more serious, you may be given a general anesthetic where you are asleep for the whole procedure.

 

A small incision is then made at the graft location, and the donor material is placed into the targeted area. Usually, a small piece of mesh is also placed to help hold the graft material in place and provide additional structure for new bone growth. Once this is completed, the incision can be closed, and you will be allowed to heal.

 

Overview

 

Bone grafting is a great approach to help rebuild lost bone mass and density so that you can increase the strength or area for dental work. If you are considering a bone graft, contact Relaxation Dental Specialties today to schedule an appointment.

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