Bone Grafting Techniques for Healthier Smiles
At Origin Dental Wellness, we believe that infected teeth can be a drain on the immune system, potentially leading to deleterious overall health outcomes. Because of this, when a patient has made the difficult decision to have an infected tooth removed, our focus turns to how to replace the missing tooth in the most healthy way possible for that patient. This process begins by paving the way for a firm foundation of bone to grow in the area of the extracted tooth. And the paving begins with a bone graft.
After a tooth has been extracted, the normal healing process results in atrophy of the remaining bone in the extraction site by 60%. This atrophy does not allow for adequate bone volume to place a dental implant, nor is it enough to allow for proper anatomical contours to have a natural cosmetic result for a fixed bridge or a removable partial. Because of this, bone grafting techniques are utilized to augment the bone in the extraction site for future tooth replacement.
There are numerous different materials available for bone grafting. These range from using the patient’s own bone, to using bone from a different species, to using synthetic substances. Each material has a different healing capacity, as well as its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, using the patient’s own bone is very predictable with no concerns about immunogenicity. However, the disadvantages are that the bone has to be taken from a second surgical site somewhere on the body, and available bone to take is limited. Most patients don’t desire to have another wound that will need to heal in addition to the extraction wound. In addition, taking bone from elsewhere in the body can be a rather aggressive procedure. Another option could be using bone from a different species (bovine or porcine). However, this often results in an increased inflammatory response with possible immunogenicity problems. Also, this bone resorbs very slowly and does not stimulate the bone in the receiving site to grow. In addition, synthetic substances are another material available for bone grafting. However, their success is very limited and results are unpredictable at best.
Because of these reasons, Origin Dental Wellness has chosen to use what is called allograft material for bone grafting procedures. Allografts are bone grafts that are harvested from cadavers of the same species. The bone is processed to remove contamination and antigenic potential. These bone grafts are supplied by specially licensed tissue banks in the United States. Using allograft material is very predictable and does not require a second surgical site. It serves the role of being a trellis, and stimulates the bone of the recipient to grow into it. As the native bone grows into the grafted “trellis bone”, the grafted “trellis bone” resorbs in 4-6 months, leaving only the patient’s newly formed bone! This amazing new bone then serves as the foundation for replacement of the missing tooth.
At Origin Dental Wellness, we are always striving to learn and implement the best techniques to give our patients healthy results that will not only enhance their smiles, but enhance their health and well-being. Bone grafting is one of these amazing techniques that pave the way.