Most dental bone grafting procedures are done to restore your bone to its previous form following tooth loss, gum disease or trauma. Bone grafting may also be used to maintain bone structure after tooth extraction.
Restoring and maintaining facial bone structure is important for several reasons. Many dental procedures, such as dental implant placement, require that the bone be as close to its original dimension and position as possible for optimal results. Also, the jaw and other facial bones support the skin and muscle that are responsible for our outward cosmetic appearance. Without the support of the underlying bone, our faces can look prematurely aged.
About bone grafting
During the body’s normal maintenance cycle, specialized cells in the blood continually enter your tissue to remove damaged cells and replace them with new, healthy cells.
Grafting procedures place a framework of material in the areas of missing bone into which these cells can enter and start the rebuilding process. Over time your cells will remodel the graft material into your own functioning bone.
Cross-section of a jaw that has lost volume following tooth loss. There is not enough bone to safely place a dental implant.
The patient’s cells migrate into the allograft material and remodel it into new bone. Over time host bone will remodel to replace the allograft.
Restored jaw now has adequate room for placement of a dental implant to replace the missing tooth.
Bone grafting material comes from several sources. Autograft bone is material that is taken from another point in the patient’s body and transplanted to the desired site. It is a good graft material since it contains the patient’s own cells, and carries no risk of disease transmission. The chief drawbacks are that it requires a second surgical procedures and enough harvestable bone that may not be easily available.
Allograft bone is material that was taken from an organ donor and processed to ensure its safety and improve the handling characteristics. The advantages of allograft bone are that it is readily available and does not require a second surgical site. Allograft bone has been well documented in clinical trials and has an excellent safety record.
- Readily available
- No second surgical site
- Clinically proven effectiveness
- Great track record of safety
Allograft bone screening and safety
Each donor is extensively screened before the bone is accepted for processing. Testing for infectious diseases is performed. Key tests screen for HIV-1, HIV-2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis. The bone then undergoes proprietary processing procedures that have been demonstrated to produce a consistently safe and effective product. It is then packaged into singe-patient doses that are sterility tested and ready for implantation to help the body regenerate bone.
What to expect with bone grafting
Your doctor may recommend a bone grafting procedure to help restore your jaw bone to a level suitable for dental implants. View illustrations of procedures below and discuss the details of your recommended procedure with your doctor.
When your doctor removes a damaged tooth, it leaves behind a void where the tooth was. Bone loss occurs without the tooth present to stimulate the jaw bone.
Your doctor may choose to place some allograft bone graft material in the void left behind. This will promote bone growth.
The bone graft material provides the structure for your body’s cells to migrate to the void and remodel the graft into your own bone tissue. After healing your jaw bone will better support dental implants.
Bone loss occurs when teeth are no longer present to stimulate the bone. Too much bone loss will require a ridge augmentation procedure to rebuild the lost bone so dental implants can be placed.
You doctor will use allograft bone graft material to restore your jaw bone to its natural shape so it can support dental implants.
Once your body has had a chance to heal and remodel the graft, your doctor can now place dental implants and restore your smile.