Why Might Patients Need Bone Grafting?
We’ve been told our whole life that our teeth need attention and care. Now we also know that our gums are on the list of important things to care for, but our jawbone? We can’t even see it — why should we be concerned about the bone in our jaw?
Our gums and roots are not the only thing holding our teeth in place. Our teeth are also affixed to the jawbone. If a patient does not have enough jawbone for a dental implant, bone grafting offered by Carmichael’s Marconi Dental Group is an effective solution. But what could cause problems in something as strong as a jawbone?
- Tooth loss, without replacement with a dental implant, gradually causes the bone to recede, resulting in a change of our facial shape and the structure of the jaw.
- Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to bone loss.
- Damage to the jaw or genetic issues could cause a lack of bone.
Materials for Bone Grafting
Here is where it gets really interesting. What materials are grafted to your jawbone, causing it to become stronger and more substantial, allowing for dental implants to restore the shape of your face? There are four materials commonly used, and one or a combination of them can be used by the dentists at the Marconi Dental Group in this single visit procedure.
- Autograft – Like your own “autograph,” this is all you. Autografting takes bone from one part of your oral cavity (typically your chin) and transfers it to another. This procedure heals the fastest and has the highest success rate since it uses your own bone for the process.
- Allograft – This type of grafting uses material from cadavers. That’s right, dead people. But before you stop reading, think about all the good accomplished by organ donors. This is just another type of donation. The tissue is rigorously sanitized and sterilized. Your body absorbs the material, making it its own for years to come. No drugs are needed to help your body adapt, and you are left with bone in your jaw where there was little before.
- Xenograft – This procedure is also called a xenogenic bone graft. The material comes from cows. Think of it as: “Beef — It’s not just for dinner.” Like the allografts, the laboratory processing of the material makes it usable for your jaw, even though the base substance comes from another species. If you choose to tell your friends your jaw was repaired using cows, that is your option.
- Alloplast – This bone graft type uses synthetic materials that are designed for and accepted by the human body. No chins, persons or animals are involved in this bone graft procedure. You may call it bone grafting for vegans.
Admittedly, some of these materials are more interesting than the others. The dentists at the Marconi Dental Group will discuss all your options and choose the best one for you – a choice that will get you back the smile and dental health you desire.
The Bone Graft Procedure
Bone grafting for holes left by extracted teeth can be completed during a single visit to the Carmichael dental offices of Dr. Ashkan Alizadeh. Depending on the material used, it will take from just a few to several months before you are ready for dental implants. Rest assured, the Marconi Dental Group knows you want to keep smiling through all of this, so temporary bridges or specialized dentures are used during this time.
Onlay Bone Grafts
Would you try to install new walls on a foundation that is crumbling? The results could be disastrous, because the walls won’t have a sturdy base for attachment. Now imagine the foundation is your jawbone and the new walls are dental implants replacing missing teeth. If your jaw doesn’t have enough structure, it won’t be able to support the implants.
Just as a house foundation can be built up in strength, your jaw bone can be strengthened as well. With bone material taken from your own body, the dentists at Carmichael’s Marconi Dental Group can treat major bone loss with an onlay graft. Where do we get the bone material to graft? Don’t let your imagination go too wild, because for this type of graft we choose from three places on your body: your chin, the back of your jaw or your hip bone. In a fairly simple procedure, we take a small amount of bone material and put it in your jaw where you need it. At first it’s held in place by small screws, but after it has fused with your jaw, you’re now ready to have dental implants installed. Think of it as a personal bone transplant from one part of your body to another.
This might sound like a lot to go through just to attach a few appliances into your mouth, but the benefits of dental implants cannot be stressed enough. Repairing bone loss with grafting, whether small scale or large scale, and putting implants into the invigorated bone tissue improves your appearance, your speech and your ability to eat and do all the things you used to do with your natural teeth. Patients whole-heartedly agree that the end result is well worth the time and effort.
The dentists at the Marconi Dental Group do their best to provide you with a relatively pain-free, comfortable experience during all of your dental procedures, including bone grafts. If a bone graft is necessary, but sounds a little scary, consider the benefits of sleep dentistry during your procedure. Our doctors are ready to answer all your questions about this wonderful option of restoring your confidence, your full dental function and your smile!
Bone Graft Success Rates
The success rate for bone grafting is very high. All risk factors, such as smoking or infection, will be discussed before Dr. Alizadeh begins the procedure. Losing bone in your jaw is a serious problem, but it’s a problem that can be helped. Come to the team at the Marconi Dental Group and get back the jaw line, the strong teeth and the smile you deserve.