Bone grafts are the surgical replacement or augmentation of the bone around the teeth and jaw to support the placement of implants.
Why Bone Grafts?
Bone grafts are performed to reverse the bone loss and destruction caused by periodontal disease, trauma, ill fitting dental appliances, and augment bone to permit implant placement.
When one loses a tooth, as in an extraction, the surrounding bone collapses. To preserve this bone for future implant placement or for esthetics, a bone graft is used.
Several different procedures can be used for bone augmentation. The specialist will select one depending on the type, location, and number of implants to be used.
Local anesthesia will be used to numb both the area where the bone augmentation is needed and where it will be removed. The surgeon will places an incision into the gum where the implant will be placed is made to determine how much and what type of bone is needed.
The bone can be taken from either the chin or a cadaver. If Taken from the chin, the surgeon makes a cut in the gum below the lower front teeth to expose the chin bone. A block of bone will be removed from the chin along with any bone marrow. Many dentists fill the spot where the bone was removed with another type of bone-graft material. They may cover this with a thin film of tissue to keep gum tissue from filling the space as it heals. The incision is then closed with stitches. The block of bone that was removed from the chin will be anchored in place with small titanium screws. Finally, the surgeon may place a membrane over the graft and close the incision.
In conjunction with bone grafts, membranes are often used to help stabilize the bone graft as well as displace the gum tissue from invading the healing bone grafts. Gum tissue grows at a much faster rate than bone, therefore, membranes are used to prevent gum tissue from growing in and displacing the bone graft before it matures.
Other Surgical Procedures
Sinus lift – This procedure is otherwise known as elevation, which increases the height of your upper jaw by filling part of your maxillary sinus with bone. The maxillary sinus is the area above your jaw on either side of your nose above the back teeth.
Ridge expansion – Bone grafts that can be done when the jaw is not wide enough to support implants. Your dentist uses a special saw to split the jaw along the top (ridge) and packs graft material into the newly created space. Some dentists will place implants directly after through a procedure called a split ridge technique.
What Are The Benefits of Bone Grafts?
The most glaring benefit is the solidification of the jaw, which will allow for successful dental implants and a healthy mouth. In the circumstance that the bone graft fails, it will be removed and once the area has healed a second graft will most likely be preformed.
Bone grafts within the jaw for dental implants have an extremely high success rate. A chance of failure can exists even if your own bone was used, and keep in mind that bone grafts cannot be rejected like organ transplants. It is unknown to dentists why some bone grafts fail, but what they do know is that certain people—such as those who smoke and those with certain medical conditions—have higher risks of graft failure.