Bone grafting is a procedure that is used to build bone so that dental implants can be placed. Bone grafting techniques are designed to rebuild bone structure with the minimum amount of surgery necessary and optimal patient comfort.
Major Bone Grafting
Major bone grafting is usually performed when patients need to repair large defects of the jaw. Large defects are repaired using the patient’s own bone, which is harvested from other places on the patient’s body. Common donor sites include the skull, hip, and knee. Defects that require major bone grafting include when the patient suffers a traumatic injury, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Major bone grafting procedures are typically performed in a hospital operating room, and require a hospital stay.
Minor Bone Grafting
Minor bone grafting is usually performed when the patient does not have enough bone structure to support and stabilize an implant. Ridge Preservation, Sinus Lift Procedure and Onlay Bone Grafting are all forms of minor bone grafting surgeries. Minor bone grafting procedures are typically performed in the office under local anesthetic like “novacaine”.
Why Don’t I Have Enough Bone?
Bone loss can occur due to many reasons, including:
- Dental Infections
- Fractured Teeth
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease
- Traumatic Injury
- Tooth Extraction/s
- Atrophy of Jaw Bone Over Time with No Teeth
Bone grafting can increase the height or width of the jawbone and fill in voids and defects in the bone. Deformities in the jawbone can be corrected, and restructuring of the bone can provide added support. Bone grafting can also be used to limit or prevent bone recession following a tooth extraction or periodontal disease.
What Is Used To Build Bone?
There are several types of bone grafts available, including:
- Autogenous Bone Graft – Bone taken the patient’s own body, usually from part of the lower jaw or the chin. This method is usually preferred because it produces the most predictable results.
- Allograft Bone Graft – Cadaver or synthetic bone is used in this type of graft.
- Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) – is exactly what its name suggests. The substance is a by-product of blood (plasma) that is rich in platelets. Until very recently, its use has been confined to the hospital setting. This was due mainly to the cost of separating the platelets from the blood (thousands) and the large amount of blood needed (one unit) to produce a suitable quantity of platelets. New technology permits Dr. Etess to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of platelets from as little as 10 cc of blood drawn from the patient while they are having outpatient surgery in our office.
- Xenograft – Cow bone is used in this type of graft.
The bone grafting procedure can often take several months to complete. Bone is added to the affected site. This bone will fuse with the existing bone and the migration of cells will cause firm adhesion and cell growth. Supplementing the jaw with bone will result in greater bone mass to help support and anchor dental implants.