What Is a Bone Graft?

Posted on: December 2, 2017

A dental bone graft sounds painful yet it is actually a fairly straightforward and relatively painless procedure. Dental bone grafting is performed with materials that catalyze new bone growth along the site of the missing tooth. If positioned immediately after the tooth extraction, dental bone grafting can thwart excessive bone loss. It can even allow for the placement of dental implants in the future.

Why Dental Bone Grafting is Necessary

Dental bone grafting is done for a variety of reasons like disease, injury and bone regeneration. Dental bone grafts can be used if there are complex or numerous fractures. It also helps for fractures that do not heal properly after the initial treatment. Dental bone grafting can also be used to help bones heal across a diseased joint. Dental bone grafts are even used to help bones heal in areas surrounding surgically implanted devices like plates, screws and joint replacements. As noted above, dental bone grafts can also help stimulate the regeneration of bone lost due to infection, disease or injury.

The Dental Bone Grafting Procedure

In the instance of a damaged tooth, the dentist will remove it and preserve the bone in that space with a fairly direct bone grafting procedure. Sterile and demineralized human bone granules that appear similar to sand are placed in the tooth socket after the extraction occurs. The granules are covered with a collagen membrane for protection. The tooth socket is closed with stitches. The wound is bandaged. The bone fills the tooth socket and preserves the bone height to allow for restoration.

The Actual Bone Graft

Bone grafts can be made of human or animal bone. In many instances, the bone graft is comprised of sterile and demineralized human bones. The patient’s own bone is often used. The patient’s bone might be taken from another portion of his or her jaw, the tibia, the hip or another body site. The bone from another human can also be used.  If donor tissue is taken from an animal or another person, it will be thoroughly disinfected prior to being used for the grafting.

It is also possible to use synthetic materials for bone grafts. Ultimately, the bone source that is ideal for the patient and his or her procedure hinges on what the dentist believes to be optimal. If you are considering a dental bone graft, be sure to discuss the many options available. Review all of the options in-depth so you can make a truly informed decision.

A Foundation for New Bone Growth

The graft serves as a platform for bone to grow on. The new bone growth reaches the point where it replaces the graft material that is comprised of important minerals. The dentist might elect to use collagen membranes to cover the graft as a means of guiding the regeneration.

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