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Bone Grafting

what is a bone graft?

Bone graft, also known as block grafts are a simple procedure carried out by an oral surgeon. Bone grafts increase the width and height of the bone at the implant site (where the implant needs to be placed) so that the implant can have better stability and integrate better with your jaw. Our dental surgeon performs a bone graft by using bone graft tissue or material and attaching it to the deficient bone area, the material contains collagen and proteins that encourage bone growth. There are different types of bone grafts as well as different types of procedures performed for the upper and lower jaw.

why are bone grafts necessary?

The foundation of a dental implant is bone. For your dental implant to be successful as well as long lasting there needs to be sufficient bone mass in the jaw. One of the most important factors contributing to the success of your implants is; ‘osseointegration’ which is where a bio-compatible material, such as a titanium implant, heals and bonds to the bone. Without sufficient bone mass, this process cannot take place and the implant will fail.

The problem that we face is that many patients who want dental implant treatment also suffer from bone loss. You may not know, but one of the leading cases of bone loss is tooth loss, once a tooth is lost or extracted, the bone that once surrounded the tooth recesses or is lost because of the absence of the tooth.

A patient looking for dental implant(s) who has suffered from bone loss can have an additional procedure to increase bone mass called a bone graft or block graft. Please note that not every patient will be suitable for a bone graft and this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Ask you dentist for a consultation referral and we can easily tell you if you will need a bone graft.

where do you get the bone?

Allograft

An allograft is a donated bone graft from another human. These work exactly the same as a graft from your own body in that there is a decreased risk of your body rejecting the bone.

Xenograft

These are where the bone is taken from an animal to be used for bone grafts. Either Equine or Bovine is usually used.

Alloplasts

This is a synthetic bone substitute, which is chemically similar to mimic human bone. Alloplasts also promote new natural bone formation.

when might i need a bone graft?

Sinus lift or Augmentation

If there is insufficient bone mass in the upper jaw a dental surgeon may suggest a Sinus lift. A sinus lift is where the bone in the upper jaw, where your molars and premolars are, is elongated. A bone graft is inserted between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. In order to create space for the bone graft, the sinus membrane has to be moved upwards or lifted.

Onlay Graft

This is where the transplanted tissue or bone graft is added or laid directly onto the surface of the recipient’s bone. The new piece of bone will slowly join to the underlying region and when healed and to mature, an implant can be placed in a more favourable position.

Alternative

In some cases, the maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw regardless of bone mass just because the shape and size of the sinus vary person to person. Age is also a factor in this, as the sinus can also get larger as you age. In a case like this, a patient would also need a sinus lift to create sufficient space between the upper jaw and the sinuses.

If you’ve previously experienced oral conditions, such as gum or periodontal disease, injury or trauma to your face and or jaw, the quality of your bone may be compromised.

dentures vs dental implants

What many patients do not know is that dentures cannot stop the bone recession and that is why after a while dentures progressively become looser and do not fit as well as they did when they were first fitted. This is why common problems occur such as difficulty with speech and eating as well as soreness around the gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, do preserve bone. As dental implants are placed within the jaw bone like that of a natural tooth, using your mouth, such as eating and talking, stimulates the surrounding bone. This stimulation will make the bone stronger and denser. This is not the same in every single patient and results with vary, it is best to discuss directly with your dentist.

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