Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a procedure that treats and restores the loss of jawbone material. Good jawbone density is necessary for natural teeth retention and for proper foundation for dental implants. However, a patient's jawbone can deteriorate for a number of reasons, such as periodontal disease and lack of stimulation of the jawbone material. The most common cause of jawbone deterioration is when a tooth is extracted and a replacement is not installed in its place. Over time, patients wearing unanchored dentures may experience jaw bone re-absorption. Wearers of dental bridges can experience deterioration of the bone structure beneath the missing teeth.  Avoiding dental extractions unless absolutely necessary is the best way to preserve jaw bone density.

There are several types of bone grafts currently available:

1. Autogenous Bone Graft – This grafting material is transplanted from one area to another within the same individual. Chin bone or bone material from behind the wisdom teeth are often used.  This is the most ideal type of graft because the bone material is living tissue that enhances bone growth.  This type of graft has the best success rate because the chances of tissue rejection are minimized.
2. Allograft Bone Graft – The grafting material is from human donor bone (cadaver). This bone material undergoes strict disinfecting processes in order to render it safe for transplant. 
3. Xenograft Bone Graft – The grafting material comes from an animal source, such as bovine.
4. Alloplast Bone Graft – The grafting material is made from a synthetic substance that is compatible with the human body.

The grafting process:

The surgeon first evaluates the extent of bone deterioration in the areas where bone grafting is necessary. The donor bone is affixed to the surgical site with the help of titanium screws. The dentist may also use a compound of crushed bone where necessary. Over time the bone will regenerate and the titanium screws are then removed.  The holes left behind from the screws will eventually fill in by regenerated bone.  Healing time depends upon the extent of bone loss and the type of replacement filler material used. Usually in one year’s time the patient will have sufficient bone material to be a candidate for dental implants.

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Vancouver Dental Implants
Burnaby, BC V5H 0A3