When teeth are missing, over time the bone begins to shrink. This can make the jawbone unsuitable for some prosthetics, dental implants in particular. Weak jawbones may also be more susceptible to breakage. The way to build up a weak or small jawbone is through dental bone grafting. There are a few ways this can be accomplished.
Autograft: Most dental bone grafting uses this method. Healthy bone is harvested from the patient’s body, often from the hip. The harvested bone is grafted onto the area that needs to be strengthened.
Allograft: In some situations, a patient may not have a healthy bone to harvest, or for some other reason their own bone is not available for grafting. In these instances, the bone may be harvested from a cadaver. The bone is treated several times so it can be neutralized and made suitable to be used for grafting into the patient who requires it.
Alloplast: Occasionally, bone tissue is not used. Instead, a synthetic material takes the place of the bone and this is used to restore thickness to the jaw.
Xenograft: Another unique and very successful bone grafting procedure is accomplished using the bone material from an animal. Usually, a cow bone is used in this procedure.
What to Expect from Bone Grafting
Most bone grafting procedures are done under local anesthesia and sedation. Once the surgery is completed, the healing process will be monitored by your dentist to ensure that it is proceeding as expected. In some cases, a dental implant is performed at the same time as the bone grafting procedure. Depending on the circumstances, the bone graft may need to heal completely before the implant can be done.
While bone grafting may sound like a complicated procedure, it is one that can be accomplished easily. Your doctor will explain the entire procedure to you in detail and you will have the opportunity to have all your questions answered.
Katy Cypress Oral Surgery offers bone grafting to patients who need it to ensure the success of a dental implant procedure. Contact us if you have questions about this or any other procedure. We look forward to helping you get your best smile.