Bone Grafting At Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery
Bone grafting is a surgical skill and should be performed by a skilled surgeon for optimal and effective facial surgery treatment outcomes. Bone grafting is often times most beneficial and cost-effective when done at the time of a tooth extraction. Conversely — if it is not done at the time of extraction and should have been, it can become a much more difficult, costly, and a time-consuming process for patients. If a patient is going to have a tooth extracted and desires an implant — it is often best to seek consultation with a surgeon prior to having that tooth extracted, to ensure the best possible outcome.
Get the best optimal outcome at AOFS with our oral surgeons who specialize in bone grafting.
Bone grafting is sometimes necessary to restore areas of decreased bone beneath the gums due to tooth loss from cavities, gum disease, injury, and tumors. Bone grafting makes it possible for dental implants to be placed in patients who would otherwise have too little bone to hold an implant.
In some cases, with missing upper teeth, your surgeon may recommend that you receive sinus lift grafting prior to placement of dental implants to assure that the implant has enough room to fit below your nasal cavity. The bone used for bone grafting can be obtained from:
- the patient’s own body (autograft)
- another human (allograft)
- an animal (xenograft)
For most clinical applications, in preparation for implant placement, allograft and xenograft are ideal graft materials, eliminating the need to borrow the patient’s own bone.
More On Bone Grafting
When we think of bone, we think of an extremely hard substance that is inflexible and a material incapable of change. The truth of the matter is, bone and teeth in particular, are fluid and constantly remodeling itself. Between osteoclasts breaking down bone tissue and osteoblasts creating the bone matrix — your teeth, and its supportive bones, are in constant motion.
Both your mandible and maxillary bones (jaw bones) support your teeth, and this can be both helpful and harmful. For example, when you seek orthodontic care the orthodontist is able to manipulate your jaw bones into a better position with braces, making your jaw bones extremely adaptable and improving both the aesthetics and functioning of your mouth. On the other hand, if you lose a tooth as an adult and it is not addressed, the bone around it will begin to reabsorb, and as a result, cause facial abnormalities. Not only does this cause aesthetic issues, but over time, it can make it extremely difficult to replace the missing tooth.
The beauty of our modern bone grafting techniques is that not all is lost if the bone is reabsorbed, and it can be rebuilt by a skilled oral surgeon.
What is the bone grafting material composed of?
Oftentimes, the bone grafting material can come right from your own body, but also can be taken from animal or human donors. It can also be composed of synthetic materials such as granules, powder, putty, or gels injected through a syringe.
The bone graft is covered in a collagen membrane for optimal oral support and will aid in creating a scaffold that will merge with your body, creating new bone.
What is the purpose of a bone graft?
A bone graft is used for beneficial treatment outcomes such as:
- Tooth extractions
- Saving teeth
- Dental implants