The techniques involved in oral surgery are constantly evolving. With improved methods and more-advanced technologies, oral surgeons can easily treat what were once considered overwhelming conditions. Patients may not know what to expect in this brave new world of dentistry. An example of one such procedure is bone grafting.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting entails placing a framework within the damaged area of a mouth. The purpose is to supply a shape for the patient’s existing cells to grow into. Over time, the grafted material is converted into new bone. This leaves a stable, boney structure in the place of the previously damaged portion of the mouth.
When is it Used?
Bone grafting is used when there is a loss of boney material in the mouth. This most frequently occurs in cases of tooth loss, trauma resulting in fractures, or gum disease. It can also be implemented after surgery to ensure structural integrity post extraction.
The aim of bone grafting is to provide a solid base for the instillation of dental implants. The jaw is a very powerful machine. If bones within it are not strong enough, implants may fail. These structures also support both internal and external soft tissues of the face. When their structure is compromised, patients can look prematurely aged.
Where Does the Bone Graft Come From?
There are two primary types of bone grafts. The first is an autograft. The dental surgeon removes a piece of bone from another location in the patient’s body usually from another area of the jaws. It is then transplanted into the surgical site. Alternatively, surgeons may utilize allograft bone. This comes from a donor bank. When oral surgeons use allograft bone, it is tested carefully in advance for transmittable diseases. Both bone sources are safe alternatives.
How is a bone graft installed?
During the operation, patients are anesthetized. While the individual is peacefully asleep, the transplanted piece of bone is careful shaped to fit the desired area. It is then placed within the mouth, thereby creating a framework from which the body can build.
The incision is then closed, and the patient gradually wakes. Healing time varies depending on the surgery. Grafts that are implemented in preparation for dental implants must be left to grow for several months. If implants are applied too soon, the jaw’s structural integrity could fail. The safest route is always to allow for proper bone grow prior to commencing further surgical procedures.
Advances in oral surgery are positively impacting the lives of people daily. By better understanding them, patients can embrace them with less stress. If you have questions regarding an upcoming procedure, discuss them with your OMSNashville oral surgeon in advance.