During dental treatment, dentists often come across situations where there is insufficient density or quantity of jaw bone to firmly hold a natural tooth or to support an implant-supported prosthesis. At Lifeworks Dental, we use a bone graft procedure to restore the quality and quantity of the damaged jaw bones.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure in which a natural or an artificial bone is transplanted into a bony defect, to restore and rebuild damaged jaw bones. The main idea behind a bone graft procedure is to make the damaged jawbones strong enough to support removable dentures or an implant-supported prosthesis.
Who can benefit from Bone Grafting?
At Lifeworks Dental, our dentists Dr. Kini Tran and Dr. Kim Nguyen choose to perform a bone grafting procedure whenever a bone loss is observed around the jaw bones. Situations which may require bone grafting may include.
- Tooth Loss –as soon as a tooth is lost, either due to a long-standing infection or trauma, bone loss immediately starts in the vicinity of the lost tooth. If the missing tooth is not replaced in time, the bone loss may become so severe that a bone graft has to be applied in order to restore the density and quantity of the remaining jaw bone.
- Trauma – bone grafting may also be required in cases where a significant quantity of jaw bone has been lost as a result of a trauma to the face. In such case, bone grafting is not only necessary for replacing teeth, but also for restoring the facial esthetics and symmetry.
- Infection – long-standing gum or periodontal infections result in an accelerated destruction of the bones. As a result, the jaw bones weak, and the natural teeth anchored inside them become loose. If the situation is not corrected timely, the teeth ultimately fall off.
- Age Changes – with advancement in age, remodeling of the jaw bone takes place which results in significantly decreased density and volume of the bone. In such cases, it usually becomes difficult to replace missing teeth as there is insufficient bone available. Therefore, bone grafting needs to be performed.
What are Different Types of Bone Grafts Available?
Broadly speaking, there are two different types of bone grafts used in dentistry; natural and synthetic.
- Natural Bone Grafts – these bone grafts are obtained from natural sources. Natural bone grafts can either be taken from the same individual (autograft), or another human being (allograft) or other species (xenograft). Natural bone grafts which are not taken from the same individuals carry the risk of rejection by the host.
- Synthetic Bone Grafts – these grafts are synthetically prepared e.g. polymers and ceramics. The properties of these grafts can be easily modified to match the requirements of the host tissue. In addition, these grafts possess the minimal risk of allergic reactions or tissue rejection.
What to Expect During a Bone Grafting Procedure?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure, therefore it is performed under the effect of anesthesia.
- Evaluation – First, Dr. Tran and Nguyen will perform a detailed examination to ascertain the extent of bone grafting required, and to decide which type of bone graft is to be used.
- Surgical Procedure – on the day of your appointment, we will administer anesthesia to make to your relaxed and free of pain. An incision will be made over the area where the grafting has to be done, and a surgical flap is raised to expose the underlying bone. The bone graft will then be placed over the existing bone and it will be shaped accordingly. The surgical flap will then be sutured back into position.
- Healing – after the surgical procedure, you will have to wait for about 4-6 weeks to allow for bone formation in the region. Once hard, compact bone has been formed, a suitable prosthesis such as a denture or an implant-supported prosthesis can be placed over it.
Guided Tissue Regeneration at Lifeworks Dental
Guided tissue regeneration (GTR) is a surgical procedure which utilizes barrier membranes to promote the formation of bone and periodontal tissues at sites where there is insufficient volume or quantity of bone available.
How Guided Tissue Regeneration Works?
The principle behind the use of guided tissue regeneration is based on the utilization of barrier membranes. These membranes serve three purposes:
- Selective Entrance of Cells – the barrier membranes only allow bone and periodontal cells, and relevant growth factors to penetrate. As a result, only gum tissues, periodontal structures, and bone tissues are formed in the region.
- Space Maintenance – the barrier membranes maintain space for the development of sufficient volume of bone and periodontal tissues which are necessary for strengthening the natural teeth and dental prostheses.
- Clot Stabilization – after any kind of surgery, a good quality clot is necessary for healing and bone formation. Another function of barrier membranes is to stabilize the clot for optimal bone formation.
When is Guided Tissue Regeneration Required?
Guided tissue regeneration may be required in the following cases, usually when non-surgical gum treatment is not successful:
- Socket Preservation – after the extraction of a tooth, guided tissue regeneration may be used to preserve the socket for implant insertion or denture fabrication in the future.
- After Surgical Procedure – in surgical procedures such as cyst removal, where bone tissue also needs to be removed, a guided tissue regeneration procedure may be performed to promote bone regeneration in the region.
- Trauma – bone loss as a result of trauma can be restored with Guided tissue regeneration.
At Lifeworks Dental, we utilize cutting-edge biotechnological techniques to provide durable and aesthetically pleasing prostheses for our esteemed patients. Gone are the days when you could not get implants because of poor quantity or volume of the jaw bone. Thanks to bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration, it is now possible to restore the health of your bone and give you a beautiful and lasting smile.