Types of Bone Grafts
There are three types of bone graft procedures: autogenous, allograft, and xenograft.
Autogenous grafts take bone from one area of the patient’s body and transplant it to the location in the mouth being restored. The bone is usually taken from non-essential bones such as the chin area. The benefit of an autogenous bone graft is that the bone used comes solely from the patient thus reducing the likelihood of rejection and infection. The bone is also still “live”, meaning it still has active cellular material.
Allografts also use human bone transplanted to the area in the mouth being restored. However, allografts do not use the patient’s own bone. Instead, the bone usually comes from cadavers who have donated their bone to bone banks. All allograft bone material is carefully screened and is considered very safe.
Xenografts also replace bone in the area requiring treatment, however the bone comes from a non-human source. Usually the non-human source is bovine (cow). Allografts and xenografts are used because they do not require a second surgical site to harvest bone and ample amounts of bone can be easily attained.
Local anesthesia is used to numb the area where the bone will be removed, as well as the location where the bone will be augmented. An incision is made in the gums around where the bone will be augmented. Dr. Bradshaw can see exactly how much bone will be needed before harvesting it from the patient (if an autogenous graft is being performed).
What is a Sinus Lift?
Often, patients who have lost teeth in the upper jaw require a sinus lift in order to have dental implants placed. This is because the bone in the area where teeth are missing naturally begins to shrink, or resorbs, over time.
As a result, the sinuses expand to occupy the empty space where the bone used to be. With insufficient bone to securely place the dental implant, a sinus lift is necessary to move the sinus where it is meant to be and to place additional bone in the area.
There are two forms of sinus lift procedures and the form you receive depends on your individual needs and the amount of bone you still have. Your doctor will discuss your options prior to the procedure.
Before the procedure begins, a local anesthetic is applied to the site. The doctor will then create a small opening in the bone to access the sinus cavity. Using a small instrument, the doctor will then gently lift the sinus back to its original position. A grafting material is then placed beneath the newly raised sinus cavity along the existing bone. This grafting material will then mesh with your bone, thus creating more bone.
After the Procedure
Usually, you’ll require four to nine months to heal completely from the sinus lift procedure before dental implants can be placed. This increase in bone will compensate for bone lost and will allow for multiple implants to be placed. Without this procedure, many patients will not qualify for dental implants.
Ridge preservation procedures begin with the removal of the tooth. The doctor will do so carefully so as to not disturb existing bone in the socket. Next, the doctor will insert a specialized bone-grafting product.
This product can be an autogenous graft, allograft, or alloplast/xenograft. The bone grafting material is designed to build and regrow bone in the socket. After it has been placed, the grafting material will be stabilized with stitches and/or a membrane. Healing time is approximately three to five months before a dental implant can be placed.
Ridge preservation can essentially minimize the amount of bone loss that occurs after the removal of one or more teeth. Leaving the socket empty after an extraction is sure to lead to deteriorating bone in the jaw, making it more difficult to place an implant later.
Ridge preservation is also:
- Minimally invasive with minimal discomfort
- Prepares the site for future placement of a dental implant without additional grafting
- More cost effective and less painful than waiting to have the grafting procedure later
- Preserves a natural looking smile