Whenever we mention bone grafts to our patients, their responses vary from confusion to mild nervousness. Many people who don’t know about the procedure are shocked by the benefits they have to offer. Others who may have heard of it might not understand how it can be advantageous to them.
Here, we believe that education is the key to dispelling the misconceptions that dominate people’s fears of the dentist. A little bit of educating can also be beneficial to those who’ve never once thought of visiting the dentist themselves.
We decided to take some time to talk about dental bone reconstruction. Here you will learn about what a bone reconstruction entails, how the process has evolved over the years, why you might need a bone graft, and what the modern-day procedure looks like in our facilities.
Keep on reading to learn more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444.
The Early Days of Dental Bone Reconstruction
The concept of bone reconstruction and augmentation (simply known as ‘bone grafting’) is nothing new. Bone grafting has been practiced in medicine for quite some time.
Shortly after the invention of the microscope in the early 1600s, Dutch doctor Jacob Van Meekeren performed the first bone grafting operation on a soldier’s damaged skull. Due to very limited resources, however, Doctor Van Meekeren had to be creative during the surgical process. Rather than using human bone, he used dog bone. All things considered however, the surgery was still a success!
Bone grafting developed over the next few hundred years, and in the early 1900s the first ceramic product was cleared for use during bone reconstruction. Today, bone grafting and reconstruction is performed regularly, especially in the field of dentistry.
Who Needs Dental Bone Grafting?
There are a variety of reasons why one person might need a dental bone graft. Typically, it is one of these three reasons:
- Aesthetic Purposes: Many clients wish to improve the contours around their teeth and preserve their young and healthy face.
- Bone Loss Prevention: Bone loss is always a concern after a tooth has been extracted. When the bone graft process is performed shortly after an extraction, there is nothing to worry about.
- Replace Lost Bone: Otherwise known as bone reconstruction.
At the end of the day, bone grafts are used to better improve the health and appearance of your jaw and teeth.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that damages soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It can cause teeth to loosen, and it can even cause them to fall out.
Gum disease is preventable through proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing regularly. In some cases, however, gum disease will go unchecked for years due to the fact that it is painless until it majorly impacts the gums. Gum disease impacts 50% of the population over 50 years old and also affects the younger population.
When Do You Know Bone Reconstruction is Needed?
In a perfect world, you would visit your dentist frequently enough for them to tell you. Unfortunately, many people are unable to visit their dentist on a routine basis because of other personal and financial obligations.
If you have lost teeth in the past and have begun to notice that your teeth are shifting, that may make you a candidate for bone grafting. Tooth loss leads to bone loss, which can dramatically alter the appearance of your remaining teeth if left unchecked. What’s more, bone loss can weaken your jaw.
If you would like to have a dental implant one day and have had teeth extracted in the past, you’ll most definitely need a bone graft. For any dental implant to successfully take hold, your jawbone needs to be strong and healthy.
What are Modern Day Bone Grafts Made From?
In the world of periodontics, there are currently four types of bone grafts.
First is the Xenograft. A Xenograft refers to when a bone is taken from an animal source and transported into your body. While this might seem outlandish, it isn’t! They’re commonly used in many forms of surgery, they’re readily available, and their success rate is well documented.
There is also the Alloplast Bone Graft. The Alloplast stands out for being synthetically made. Commonly used in surgery, this readily available option has also had much well-documented success, and there is zero risk of disease transmission.
Another method is the Autograft. With an Autograft, bone is surgically taken from one part of your body and transplanted to another part. Like the other methods, the success of the Autograft is more than well-documented. Unfortunately, however, the Autograft may not be an option for some patients.
Which brings us to the last option, which just so happens to be the preferred method of Dr. Caudry: The Allograft
The Allograft: The Safe and Effective Approach to Dental Bone Reconstruction
The Allograft material is made from donor bone, and it is our preferred material for dental bone grafts. Time and time again, we have seen this safe, biocompatible material aid the body in making new bone and preserving all existing bone in the process.
The Dental Bone Reconstruction Procedure with Dr. Caudry
The bone reconstruction procedure typically takes one hour, while the recovery period takes about two weeks. It will take about 4-6 months for the graft to become a solid bone mass. After the donor bone has successfully integrated, you will be the perfect candidate for a new dental implant.
Does the Bone Graft Procedure Hurt?
Not at all! Patients are typically sedated during the procedure, and many report feeling no pain at all while the graft heals and bone integrates. The bone graft is simply a part of modern dentistry. It doesn’t add discomfort to your life, in many cases, it saves you from future discomfort!
Questions on Bone Reconstruction? Contact Dr. Caudry Today!
The helpful staff at our facility are available to answer any questions you might have at any moment. If you’d like to learn more about bone grafts, or whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, simply contact us at (416) 928-3444.