Bone grafting is a surgical procedure where we use natural or synthetic bone from either human or animal donors to regrow your natural bone tissue. There are several reasons why you would need a bone graft, such as tissue damage due to an injury or disease. Bone grafts can restore your jaw structure and prepare it for dental implant surgery. We can use several different types of bone grafts at Glen Perio.
Need for Bone Grafting
There are two main reasons why you would need a bone graft: injury and disease. Injuries are less common, but there are situations in which a section of the jaw could be damaged to an extent that it would need to be removed. Regarding disease, periodontitis has the potential to destroy gum and bone tissue in its advanced stages. Whenever you are missing or removing a section of the jaw, it needs to be replaced using a bone graft. Otherwise, you could have issues with eating and speaking in addition to a sunken facial structure.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are five different kinds of bone grafts that we use; alloplast bone grafts, allograft tissue, autograft tissue, xenograft tissue and growth factors. Alloplast bone grafts involve a synthetic material. These do not stimulate the growth of new bone tissue, but they can transform into natural bone. Allograft tissue is taken from a cadaver. These have a very high rate of success. Autograft tissue involves a piece of your own natural bone which is grafted from another spot on your body. This requires several procedures since we need to both remove and place the graft, but they are very low risk and have great success rates. Finally, xenograft tissue is a natural bone, but it comes from an animal. These do not stimulate new natural bone formation, but they can transform into your own bone tissue.
Bone Graft Procedure
Before surgery, you will have a consultation at our office. Our periodontist will take x-rays and discuss the various types of bone grafts available. At this point, you can discuss any concerns you have and decide on the best type of bone graft for you.
Your bone graft procedure will involve general anesthesia. This ensures that you are completely unconscious during the procedure so that you will be comfortable. Our periodontist will initially make an incision and lift the gum back where the graft needs to be placed. They place the graft and reshape it to fit perfectly in the area. We hold the bone graft in place using plates, wires, cables, screws, or pins. Once the graft is secure, our periodontist closes and sutures the incision. You will have bandages to keep the site clean while it heals.
Recovery from general anesthesia typically takes several hours, so you can expect to feel groggy for the rest of the day. Over the next few days, you can use ice or over-the-counter pain medicine to reduce tenderness and swelling. Bone grafts require several months of healing. This depends on the type of graft, specific site, and your immune system. Call Glen Perio at 224-488-3392 to ask about available bone grafts.