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  • Writer's picturelaurenjanowiecki

What is a Bone Graft?

Every Mini Dental Implant Patient asks the same question- What in the WORLD is Bone graft?! I decided the best way to answer the question, was to let the professionals do it for me. Thanks to the combined articles by William Morrison, MD of Healthline & Dr. Katelynne Shepard who writes the Dental Implant articles on Colegate, you are about to find out.

p.s. I included a video at the bottom. you're welcome.

What is a bone graft?

A bone graft is a surgical procedure used to fix problems with bones or joints.

Bone grafting, or transplanting of bone tissue, is beneficial in fixing bones that are damaged from trauma or problem joints. It’s also useful for growing bone around an implanted device, such as a total knee replacement where there is bone loss or a fracture. The bone used in a bone graft can come from your body or a donor, or it can be entirely synthetic. It can provide a framework where new, living bone can grow if it’s accepted by the body. A bone graft may fill an area where bone is absent or help provide structural stability. In our world, a bone graft is used for Mini Dental Implants.

Types of bone grafts

The two most common types of bone grafts are:

allograft, which uses bone from a deceased donor or a cadaver that has been cleaned and stored in a tissue bankautograft, which comes from a bone inside your body, such as your ribs, hips, pelvis, or wrist

The type of graft used depends on the type of injury your surgeon is repairing.

Allografts are commonly used in hip, knee, or long bone reconstruction. Long bones include arms and legs. The advantage is there’s no additional surgery needed to acquire the bone. It also lowers your risk of infection since additional incisions or surgery aren’t required.

Allograft bone transplant involves bone that has no living cells so that the risk of rejection is minimal as opposed to organ transplants, in which living cells are present. Since the transplanted bone doesn’t contain living marrow, there is no need to match blood types between the donor and the recipient.

Why bone grafting is performed

Bone grafting is done for numerous reasons, including injury and disease. There are four main reasons bone grafts are used:

A bone graft may be used in the case of multiple or complex fractures or those that don’t heal well after initial treatment.Fusion helps two bones heal together across a diseased joint. Fusion is most often done on the spine.Regeneration is used for bone lost to disease, infection, or injury. This can involve using small amounts of bone in bone cavities or large sections of bones.A graft can be used to help bone heal around surgically implanted devices, like joint replacements, plates, or screws.

How to prepare for bone grafting

Your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination before your surgery. Make sure you tell your doctor about any medications, over-the-counter drugs, or supplements you’re taking. Your Doctor will draw blood and mix it with the bone graft material so that it heals faster. Day of your blood draw, drink lots of water- if you do not, you may need to be stuck multiple times. Your doctor will give you complete instructions about what to do in the days before and the day of your surgery. It’s important to follow those instructions.

A Bone Graft & Mini Dental Implants

For those who are missing one or more teeth, the cosmetic effect of a dental implant is almost unbeatable. Dental implants look and function the same as a regular tooth, and a successful implant is just about undetectable. It is always important, however, to make sure that you understand all the various aspects of an oral surgery, and dental implants are no different. One of the main things to be aware of is the possibility of needing a bone graft for dental implants.

A dental implant basically has two pieces: a metal cylinder that is placed into the jaw bone and functions like the root of the tooth, and an abutment that screws into the first piece. A crown is then placed on the abutment, creating the appearance of a tooth.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), your oral surgeon may talk to you about undergoing a bone graft for dental implants if he believes that your jaw bone is too thin or soft to keep the implant in place in its current state. If the bone cannot support the implant, it may cause the implant surgery to fail.

In a bone graft procedure, the surgeon will take a section of bone from another area of your body, or - as is most often the case now - use a special bone grafting material, and graft it onto your jaw bone. You will then have to wait, most likely several months, while the graft creates enough new, strong bone to make sure that the implant will be stable and secure. It is possible if you only need a minor graft that the procedure might be able to be done at the same time as the implant surgery, but your dental specialist will make the final decision. A successful bone graft allows your jaw bone to be strong enough to support your dental implant.

Once the bone graft is complete, the rest of the implant surgery can proceed. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to discuss your personal medical history and all the risks and benefits of the surgery with your dental specialist. Once your doctor decides you are a good fit for the procedure, you can look forward to a brand new smile.

You can see a short video of bone graft here:

Thanks again, to the writers of this combined article, and I hope this was informative! And of course, Dr. Thomas Volck will answer all of these questions for you, any time.



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