Bone grafting is used to replace and improve the bone contours around implants. As bone is an implant’s best friend we sometimes need more of it to improve the longevity, aesthetics and long term comfort for our patients.
Most often the position of the soft tissue (gum) is dependant on the position of the underlying hard tissue. As a result, we often find the recuperation of lost bone to be more important than that of soft tissue, as one comes as a result of the other. Consequently, hard tissue deficiencies are often the first identified and addressed.
Despite the source of the grafting material or its granular or solid presentation, the entire objective is to encourage your own body to create mature and solid bone in a position where it otherwise wouldn’t have. Even bone from another source, in time, should be remodelled into your own bone.
Our aim, therefore, is to encourage osseoinduction – the acceleration of new bone formation, and osseoconduction – the provision of a scaffold for the growth of new bone.
When one loses a tooth nature is very quick to begin the process of atrophy. Bone is lost very quickly. Again, the recognition of this is very important if successful future restoration is to be attempted. Outcomes will be greatly affected. Future long term function and the avoidance of dentures will be at stake.
Grafting, again, refers to the movement of tissue from a donor site to a recipient site. This can be in the form of a block of bone or granulated pieces. The bone may be your bone (autogenous) or from another source.
Collecting the bone form another source negated the need to harvest from a donor site, thereby eliminating a site of surgical trauma. For this reason allografts (cadaver bone) and xenografts (bovine or porcine bone) are often popular
Usually much less than a soft tissue graft as there is less soft tissue manipulation and surgical trauma. Often if the bone graft is done in a timely fashion post tooth loss, then the soft tissue will be maintained as a result
In most cases, where a tooth has been lost for more than 6 – 12 months, there will be evidence of bone loss. Usually, the restoration of that area will be compromised by this. We cannot replace what nature has take away without addressing the lost bone. Again, the recognition of this weighed up with the aesthetic importance of the area will help us decide if any grafting is necessary.