Bone grafting is required to repair and promote new bone growth in the jaw in an area where there is a bone defect and insufficient bone for implant placement.
What is bone grafting and GBR?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that places a material into the area where there is insufficient bone. This material promotes bone regeneration and results in the formation of new bone in the deficient area. Bone can be taken from elsewhere on your body e.g. back of lower jaw, or special bone replacement materials derived from human cadavers, cows or pigs can often be used to build bone back up. The extent to which a graft may be needed is something that is investigated during the assessment phase. The size of that graft required will determine the amount and type of graft that will be used.
Why do we need to place bone grafts?
A dental implant needs to be placed within a patient’s bone. The bone volume must be sufficient to allow for dental implant placement. The most important factor in implant dentistry is Osseointegration. This is where the bone creates a bond with the dental implant and integrates it within its structure. If there is insufficient bone volume, this process cannot take place predictably and the implant can fail.
One of the primary causes of bone volume loss is tooth loss. Following the removal of a tooth or teeth, the bone starts to resorb and remodel. This bone loss can still allow for implant placement without any additional procedures, or may necessitate bone grafting if extensive loss has occurred.
Therefore, every patient needs to be thoroughly assessed to determine their bone volume (which is often shown through 3D X-Ray scans) to ascertain who if a bone graft is required. A 3D-scan enables the implant dentist to see the volume, density, height, and anatomical structure of your bone. It is important this is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
This is where your own bone is used to rebuild the bone deficiency and is taken from somewhere else in the body (donor site). It is often taken from the chin or back of the jaw near where the wisdom tooth sits. Using a patient’s own bone means there is a decreased risk of the body rejecting the bone.
An allograft is a donated bone graft from another human. More information about allografts can be found here.