There are situations when bone or soft tissue has been lost from the face and jaws, whether it be from trauma, infection, or age. In some cases we need to replace these missing tissues to restore function and/or aesthetics. This process is referred to as grafting. Just some of the many types of graft we perform include:
- Grafts to replace the gum tissue, when it has receded and exposed the tooth roots
- Bone grafts to replace the missing jaw when an accident has damaged it
- Grafting to the socket when teeth are extracted, to preserve the bone and facial contour
- “Sinus lifts”, where the sinus floor has grown down over time and we need to move it back up to place dental implants
- Gingival grafting where we move a band of thick, healthy gum tissue to the outside of the teeth.
What material is used for grafting?
Every case is different, but we may use your own bone or gingiva (an “autogenous” graft) or use donor tissue from tissue banks, animal products, or synthetics, or even a combination of the above. The most common bone graft material we will use is freeze-dried mineralised bone aggregate, or “MFDB”. This is a product made from donor bone, where the cells and proteins are removed, essentially leaving the mineral. Your body will recognize this crystal structure and grow new bone around it, eventually replacing it with your own bone. This is a safe, effective way to help your body replace the missing tissue.
Can I get a dental implant at the same time as my graft?
Whenever possible, we like to combine treatments to save you a visit and have you restored to ideal health as soon as possible. In an ideal situation, we can remove a failing tooth, graft the site, place the implant, and place a temporary crown at the same visit. Your dentist will discuss the specifics of your treatment with you prior to your graft visit.
What can I do to improve the success of my graft?
Probably more than anything else we do in dentistry, the success of your graft is dependent on how your body heals. A healthy diet and carefully following our instructions will definitely improve your chances. One of the biggest factors, though, is smoking. Smokers just don’t heal very well. If you require a graft of any kind and you smoke, now is a good time to talk to us about quitting.
If you require more information about these procedures, please feel free to call for a consultation appointment today.