Who Needs a Bone Graft?
Typically, when a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone resorbs vertically and horizontally. This often does not provide enough bone to support an implant. In these cases, a bone graft is performed to augment and replace the natural bone. There are techniques to add bone almost anywhere in the jaws that may be needed. Because of these advanced techniques, implants are successfully placed in situations that used to be impossible. Bone grafts can also be done in most cases at the same time as the placement of the implant. This helps preserve the natural bone as such as possible and also helps support eh natural gum tissue for a more natural and c final appearance. Many studies over the last decade have shown the benefits in both success and esthetics of this approach along with a very significant learning curve for these advanced techniques. Dr. Bulloch is far beyond the learning curve after years of extra training, decades of experience, and thousands of implant patients.
What are the Benefits of Xenografts?
Xenograft bone grafting has many benefits, the most obvious being that bone does not need to be harvested from the patient themselves in order to receive the benefits of bone grafting. Xenograft has high porosity, which provides a favorable structure for your natural bone to adhere to. Studies have shown that xenografts have a comparable success rate, and in several studies an even better success rate, to bone grafts taken from the patients themselves.
What is a Bone Graft?
When a dental implant is placed, a process called osseointegration occurs- which is the process of the bone fusing to the implant. A substantial amount of robust bone is required for osseointegration to occur, and in cases where bone loss has occurred, a bone graft is needed.
Hearing the words “bone grafting” can sound intimidating. In the past, when a bone graft was needed, the patient would have to undergo a bone harvest procedure to get the patients’ own bone from another area. This type of bone graft is called an autogenous bone graft. While there are still times where an autogenous bone graft may be best suited for the patient, this practice is rarely used today. Advances in medical technology have produced impressive alternatives to this method.
Dr. Bulloch’s office uses one of these technologically advanced methods. When it comes to bone grafts, Dr. Bulloch prefers to use Xenografts in most cases. This is where a bovine bone graft is processed at very high temperatures and freeze dried in order to prevent contamination and rejection. Material is then made to look and act like human bone. Peptides are then added that stimulate the body to break it down and use the materials to make the patient’s own bone in its place. This bone graft option eliminates the need for a second procedure to harvest bone, and has been shown to have a very high success rate.