Understanding The Possible Problems: A Dental Bone Graft

Dental bone graft, periodontist, bone grafting material, bone graft periodontics

Although bone grafts are usually successful, there is a slight possibility that a problem could show up, which might lead to failure. Dental bone graft problems can stem from a number of reasons, but some of them would be correctable or the surgery may be repeated.

Materials Used  in dental implant bone graft

When a bone graft is made, the periodontist or dentist will use one of four different types of materials. Each material may have its own advantage, or your oral surgeon may have a preference.

The first type is your own bone. This can be taken from your hip or chin, but it may also be taken from your skull. It is most likely to be successful because it is your own bone. A problem with this is that it creates two surgery sites on your body. If you want to avoid this, you would need to choose another source.

Another type of material is from a donor – a cadaver. The bone material is carefully sterilized and processed before use. An animal bone may also be used, and it most often would come from a cow.

The final type of material is a synthetic bone graft. It is a man-made material and it is often used.

What Is A Dental Bone Graft?

Bone graft surgery will be used most often in two situations. The first is immediately after an extraction, where bone grafting material is poured into the socket. This will help prevent bone loss. When it heals, the socket will have enough bone in it to solidly hold an implant in place.

A second occasion for bone grafting is when the top of the ridge where the implant will be placed, called the alveolar ridge, is too low. A bone replacement graft can be used to bring it back up to its correct height. A bone graft may also be used to supplement bone when an implant is placed. The bone may be sufficient to hold the implant, but the surgeon may add some bone graft material to make it even stronger.

Possible Problems A Dental Bone Graft

One of the possible dental bone graft problems is that the dentist was not careful enough in the planning of the surgery or when making or placing the bone graft. However, some things may just be unavoidable.

Another possibility of failure is when the material is rejected by your body. This will not occur when your own bone is used, but it can happen when other materials are selected.

The failure rate for oral bone grafts is higher when a block of your own bone is used. The problem seems to be that it is slower to develop new blood vessels, which may cause it to fail after a dental implant has been installed. The success rate is higher when the bone is processed as particles.

Oftentimes, a periodontist will place some membranes on top of the graft. These are used to direct the direction of bone growth, called guided bone regeneration (GBR). These membranes, although very helpful in healing, can sometimes fall out of the socket, or may need to be removed early due to possible infection.

The presence of an infection can reduce the rate of new bone growth, which could cause the graft to fail. Infection can appear around the membranes, or around the microscrews used to hold a bone graft block, if they are used and become exposed.

Problems may also occur if the sinus cavity needs to be lifted. This is needful if your upper back teeth have been removed. It requires gently lifting the sinus away from the area, then filling the space with a bone graft material. Sometimes the sinus cavity is pierced during this surgery and it can lead to infection in the graft.

Diabetes that is not controlled may also lead to bone graft failure. The reason is that excessive sugar in the blood slows healing, which is a common problem with diabetics.

Smoking is always a problem where bone grafts are concerned. The nicotine reduces the flow of blood in the gums, which reduces the oxygen and nutrients needed for healing. The use of tobacco of any kind can cause a graft to fail, and so can anti-smoking patches that use nicotine.

Solutions of  bone graft in periodontics

In some cases where bone graft periodontics has started to fail, the problem can be reversed. This can sometimes be done with antibiotics. A graft may partially fail, too, which may only require a partial repair. In some cases, the surgery must simply be repeated – oftentimes with success.

Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS

Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, often conducts bone graft for an implant and dental implant surgery. He also provides periodontal surgery and gum grafts in his Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX offices. Nearly all dental health insurance plans are accepted. For a consultation or information about periodontal treatment, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.

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