5 key points of dental bone grafting

Sometimes the lack of bone in the jaws can cause problems for those who wish to have an implant or any other type of treatment. In this type of cases the solution is dental bone graft surgery.

How is a dental bone graft performed? What techniques are applied?

It should be emphasized that in order to speak of grafts, living cells must be placed in the recipient area, otherwise we would be talking about the implantation of a biomaterial. Therefore, the bone to be grafted is usually obtained during the same surgical act.

The donor area can be intraoral or extraoral, and in more complicated cases, it can have its own vascularization by suturing the blood vessels in the recipient area. Rigid fixation supplemented with biomaterials is required to facilitate the formation of new bone, as the graft will be replaced by new cells.

Is grafting painful and what anesthesia is required?

For grafts of an intraoral nature, local anesthesia is usually sufficient. Occasionally, professionals in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery complement the intervention with sedation for greater patient comfort.

For extraoral grafts, on the other hand, there are cases in which general anesthesia is required. The postoperative period for both procedures is usually comfortable with the use of the usual analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.

What type of patients is the graft intended for and what are the benefits?

Thanks to grafts, it is possible to restore volume and structure to patients who have lost bone due to atrophy resulting from lack of teeth. Also for patients who have suffered a tumor or a cyst in the jaws, who have congenital anomalies or diseases that have caused a lack of bone volume to apply conventional treatments.

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What care should the patient take once the graft has been performed?

It is very important that the implant is fixed and does not receive loads until after the treatment is completely finished. This implies, therefore, not being able to chew on them.

Oral hygiene must be frequent and careful, as well as avoiding smoking. In fact, in relation to smoking, it should be taken into account that it favors the decrease of blood flow in the implanted areas. It also alters the characteristics of the oral mucosa and delays healing. All this leads to a worsening of the postoperative period and the preservation of the implants, as well as the good condition of the mouth in general.

Can grafts involve any type of risk?

Like any surgical intervention, grafts present risks that are minimized with good planning and technique. It should not be forgotten that there is also a donor area that can also be affected.

The success rate of implants is somewhat lower than that obtained with native bone. In some donor sites there may be a high graft resorption that hinders the placement of implants.