One option available for periodontists in Vero Beach, Fl, to increase bone density in patients is using allograft tissue grafts. Dental bone grafts are used to fill empty spaces in the jaw bone that are left after a tooth extraction and to provide material for new bone cells to attach themselves as they develop. The process allows the bone to rebuild enough to insert implants or provide additional structure to support the jaw bone.
What is Allograft Tissue?
Allograft tissue comes from human sources other than the person receiving the graft. The material is made out of cadaver bones. These bones are donated by people who want to help others after they pass, and who have donated the bones to a human tissue bank to help the living. Cadaver bones are also one of the most cost-effective products to use for dental bone grafting.
The bone is crushed down and sanitized. Then it is made into a material that can be pressed into the sockets where it will meld with the existing bone.
There are three types of allografts made for dental procedures:
- Freeze Dried Bone Allograft (FDBA)
- Demineralized Freeze Dried Bone (DFDBA)
- Fresh or Fresh and Frozen
The first two types are the most commonly used ones for dental procedures.
How Allograft Material is Prepared
The bone is harvested from a cadaver and then freeze dried to remove the moisture from the bone tissue. The bone is then demineralized before getting cleaned, disinfected, and crushed. Other materials such as collagen and proteins are mixed into the crushed material to allow it to connect with existing bone. The final material can come in putty, powder, chips, or gel form.
Your dentist in Vero Beach, Fl, will help ensure your comfort by numbing the grating area with a local anesthetic. The dentist will then cut a small incision in the gums to create an opening in which to place the grafting material. The allograft can also be applied immediately after a tooth extraction to fill the empty socket. The dentist will then thoroughly clean and sanitize the incision or socket areas to prevent infections in your mouth.
The allograft material is then pushed into the empty socket until it is full. In some cases, the dentist will also apply a membrane over the allograft material to help hold it in place. The gum is stitched together and the wound is allowed to heal. This process can take up to nine months before the site is suitable for dental implants, but you should be able to return to your daily life right away.
The healing time will vary by individual. In most cases, the gums and wound will heal within a few weeks at most, and your dentist will periodically check to make sure an infection isn’t developing. The total healing time for the graft can take anywhere from three to nine months or more. There are a few factors that will determine your actual healing time. These include your overall health and age and the amount of bone loss the graft needs to overcome. Another consideration is if the bone needs to hold a dental implant or not. Restoring bone loss for a dental implant will take a longer time to heal than placing grafts to compensate for generalized bone loss in the jaw due to periodontal diseases.
What to Expect While Healing
There will usually be some swelling and discomfort during the first few days to a week. You can use cold compresses and over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen. You should also consume soft foods that won’t put a lot of pressure on the healing site when you bite down. In some cases, your dentist may also prescribe blood thinners to reduce clotting. In all cases, you want to avoid heavy drinking, smoking, and alcohol-based mouthwashes while the gums are healing.
If you suffer from severe pain, swelling, or pus develops around the wound, you should call your Vero Beach dentist right away.