The bone grafting procedure always brings to mind a complex and involved surgical procedure, but it really is not. This procedure has become commonplace in the treatment of a wide array of oral conditions. While most people have heard of bone grafts, very few know about the actual procedure used to place bone graft tissue.
Widely used to treat issues with the temporomandibular joint, also called the TMJ, they have been utilized in other areas as well. Whether the joint was damaged by trauma, normal wear and tear, or disease, bone grafts placed at the site of the joint can alleviate these symptoms. When there are problems with the TMJ, patients are said to have temporomandibular disorder. This disorder can be marked by symptoms including trouble speaking, or problems opening or closing the mouth completely. We are always here to discuss your oral health and pathology at Harmony Dental. Why not contact us today so we can get started?
Bone Grafts Defined
In the simplest of terms, a graft is a tissue taken from a healthy place on a patient which is then placed on a damaged site. It increases bone mass and adds strength to the bones of the jaw which have been damaged by trauma, advanced stages of gum disease, or extensive tooth decay. Bone grafts are considered vital because, in order to perform restorative dental procedures, adequate bone mass is necessary to complete.
If the patient is unable to provide an adequate graft, donors are used. They can either be from another person, a cadaver, or even an equine. Through research, it has been found that equine bones are an excellent option. When none of these are available, synthetic material can be used which will adhere to the bone and become absorbed.
Types of Grafts
While the bone graft process is similar among all bone grafts and they are placed in the same way, there are different types of procedures. The two procedures most dental professionals use are called autografts and allografts. Both procedures can adequately treat common problems but are used for different reasons.
When live tissue is harvested from the patient themselves, it is known as an autograft. The most commonplace on the body to harvest bone tissue is the pelvis or the hip.
The other most common option chosen is the autograft. While not as common as the allograft, they are still widely used. The tissue, in this type of graft, is taken from a cadaver. The tissue is harvested from the cadaver and placed in a tissue bank until it is needed for the procedure.
When do I Need a Bone Graft?
In those patients where damage has occurred to the TMJ and they report issues with chewing or speaking, a bone graft is widely recommended. It can also correct problems with the actual motion of the jaw where the patient is unable to fully open or close their mouth.
If you think you have a TMJ issue which bone grafts might help, please come and see us today at Harmony Dental. We are also available for a phone consultation at this number (541) 246-3250.