One of the most devastating dental issues that you can deal with is loosing a tooth. Tooth loss can be not only embarrassing, but it can be simply uncomfortable. It just does not feel right to have a gaping hole between two teeth. The good news is that tooth loss is no longer something that people just have to put up with. Instead, dental technology has advanced so that with the aide of dental implants a missing tooth can be replaced.
The truth is that more often than not when a patient looses a tooth they might have experienced some bone loss. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the tooth has been missing for years and the bone has started to erode a bit. Or maybe the patient has experienced a case of gingivitis that has lead to some bone loss. Whatever the reason, when bone loss starts to occur a bone graft may be required for a dental implant procedure to be successfully completed.
Bone grafts come in a variety of different types and they can be either simple or more complex. The goal of any graft is to rebuild the missing bone to provide a foundation for the implant post to be planted into.
Autografts are probably the most common type of bone grafts. For this the patient will actually give grafts of bone from their own body to be placed into the lacking area. The hip and the mouth are very common places to get the bone from. The positive here is that since you are taking the bone from your own body the likelihood of it successfully being grafted onto your body is higher than average.
Despite the popularity of autografts not all patients are candidates for them. When that happens your doctor may consider performing an allograft. This is where the necessary bone is taken from someone else. This means that you will have to do quite a bit of testing to ensure that your systems are compatible, and even after that you do face the risk of your body rejecting the bone.
The cost of this procedure is fairly high in comparison with other dental alternatives. However, this is dependent on what the specific dentist charges, some are affordable other are expensive.
Donor bone does not always have to be human in nature. There are opportunities for bone to be taken from animals. Though there are several procedures that the bone must undergo prior to being grafted onto human bone it can be successful. After several years your body will actually replace this animal bone with your own bone.
Perhaps the most technologically advanced form of bone grafts is alloplastic grafts. This is where an artificial bone is made out of synthetic materials. This is then used as the foundation for your own bone to grow over.
With all of these forms of bone grafts there is always the risk of rejection, but with modern technology and science that risk is constantly becoming less and less.