Bone Grafting in Dental and Orthopedic

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure to repair and rebuild diseased or damaged bones. During a bone grafting procedure, a new piece of bone is placed where a bone needs to heal or join. The cells inside the new bone can then seal themselves to the old bone. Bone grafting may be needed for different medical reasons such as dental implant surgery, spinal fusion surgery, and surgeries to help promote bone growth around surgically implanted devices, like in knee replacement. These bone grafts can provide a framework for the growth of new bone. Jaw, hips, knees, and spine are common locations for bone grafting.

Dental Applications

Periodontal Disease and Bone Loss

There are many factors that can lead to the loss of a tooth or teeth. These include trauma to the area, inflammation of the gum tissue, and bacterial tooth plague. When teeth are missing, it can lead to shrinkage of the jawbone due to lack of stimulation normally provided by contact of the teeth and chewing.
However, bone loss can be prevented by giving the jawbone a replacement of tooth. Dental implants are placed into the jaw and serve to replace missing teeth and fill in gaps that those missing teeth left behind. Implants preserve jaw structure and have the benefit of functioning just like regular teeth.

Bone Grafting to Repair Bone Density

When too much bone density is already lost in the jaw and teeth, bone grafting may be needed to provide enough bone for dental implant placement. Even if implant is not used, dental bone grafting may be necessary to support a section of the jaw that has lost bone because of tooth loss or gum disease. After bone graft is placed in the lost bone, the surrounding bone creates new bone cells around the grated material building new bone. New bone growth will eventually replace the graft material.

Soft Tissue Repair

A procedure called Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) is used to prevent gums from growing into an area where the new bone should grow. In GTR, after the bone graft is placed, a barrier membrane is used to separate the gum and bone.

Orthopedic Applications

Bone Grafts in Spine Surgery

Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgeries done in the neck or back. The idea is to fuse together painful bones in the spine so that they heal into a single, solid bone. In order for bones to fuse or heal together, additional bone is needed. This additional bone is called a bone graft.

Other Bone Grafting Procedures in Orthopedic

Bone grafting is a common orthopedic procedure to promote bone healing, by providing a foundation for the patient’s body to grow new bone and for structural support to the skeleton by filling large gaps between bones. Bone grafting is required for bone healing around implants, such as plates, screws, and joint replacements. For instance, during trauma surgery, a metal rod may be used to stabilize the bone while bone graft placed at the fracture site to stimulate bone healing and growth.