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What is Dental Bone Grafting?

bone grafting interview dr ben

What is Dental Bone Grafting?

There are two elements of bone grafting that are kind of broad strokes. One is creating the space- we call that scaffold, the scaffolding of fact of allowing bone to have enough space to grow. Bone doesn’t grow if it’s moved around. That’s why we put casts on arms. We want to hold it together tightly. If it’s not held together tightly, we get soft tissue in there, and the bone doesn’t heal properly. 

So, creating the space and holding it, like putting it in a cast is an important element of bone growth in general in the body. The second thing is the ability of the body to recognize; we should grow some bone here. These signaling molecules and cells, the cellular information that’s going back and forth, What should we put here? Should we put soft tissue? Should we put fats? You know, what is the body suggesting that belongs in this in the space?  

The terms are osteoinduction versus osteoconduction. And the conduction is really the scaffolding effect. It’s osteoinduction or this osteoinductive matter is all of these potentially stimulating cellular information. It can be just about anything from actual cells or signaling proteins. 

There’s all kinds of bone morphogenesis proteins that are now being used that can be purchased from, you know, the bone store. I usually tell patients, or they can be spun down from your own blood, just a little blood draw and you can use your own proteins to help to stimulate bone growth. A lot of research is being done in these types of areas to really give patients this neat list of options. And really, it’s a dentist’s job to pick and choose. Some of them are really practical, and it’s a pragmatic thing for them to be able to buy a centrifuge in their office because they do that often, and they’ve really bought into this idea of using the patient’s own blood to create this. We have two centrifuges in our facility because we believe that that’s the case. 

So a lot there. But, you know, what is bone grafting? I mean, you know, I think that just if we’re going to take it in a really simple view, if we need to have an implant placed and the bone that the patient presents with is not sufficient enough, we can add bone to that area and one way or another to create the space. 

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