Can Your Teeth Be Turned into Bone Grafts?

Many people who get dental implants can’t get their implants placed right away. Instead, bone loss related to gum disease means they need bone grafts to help them build up bone in the site for the implants. The best source for your bone grafts is your own bone, but this comes with problems.

As with many gum grafts, you need a secondary surgical site, and with the bone graft this could be as far away as your pelvic bone. So many people balk at the procedure. And many are also leery of bone grafts using either cadaver material or bovine bone.

For these people, a solution in many cases might be using an extracted tooth, which would otherwise be waste material, to make bone graft material.

Bring out the Tooth Grinder!

This new approach is being brought to many dental offices via the BonMaker and similar systems, small automated processors that take extracted teeth and turn them into bone graft material. Essentially, the tooth is extracted and some preliminary processing is performed to remove foreign material, such as metal amalgam or other filling materials.

Then the tooth is placed into the tooth grinder. Once the tooth has been ground into uniform particles, these particles are added to the processor, which sterilizes the material and prepares it to serve as a bone graft. Essentially, this requires three reagents, which, by all accounts, are inexpensive.

Once the material is processed, which takes less than half an hour, it’s ready for placement–or storage. If it’s not necessary now–or if there is more bone graft than is necessary for this procedure–the bone graft can be stored “for many years”.

Does It Work?

It’s important to note that these devices have not been approved for sale in the US, and they’re probably many years from being available. So far, the science is sparse, but the results are promising, with long-term follow-up showing that dental implants can be stable in grafts made using this material. Some users of this technology insist that it works well, and have shown great-looking clinical results.

However, we won’t know if this technology is suitable for general use until it’s been studied in more cases.

What we do know is that there are many options for bone grafting today that have been proven to work. If you are looking for dental implants, we can help you get the best chance at success, whether you need a bone graft or not. To learn how a Beverly Hills periodontist can improve your chances of success with dental implants, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment at the office of Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD today.

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