The human body is a complex machine with such sophisticated interconnectivity that it could make many modern computer systems blush, if they had the capacity. For all this complexity however, the human body is also a vulnerable system that can easily deteriorate. Reversing deterioration is a battle that mankind has only recently been able to fight through modern medicine.
Modern medicine has advanced to the point where the once inconceivable is possible. One of the greatest advancements has been the ability to graft, replace, and encourage bone growth. Jaw bone growth and grafting is a popular medical procedure among maxillofacial professionals. Due to illness or genetic defect facial bones can begin to deteriorate and alter the health and well-being of individuals. Thanks to implant and grafting products from companies like Neoss, doctors have the tools to give those suffering from bone loss a new lease on life.
When a patient presents with signs of significant bone loss or damage to facial structure, it is possible for doctors to repair the damage with a facial bone implant. Generally constructed out of titanium, dental implant surgeries have advanced to a point where they have a very high success rate.
However, for a dental implant surgery to be successful the conditions within the patient’s body must be right. Titanium may be an incredibly strong alloy, but it needs to have health bone around it in order for the implant to succeed in the long run. During surgeries, implants are connected to surrounding bone structures to replace or supplement the lost jaw bone of the patient.
Over time, given proper bone density and overall health of the patient’s facial bones, the titanium implant bonds with the bones around it to form a newer, healthier jaw bone structure. The amount of time the implant lasts is dependent upon the health of the patient’s bones. So what happens if the bones aren’t healthy enough to support the implant?
According to the health blog on HowStuffWorks, if there is not enough healthy bone with good bone density in the jaw region, the implant surgery is less likely to be successful. In certain cases a patient may have to undergo a bone graft procedure in order to strengthen the bones of the jaw and add the needed density to increase the likelihood of success for the implant.
The Mayo Clinic, a leading not-for-profit research hospital in Minnesota, points out that bone grafting procedures can be conducted with a number of different methods. The most common is to take a piece of dense bone from a stronger region of the body, often the hip, and graft it into place in the jaw. Over the course of six to nine months this bone is allowed to fuse with the existing jaw bone before an implant procedure is attempted.
Additionally, doctors can opt to conduct a bone graft at the same time as the implant. This allows both the graft and the implant to fuse with existing bone structures at the same time. However, this approach only works with less severe cases of bone loss or bone density issues. Another option is to use synthetic materials to help build up bone mass and density, but again this approach is dependent upon the level of bone loss.
Role of Oral Health
At the end of the day, the success of all these procedures also lies in the hands of the patient. Smoking and poor oral care routines lead to damage to the bone structures in the face. These can not only lead to bone loss, but the failure of implants or the shortened life span of implants.