Q: I was told I need to have bone grafts done after my teeth are pulled to allow for dental implants and to prevent my face from sucking in. I get a little “creeped out” when they mention using cadaver bone. What say you?
A: Some of my best friends have been cadavers. I remember my first cadaver in dental school. Georgette and I met at a steel table during our gross anatomy evening class. It was a moon lit evening with a slight chill in the air from an incoming September cold front. The spiced cider was warm, her hands were cold, but somehow the next four months were spent prodding and probing and nailing an A in the course. But, I digress…
Many times bone is too thin after extractions of teeth and require that these areas be built up with bone graft material. We also often add bone grafts at the time of implant placement to “shore up” the implant for better stability.
I have previously discussed graft choices: your own bone (the best), bovine bone from those that moo for a living, synthetic bone (not a big fan; as it winds up feeling like sawdust used to make IKEA furniture.), and cadaver bone, which is pretty much tied with your own bone as far as success rates; plus, nobody in five million applications has gotten any diseases form the cadavers.
Now we have a new choice for those that are having extractions done: using your extracted teeth as your own graft material. Enter: The Smart Dentin Grinder: a novel machine that grinds your extracted teeth into a fine sterile mush of dentin and enamel, the two tissues teeth are made from. This is then packed into the voids in your jawbone like spackle on college dorm walls after the freshmen move out.
Three to four months later, bingo: new bone! Over a dozen published articles have shown great results. Feel free to give us a call if you are a candidate for this wonderful breakthrough.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.