Dentin grinder: Healthy dental “recycling” in Petaluma, CA
America has finally recognized the economic and environmental benefits of recycling. Today we recycle about 86 million tons of trash each year. Did know that extracted teeth can also be recycled? At Dental Care & Wellness of Sonoma County in Petaluma, CA, Dr. Jurina Smida offers an innovative approach to bone grafting that uses your own tissues, prepared with a dentin grinder.
What happens when a tooth is lost?
Each natural tooth has roots that reach into jawbone to stabilize the crown – the part of the tooth you see above the gumline, necessary for chewing. Each time you bite down, tooth roots send signals that tell the body strong bone is needed for this stability. That triggers delivery of minerals and nutrients to keep jawbone dense.
When a tooth is missing for a while, the opposite happens. Since the body no longer senses bite pressure, minerals from bone in that area are resorbed into the blood and sent to strengthen other bones. Height and width of jawbone diminishes significantly – about 25 percent in the first year alone. Facial proportions become distorted, and there may be negative impact on speech and chewing. The problem is, of course, compounded when multiple teeth are missing.
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When is bone grafting needed?
A dental implant is presently the only treatment that restores the appearance and function of a lost tooth while helping to preserve facial bone. This small cylinder, made of a biocompatible material, resides in jawbone replicating the root of the missing tooth, rather than sitting on top of gum tissue like a denture or bridge. Thus, the implant provides bone stimulation, similar to a natural tooth.
For successful placement of a dental implant, however, the patient must have sufficient bone. This is especially important in the upper arch, where atrophied bone mass may not present sufficient barrier between the mouth and sinuses.
Bone grafting is an oral surgery that builds up the bony ridge, making implantation possible. In the past, grafting material may have been derived from:
- Human cadavers – An allograft uses human bone from tissues donated for medical use.
- Animals – Bone from cows (usually) is made into a calcified matrix called a xenograft.
- A laboratory – Synthetic variants can be made from hydroxyapatite, a mineral found in bone, in an alloplastic graft.
- The patient – While tissue from your own body is preferable, a traditional autograft means two surgical sites – healthy bone is harvested from one spot and grafted to the deficient area.
Why choose natural bone grafting in Petaluma, CA with the dentin grinder?
While Dr. Smida’s focus is on helping patients keep their natural dentition, sometimes a tooth must be extracted in the interest of overall health. This could be the case if advanced periodontal disease has destroyed connective tissues and bone that hold teeth in place, or when a tooth cannot be saved due to deep untreated decay or trauma.
Regardless, when extraction is necessary, Dr. Smida may be able to “recycle” the tooth for grafting, since bone and dentin have nearly identical composition. While dental researchers experimented with this in the past, the process of sterilizing, grinding, and demineralizing the tooth took several days, which meant a second procedure. With the dentin grinder, Dr. Smida prepares the extracted tooth in about 15 minutes into a bacteria-free grafting substance. This native, autologous material is then immediately introduced back into the extraction site.
Since it is full of natural growth factors and proteins, the graft attracts osteoprogenitors – cells necessary for the formation of new bone. Bone readily fuses with the graft. Over time, the graft is gradually resorbed as new bone tissue entirely replace it, creating a stable foundation for a dental implant.
About 85 percent of an extracted tooth can be used for grafting. Even a tooth with a filling or crown may be suitable. However, teeth that have had root canal therapy are not, since they may contain toxins. With the dentin grinding method, there is no chance of rejection or disease transmission, and risk of inflammation is reduced, since the graft is from your own body.
Has a dentist told you that dental implants are not an option for you because of bone loss? Or perhaps you simply didn’t like the bone grafting alternative presented, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Smida to learn more about the dentin grinder technique. Her number in Petaluma, CA is 707-789-9151.