Tissue Engineering

Dental implants have dramatically improved the lives of millions of people. They are the healthiest tooth replacement available, and with proper care, the implant post should last a lifetime.

However, one of the requirements for successful implant placement is sufficient bone density in the jaw to support the structure. If you have been told you can't get an implant because there isn't enough quality bone available in your jaw, you may be a good candidate for bone grafting. 

Bone grafting at Lake Forest Oral Surgery is a procedure where Dr. Suzin Um uses bone from your body or from a donor to promote the growth of new bone. Many people who would not otherwise be able to get an implant can benefit from bone grafting.

History of Bone Reconstruction

Sometimes extensive bone loss occurs as the result of wearing dentures, having missing teeth, or the presence of cysts and tumors.

In the past, grafting required taking bone from the hip or rib to reconstruct the mouth. But this procedure involves a stay in the hospital and lengthy recovery. With tissue engineering, Dr. Um can now complete reconstruction in our office with fewer risks and minimal recovery time. 

What Is Tissue Engineering?

While it sounds somewhat complicated, you can think of tissue engineering as a recipe your oral surgeon uses to create new bone. Placing an implant is similar to building a house; a suitable supporting structure is required for the best outcome, and tissue engineering plays an important part.

There are three components needed to create new bone - a scaffold, a signal, and stem cells. Modern science and advanced technology now allow us to use these components to restore bone. 

The structure that supports new bone development is the scaffold. Synthetic proteins and growth factors send signals that recruit stem cells, mother cells that can regenerate new cells of the same type in different parts of your body.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

This stem cell technology involves using a concentration of platelets and growth factors present in your blood to promote your body's ability to heal itself. PRP helps contain the bone graft and acts as a biologic glue as it recruits stem cells and allows them to turn to bone.

As part of the bone grafting procedure at our office, Dr. Um will draw blood which is transferred to a centrifuge. The process takes about 15 minutes, in which time the platelets and growth factors are concentrated. Because it's your own blood, PRP is safe to use, and there's no risk of rejection.

Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP)

BMP form a unique group of proteins that play a vital role in bone formation by signaling the body to recruit stem cells. BMP has been used successfully for orthopedic procedures in the past and now plays a role in dental reconstruction. 

In large defects, Dr. Um can use BMP in conjunction with PRP and bone grafting to reconstruct bone needed in the area where the implant will be placed. We also use it when a large defect is left behind after removal of a tumor or cyst.

Please Call for More Information

If you would like to know if you are a candidate for bone grafting using innovative tissue engineering, please call Lake Forest Oral Surgery. Dr. Um has extensive training and expertise in this area and will be happy to consult with you to see if bone grafting is the right step for you.