I’m getting ready to start a series of procedures that will result in me having four dental implants placed. The whole process is fine with me, and I’m ready to get going. The thing is, my dentist wants me to have bone grafting done. That, in and of itself, isn’t really a problem either, but I started poking around online and I found out that they use cadaver bone to do it. That really grosses me out. I am seriously so unsettled by the whole thing that I might not get my dental implants done at all. Can I skip the grafting and still have the dental implants?
– Evan in Texas
Your doctor recommended bone grafting because there isn’t enough bone for the dental implant to integrate solidly into. Without that initial procedure, you could have a host of issues, including a cracked jaw. Unfortunately, it would not be a good idea to go forward without having the grafting done.
The good news is that there are alternatives to using cadaver bone, and your dentist might not have even intended to use it. A lot of the time, bovine bone or mixtures of synthetic and organic material are used. Sometimes, your own bone may even be able to be harvested and used. You’d have to talk to the dentist, himself, to find out which material he usually uses for the procedure.
You also didn’t mention what specifically bothered you about the material. If it’s simply the concept, you may take comfort in knowing that the bone was thoughtfully donated. Cadaver bone, which is sometimes referred to as allograft, usually comes from people who made the decision to donate organs and tissue before they passed. Occasionally, a family member also makes the decision on their behalf, when the donor’s passing was unexpected. Generally, these selfless donors go on to save numerous lives, in addition to helping people with their grafting needs. Moreover, the bone is tested to be sure it’s healthy, then it goes through processing, and it’s also sterilized, so it’s safe to use. The entire process is handled with great care, as well as compassion.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.