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Old 08-09-2005, 07:28 PM   #1
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Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi~~
I was wondering if anyone might have any information......yesterday I had a tooth extracted, and right after it was done, the dentist said she was going to put some bone on there, and she said it was "human bone from The American Red Cross"...and that it was safe and clean. I didn't really question it at the time, until I got home, and looked it up a little bit on the internet, and got a little uneasy about it. I went back in today for some more dental work, and asked her about it, and she just basically didn't say much except it was safe, and printed out some material for me to read. The material she gave me says 'Zimmer Dental' and 'Puros Allograft'.....and goes on to say how the Tutoplast process is pure and safe, and that it's been used for over 25 years in more than 500,000 cases without a single documented case of disease transmission. I was just wondering if any of you know anything about this, as it's all new to me. The thing is, it's just an unsettling feeling for me, probably especially because I am very, very careful about infectious diseases........I won't even get my ears pierced because I worry about the transmission of diseases there. I was wondering if any of you have been to dentists that say this type of bone grafting (from human bone) is safe, and not to worry. It sounds like the company that makes these puts them through a rigourous safety inspection, but I for some reason am feeling uncomfortable about this. I just don't like the idea of someone else's bone being in my mouth. I wish she had discussed it with me, and if I knew then what I know now, I would have wanted synthetic. Well, thanks for any information!! Valerie

 
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Old 08-10-2005, 07:28 AM   #2
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Bone graft materials are completely safe. They have been used in medicine and dentistry for decades without any incidents of cross-contamination. First, the donors are screened and free from disease. Second, the harvested bone is demineralized in a hydrochloric solution. If the donor did have any disease, it would be completely destroyed in the demineralization process. Third, there are additional ultraviolet processes to insure purity if the graft material. The material is completely safe and there is not need for concern about the material itself. The synthetic bone substitutes are nor nearly as good. The grafting material provides a matrix for your own bone to grow into and replace. The human bone is replaced by your own bone quite nicely and is considered the "gold standard" for all bone grafting (except for using your own bone harvested from somewhere else in your body). Many of the synthetic bone substitutes take a long time to be replaced and some are not replaced at all.

 
Old 08-10-2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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Talking Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Not only is it safe, but from what I hear it is the superior form of bone grafting. It is worse to use artificial bone, because it does not always "take". I only know this from reading on other message boards, not from personal experience.
~Kelly~

 
Old 08-10-2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi!
Oh my gosh, I can't tell you guys how much better I feel after reading your letters!! I guess it's just an unsettling feeling if it's an idea that you are not used to. Also, a while back, I had some elevated liver enzymes, and kind of went through the worry for a while that it was HepC, and it ended up being a fatty liver, but the thing is, it was a while before I found out, and I went through looking all this stuff up about HepC, and just was so relieved when I found out that I didn't have this infectious disease. So, it's not something I even want to think about again, you know?
But, I also forgot if I mentioned in my first letter or not, but the dentist did print me out a couple of papers about the material that I now assumed she used on my tooth, and it's called Puros Allograft from Zimmer Dental. When she first put it in my tooth, she said it was from the Amercian Red Cross, so I don't know what that means. Maybe that is where they get their supply from or something. Anyway, so I was wondering if you had heard of the Puros Allograft.
Again, thanks so much for the responses! It's amazing how this board can help so much when you need something!! Thanks again, Val

 
Old 08-12-2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi, I just wanted to mention one more thing. I still am kind of obsessing over this, I guess it's just something I haven't gotten used to yet. I was looking on the internet tonight for some more information, and there was one site I found where a dental group, I think somewhere in California, talks about the dangers of bone grafts, and how they do have warnings, and that the patient should know about their other options before opting for a human bone graft. Also, when I look on the website even for Puros Allograft, it says that over one million procedures have been done without a case of documented cross-contamination, but that they can't even guarantee 100% that it couldn't happen. Do you think that they just kind of have to say that for legal reasons, and that I should use common sense and figure that one in a million chance is pretty low? I just wish I didn't have any chance right now of getting an infectious disease, and wish that I had known more about it before the dentist just did it. Do you think there is anything I could do right now to lesson the chance that I would contract a disease? I was thinking maybe I could get it out or something, but my husband said that might make things worse to try to get it out. Anyway, thanks for the reassurance, and I appreciate your time! Thanks, Val

 
Old 08-12-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi, I have volunteered for the BC Disease Control Centre of Canada, You have more of a chance getting an infectious disease from eating out, travelling,washrooms, sitting on a public bus, the scares are out there and none of these that I have mentioned are monitored the way the "bonegraphs" are so please rest easy and know at least you are being monitored and watched, some of us aren't that lucky.
Hope all works out for you.

chatty

 
Old 08-12-2005, 01:27 PM   #7
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Thanks so much for the reassurance! All of this makes me feel a lot better. I do feel like I'm getting a lot of reassurance, however, alot of it is from the company that puts Puros out, so I guess they would of course defend their product. I see what you are saying about having more of a chance getting a disease from eating out, it's just that dentist offices make me mad in that they are dealing with the health of your whole body, and many people don't realize this. I just think she should have discussed with me the warnings of this bone graft and let me make the decision. She just told me what she was doing, and went ahead and did it.
I generally am just the type of person that dosen't like to take health risks. I never really did drugs, I don't drink or smoke, I buy organic foods, things like that. I won't even get my ears pierced because of the risk of disease transmission there. So, it kind of caught me off guard when later I realized that I had someone else's bone in my mouth! The Tutogen company called me back, and of course, the guy there assured me that they've been using them for something like 25 years, and there hasn't been one single documented case of cross-contamination. Of course, how do they really know that? Once the dentist puts it in, it could be years before a disease makes itself known, and by then, that person could have moved five times. And, if there was really no risk, then why do they supposedely try to keep track of you after you have had the bone graft procedure?
I know all these questions, like you said, are probably just answered by the fact that they appear to be safe, and have been tested. I just hate the thought of not knowing if I did contract something. I think I mentioned before that I had a HepC scare once, and it was months before I knew that I didn't have it, and that my problem was just a fatty liver. But, I went through this period in my life where I thought I might have an infectious disease, and I so hated to live differently, and felt so different with my kids. The relief was so great when I didn't have it, and I finally felt free of that, and it now sort of feels like I'm worried again. Well, sorry for rambling on here, I'm just trying to explain why I feel this way. Thanks again so much for your reassurance, you guys are all helping me so much!!! Thanks, Val

 
Old 08-12-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

I just had the same type of bone graphing material from Tutogen placed in two areas of my mouth. I have three other prior bone graphings that I have never had a problem with. My oral surgeon, whom I trust, says that it is actually safer to use a donors bone graph then to use your own if you have any sort of infection in your system.

The synthetic ones are hard on the body to accept. I have had one synthetic bone graphing and although I didn't have any difference in pain, I had to remain on antibiotics for a longer period to insure I didn't get an infection from my body trying to reject it.

Hope that it helps

Casey

 
Old 08-13-2005, 01:09 AM   #9
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Thanks again for the responses! You have all made me feel so much better about this...it's just an idea that is hard to get used to. Once you have this type of bone grafting, are you supposed to get tested for any diseases periodically? I was wondering what you meant about being monitered, does this mean that someone contacts you for testing for infectious diseases? I can't imagine how they know that nobody has gotten anything from these bone grafts, since I would assume it's hard to keep touch of people. We have moved around alot, and I have had several dentists. So far, most people I ask in my family, and just generally around like friends have never heard of this type of thing. I guess it's not really that common yet, considering the population numbers, and then those who have received the grafts. Do any of you do any tests if you have had the grafts? Well, thanks again, I really appreciate your help so much! Val

 
Old 08-13-2005, 04:10 PM   #10
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

I have never been told or heard of any additional testing that I have to go to for the bone graphing. I have been tested for infections for something completely different and I have no infections.

Casey

 
Old 08-14-2005, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi, and thanks again for the reply! You have all been so much help, thank you! I think it's just hard when you're dealing with something new, that you don't know anything about yet. It seems so far that this procedure of bone grafting is fairly safe, although different places on the internet kind of vary. I found one site that was a dentist office somewhere that said that they don't reccommend these types of bone grafts from human donors, because of the risk of infectious diseases. And, then this other site where it says the risk of that is like in the billions. I think everything is pretty well screened these days. I suppose the danger would be if there were another virus out there like HIV that we don't know about yet, and can't screen for it, simliar to what it was like in the 70's and 80's, I guess.
The one thing that I'm having a bit of trouble finding out is if the bone graft I had is fresh or fresh-frozen bone, or freeze dried bone. I read where the freeze dried has never had a documented case of passing a disease, but that the fresh has, but that the fresh bone is not typically used in periodontal situations, but that it was like a surgery of the spine or hip or neck, I think. I asked at the dentist office what type it was, and she was kind of unclear about it, I just really don't like this dentist much. I don't feel like I like someone as a doctor or dentist if they are not completely willing to answer every question you might have, you know? And, for some reason, I feel uncomfortable when I ask her stuff. Well, again, thank you so much, I get most of my reassurance on this healthboard from you guys! I hope I can return the favor sometime! Thanks, Val

 
Old 08-15-2005, 11:03 PM   #12
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

I agree with you that the dental and the medical community too sometimes seem to spring things on you and not give you much time to think about it. I have had this happen to me and have felt as you did that i really would have liked more time. In the case of your bone implants, I too have heard that human bone works best and even though it sounds creepy, it is probably not worse than other things you might be doing or eating if you really think about it. I would not worry about infection from what you have found out of the incidence. And having the bone removed would just give you more opportunity for an infection to set in when they had to dig around to get it out (if they even can do that).. Whatever possibility there was of infection, would have already happened by now.

 
Old 08-16-2005, 12:39 AM   #13
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Thanks for the reply! It's interesting all that I'm finding out, it's like new things each day. It really makes you realize that you are in charge of your own health, and that you have to be always aware of what a dentist or doctor is doing. I think that sometimes, for whatever reason, they are not upfront with you, and that really makes me angry. We can be careful with the things that we do, and live healthy, and then we are somewhat at the mercy of a dentist or doctor that does something without thoroughly discussing it with you. I received a letter tonight in my e-mail from a dentist that I wrote to who had some interesting material on the internet on bone graphing, and I had explained my situation to him, so he wrote me back with an answer. He assured me that the Puros Allograft was completely safe, but he questioned why she would say that she was using bone from The American Red Cross, as those are two different types of bone allografts. I don't know if one is safer than the other, but he was saying that Puros Allografts are an excellent product, but that the American Red Cross Bone is not Puros. So, another question that I have for my dentist is why she would say that, and then give me information from Puros when I asked her for more information on the bone grafting that she did. I just think that dentists and doctors have to consider their patients, I know that many people wouldn't be worrying near as much as I am, but this is the type of person that I am. Like I said before, I wouldn't even get my ears pierced because of the risk of infection there, and I know that is probably a small chance also. So, this bone grafting thing is something I would have never done had I known what it was. I'm laying almost upside in my dentist's chair, with 100 things in my mouth, and she casually mentions how she is now going to put some safe, clean human bone in my tooth from The American Red Cross, it's like, it dosen't really sink in at that moment! Well, anyway, I do agree with you, my husband also said that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to try to take it out, since digging it out would just probably make an infection easier to get in. I guess I just have to hope for the best, and try to not think about it so much! Thanks again, Val

 
Old 08-17-2005, 01:40 AM   #14
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Good luck! Just watch Fear Factor and all those things those people do and eat and you will feel like you are not taking chances at all. But seriously, people get other people's hearts and other organs implanted, they get hips implanted in them made from strange material, you may even eat other animals for dinner. This bone is in a form where they can do a much more thorough cleaning than they can do with a live organ implant. Bodies reject sometimes, but i have not heard infection being a big problem...not infection from the implanted organ, sometimes there is infection from the procedure. I think one of the big problems with this bone is that it is cadaver bone and that gives it a much more creepy feel than if they called it some gentler name.
I work in the medical field and see everyday the doctors telling people stuff they haven;t been told before. I think sometimes there is just so much information out there to tell just in case this or that happens, they do not bother unless they find they need to or the patient would be on overload. Unfortunately that means that sometimes it seems like something is sprung on them. Sometimes it really is sprung on them. Sometimes it is something that to the doctor or dentist is such a routine thing and something with little or no risk they forget that to the patient it is not so minor.
then of course they tell you, after you are sitting there ready but maybe not yet willing to start, "well you can come back and do it". That means another visit, another day off from work, another week of worrying before the procedure, another numbing experience, another payment sometimes, and a week of trying to find out as much as you can and driving yourself crazy. So most people will opt for the okay do it now approach.

 
Old 08-17-2005, 02:34 AM   #15
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Re: Question about safety of bone grafts

Hi! Thanks for the information~~I agree that there is so much out there that we do each day that is probably risky, I guess it's just that I'm always pretty careful about things. It's funny you would mention 'Fear Factor', we were just having this conversation about it recently, and I was saying there is NO amount of money that would make me eat some of the stuff they do on that show! But, the thing is, the show releases itself from liability because, of course, the people are fine right after, but it's things that can come back on you years later. People, especially the young ones on the show, don't realize these things. It's like when I thought I had HepC, when I was researching it, I met some people on different health boards and things, and so many of them took part in risky behavior back years ago, when kids do things, and they don't think they are risky at the time, like tattoos.
But, the thing is, I know it's a pain to come back in for another appointment and stress about it, but I'd rather know everything about what I'm doing, and think about it first. This has been a real lesson for me, and really for what I will decide for my kids. I'll make sure I go to a dentist or doctor that is willing to answer my questions. It reminds me of when I go into a store and want to get something really bad that maybe I have to think if I should or not, and if I just walk out of the store, it's like suddenly it's not such a big deal anymore, you know? But, it takes time for that to sink in. I just kind of make myself mad, because I know better, since I had gone through the HepC thing, and I sat there and let the dentist do it anyway. I am always too worried about pleasing people.
I called the dentist today to ask if it was Puros or American Red Cross that she used, since there was some confusion there, and she was just generally kind of snippy, and right when she got on the phone, she didn't say hi or anything, she just said "If you want to come in, I can suction the bone back out for you if it bothers you that much"....and I was kind of taken back, and not sure what to say. I said that I would have to think about that, being that I'm not a doctor, and not sure what the best thing to do would be, and she said not to think too long, as the bone is settling in. My husband said that clearly her and I don't have a good communication going on, and that I should get another opinion. It's amazing how opinions differ out there, though. I got one e-mail from a dentist that I found on the web that I wrote, and he totally praised Puros, saying it's absolutely and completely safe, and then this other guy, who is also a dentist in California, wrote me and he has actually written an article on this exact subject that will be in a dental magazine at the end of September. He does not believe that the allografts are safe, and that they come with warnings, he says, and that they cannot say they won't transmit infection. Two very different viewpoints! Anyway, thanks again for all the help! Talk to you soon, Val

 
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