To start with, let us understand the meaning of ‘alveolar’..it derives from alveolus which means the part of the jaws that houses the teeth. Alveolar bone grafting refers to filling bone taken from another donor site to fill a defect in the alveolus. This defect is seen in patients of cleft lip and palate. It prevents the normal eruption of teeth as there is no bone for the teeth to erupt into. The canines are most commonly involved. It leads to the canine getting impacted within the jaw bone and crowding of the other erupted teeth. Also, the continuity of the arch is affected as there is a cleft in the middle. The main role of grafting a cleft alveolus is to induce bone formation there so that the canine can erupt at the right time into it and hence the patient can have a normal dentition. The most appropriate age to do this procedure is between 6-8 years when the patient is old enough to have adequate bone harvesting areas and also because this is the age when the canine is yet to erupt. A graft is most commonly taken from the anterior part of the hip bone called the anterior iliac crest. Bone usually consolidates in 6-9 months after which orthodontic treatment is required for proper alignment of the teeth.
Here is a case of alveolar bone grafting done at the ideal age with excellent results at Richardsons Dental and Craniofacial Hospital. He was a 6.5 yr old boy with a history of repaired cleft lip and palate. There was a cleft in his right alveolus which needed repair for allowing eruption of his canine and lateral incisors. Dr.Sunil Richardson and his team harvested bone from the anterior iliac crest and grafted into the site. The closure was done. Follow up revealed a well-healed site with a continuous arch.
Richardsons Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Nagercoil is located 68 kilometers from Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), Kerala’s capital. It is well connected by air from India’s business capital Mumbai and also New Delhi. The local Nagercoil railway station is well concerted to various South Indian large cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Cochin. Madurai is the largest and nearest city in south Tamilnadu.