Grafts are of 4 types. Autografts, allografts, isografts, and xenografts. Grafting materials can be bone, cartilage, skin, veins, etc.
Autografts are considered to be the first and best among all types of grafts. Autograft involves the same person, where the graft is taken from one part of the body and placed in the other part of the body. For example, skin grafts from the inner part of the thigh are used in other parts of the body of the same person. Vein grafts for cardiac surgery are one such example for Autografts.
Allografts involve another person of the same species or the passed away human being. In isografts, both the recipient and the donor are identical twins. Xenografts are grafts taken from other species most commonly pig.
We have a patient at Richardsons dental and craniofacial hospital on whom a successful primary cleft lip and palate corrective surgery as a child was done. After 10 years he has returned for his subsequent correction of the cleft alveolus. His CBCT displayed a large bony defect on the upper jaw on his respective cleft side. Correction of this cleft alveolus is known as Secondary Alveolar Bone Grafting. This defect needs to be filled out and usually requires grafts. For him, a cancellous bone from the iliac crest was harvested to graft that defect.
Grafting in this defect is essential, as they not only enable the tooth to erupt in a better position but also gives the patient one upper jaw or maxilla as one unit. One maxilla is essential for nice, esthetic, and a very well balanced face.
If this part of the defect is not grafted, the upper jaw sinks in. Therefore asymmetry of the face, nasal base gets affected, the shape of the nose gets affected, and the nose tilts towards the cleft side. Hence the issues are not just tooth related.
Henceforth these corrective surgeries are absolutely essential. Only if this kind of recreation is done in these patients, we could get them to be so-called “patients without any defect” in the future. We could incorporate them into society as anyone else, which is our goal at Richardsons dental and craniofacial hospital, Nagercoil.