About Bone Grafting
What is Bone Grafting?
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.
With bone grafting, we now have the opportunity to not only replace bone where it is missing, but also the ability to promote new bone growth in that location! This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore function and appearance.
Types of Bone Grafts
Autogenous Bone Grafts:
Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are taken from somewhere else in the body. The bone is typically harvested from the chin or jaw. Autogenous bone grafts are advantageous in that the graft material is live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhance bone growth.
However, one downside to the autograft is that it requires a second procedure to harvest bone from elsewhere in the body. Depending on your condition, a second procedure may not be in your best interest.
Allogenic bone, or allograft, is non-living bone harvested from an organ donor. It is then treated with processes that remove any known viruses and bacterial infections. The bone is stripped of its proteins. Unlike autogenous bone, allogenic bone cannot produce new bone on it’s own. Rather, it serves as a framework or scaffold over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow to fill the defect or void.
Xenogenic bone is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Like allogenic grafts, xenogenic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void.
Both allogenic and xenogenic bone grafting are advantageous in that they do not require a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autografts. However, because these options lack autograft’s bone-forming properties, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts, with a less predictable outcome.
Synthetic Bone Grafts
As a substitute to using bone, many synthetic materials are available as a safe and proven alternative, including:
This product is composed of filler with tiny crystals that can promote bone growth in certain situations.
Coral and Tri-Calcium Phospate:
These grafts are procured from coral in the ocean. They can be used as a substitute for allografts or xenografts but generally do not perform as well in bone grafting situations.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins:
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing.
Synthetic materials also have the advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest bone, reducing risk and pain. Each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits. We will determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.