About Bone Grafting
What is Bone Grafting?
Over a period of time, a jawbone with missing teeth atrophies and is reabsorbed. This often results in 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 have the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Types of Bone Grafts
Autogenous Bone Grafts (Autografts):
Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are made from your own bone, taken from another location in the body. The bone is typically harvested from the chin, jaw, lower leg bone, hip, or the skull. Autogenous bone grafts are live bone and contain living cellular elements that enhance bone growth.
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 (Allograft):
Allogenic bone, or allograft, is non-living bone harvested from a cadaver, then processed using a freeze-dry method to extract the water via a vacuum. Unlike autogenous bone, allogenic bone cannot produce new bone on its 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 dirived 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 do not require a second procedure to harvest you 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.
Bone Graft Substitutes
As a substitute to using real bone, many synthetic materials are available as a safe and proven alternative, including:
Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)/Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft (DFDBA):
This product is processed allograft bone, containing collagen, proteibns, and growth factors that are extracted from the allograft bone. It is available in the form of powder, putty, chips, or as a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft composites consist of other bone graft materials and growth factors. Some combinations may include: collagen/ceramic composite, which closely resembles the composition of natural bone, DBM combined with bone marrow cells, which aid in the growth of new bone or a collagen/ceramic/autograft composite.
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. Dr. Howerton, Dr. Hopkin, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Clark will determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.