About Bone Grafting

Over a period of time, the jawbone in areas of missing teeth atrophies and is resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which the quantity and/or quality of the remaining bone is not 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 add bone in the areas where it is deficient, and we also have the ability to promote new bone growth in that location. As a result, we can now place implants of proper length and width in the areas where they are needed.

Types of Bone Grafts

Autogenous Bone Grafts

Autogenous bone grafts utilize bone which is taken from somewhere else in the patient’s body. This bone is typically harvested from the chin, jaw, or hip. Autogenous bone grafts are advantageous in that the graft material is live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhance bone growth. The disadvantage of this type of graft is that it requires a second surgical site, called the donor site.

Allogenic Bone Grafts

Allogenic bone grafts utilize bone which is procured from a tissue bank after it is harvested from a rigorously screened donor. This bone is then processed using multiple sterilization techniques, and serves as a framework or scaffold over the area into which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow and thereby eliminate the defect or void. A second surgical site is not required, and this is the most common type of bone graft used in conjunction with dental implants.

Xenogenic Bone Grafts

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 rejection by the recipient’s immune system, as well as contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Like allogenic grafts, xenogenic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow into and fill the void.