Bone Grafting

What is Bone Grafting?

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies/reabsorbs. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor amount of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants unless bone grafting/reconstruction is done.

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 esthetics.

Types of Bone Grafts

Autogenous Bone Grafts:

Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are from your own bone, taken from another part of the body. The bone is typically harvested from the jaw, lower leg bone 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.

However, one downside to the autograft is that it requires a second procedure to take bone from another area of the body.

Allogenic Bone:

Allogenic bone, or allograft, is bone harvested from a cadaver, then is processed and sterilized.  Allogenic bone serves as a framework or scaffold over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow to fill the defect or void.

Xenogenic Bone:

Xenogenic bone is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually a cow. The bone is processed and sterilized.  Like allogenic grafts, xenogenic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void.

Allogenic and xenogenic bone grafts have the advantage to patients in that they do not require a second procedure site to harvest bone. However, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts and have a less predictable outcome.

Bone Morphogenetic Proteins:

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing.

This material has 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. Drs. Sarasin and Westlund will determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.