About Bone Grafting
What is Bone Grafting?
Over a period of time, the jaw bone associated with missing teeth atrophies and is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants. In these situations, some patients are not candidates for implant placement.
With bone grafting we now have not only the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing but also the ability to promote new bone growth in that location. This gives us not only the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width but also a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Types of Bone Grafts
Autogenous Bone Grafts
Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are made from your own bone, taken from somewhere else in the body. The bone is typically harvested from the chin, jaw, lower leg bone, hip, or the skull. Autogenous bone grafts are advantageous in that the graft material is your own live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhance bone growth, eliminating the risk of your body rejecting the graft material since it comes from you.
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 recommended.
Allogenic bone, or allograft, is dead bone harvested from a cadaver and 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; 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 nonliving 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 have the advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autografts.
Bone Graft Substitutes
As a substitute to using real bone, many materials are available as safe and proven alternatives, including:
Demineralized Bone Matrix (DBM)/Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft (DFDBA)
This product is processed allograft bone containing collagen, proteins, and growth factors that are extracted from the allograft bone. It is available in the form of powder, putty, chips, or a gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft composites consist of bone graft materials and growth factors to achieve the benefits of a variety of substances. Some combinations may include the following: 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
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing.
Synthetic bone grafts are usually composed of ceramic-based materials such as calcium phosphate, calcium sulphate, and bioglass. They 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. Gulati will determine which type of bone graft material best suits your particular needs.