About Bone Grafting

What is Bone Grafting?

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth shrinks. 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, most patients are not candidates for the placement of dental implants.

With bone grafting, you have the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing to promote new bone growth in that location. This not only allows for the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also improves the chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.

Types of Bone Grafts

Autogenous Bone Grafts

Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, consist of 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 enhances bone growth, also 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

Allogenic bone, or allograft, is harvested from a cadaver, then processed to ensure that it is disease free and sterile. 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.

Bone Graft Substitutes

As a substitute to using real bone many synthetic 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 as a gel that can be injected through a syringe.

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. Dr. Gold will determine which type of bone graft material best suited to your particular needs.