About Bone Grafting

What is Bone Grafting?

Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quantity and / or quality of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, patients may not be candidates for dental implants.

Bone grafting gives us the ability to promote new bone growth. 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 esthetic 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 or jaw. 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 surgical site to harvest bone from elsewhere in the body.

Allogenic Bone:

Allogenic bone, or allograft, is 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 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.

Xenogenic Bone:

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 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 are advantageous in that they do not require a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autografts.

Bone Graft Substitutes

Biologics:

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Enamel Matrix Derivative are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing. These biologics can be combined with graft materials for enhanced results.

Each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits. Dr. Filippi will determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.