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, most patients are not candidates for the placement of dental implants.
With bone grafting, we now have the opportunity to not only replace bone where it is missing, but we also have the ability to promote new bone growth in that location. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, but it also gives us 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 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, 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, or allograft, is dead 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 its 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 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 have the advantage of not requiring a second procedure to harvest your own bone as with autografts. However, because these options lack autograft’s bone-forming properties, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts and have a less predictable outcome.
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 gel that can be injected through a syringe.
Graft composites consist of other bone graft materials and growth factors to achieve the benefits of a variety of substances. Some combinations may include 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 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. Shah or Dr. Moses will determine which type of bone graft material is best suited to your particular needs.
Bone Grafting FAQs
What is dental bone grafting?
Bone grafting is the process of introducing bone materials to a depleted site in the jawbone in order to encourage the body to grow new bone.
Why do I need a bone graft to get dental implants?
Because dental implants are screwed directly into the bone, there must be adequate bone, to begin with. If your jawbone has receded, we will need to rebuild bone before placing your dental implant.
Do I have to have bone grafting when my tooth is extracted?
In many cases, grafting can (and should) be done at the time of extraction to minimize bone resorption.
What are bone grafts made of?
Bone grafting materials can be synthetic or natural (donated from cows (“bovine”) or cadavers (human)).
How long does the procedure take?
The surgery takes just 1-2 hours. The grafting material is then left alone for a few months to encourage new bone growth.
Does bone grafting hurt?
Some patients report some soreness and discomfort for a day or two following surgery, which can be controlled with over-the-counter medications.
When can I resume work after bone grafting?
Most patients go back to work the day after surgery. Some even return the same day!
If you still have questions about bone grafting, we would love to hear from you! Please call Downtown Dental at Downtown Dental Phone Number 718-576-3730.