After teeth are lost, the surrounding bone resorbs and withers away due to lack of stimulation and/or compression for dentures, leading to a condition in which the bone becomes poor in quality and quantity, often making implant surgery difficult or, in some cases, not possible.
With bone grafting, we are now able to replace bone where it is missing and even grow new bone beyond what was missing. Bone can be grown to increase both the height and width of the deficient bone structure, through utilizing various materials and techniques. Bone grafting allows us to place the right size of dental implants and re-establish natural tooth dimensions – which ultimately leads to much better aesthetic results and function.
Types of Bone Grafts:
Autogenous Bone Grafts are made from your own bone. The bone is typically harvested from somewhere else in your oral cavity. The benefit of this type of graft material is that it is live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhance bone growth. However, a second surgical sit is often needed for these types of grafts. (When other materials are used, a second surgical site is not necessary.)
Allogenic Bone Grafts are harvested from a donor cadaver and then thoroughly processed and freeze-dried. Allogenic bone serves as a framework or scaffold over which your own bone can grow to fill the defect or void.
Xenogenic Bone Grafts are harvested from a donor animal (bovine), and then thoroughly processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Xenogenic bone also serves as a framework or scaffold over which your own bone can grow to fill the defect or void.
Both allogenic and xenogenic bone grafts are advantageous in that they do not require a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autogenous grafts. However, because these options lack the autogenous bone’s live cells, bone regeneration may take longer.