A bone grafting procedure makes it possible for those who have insufficient jaw bone structure to enjoy the full benefits of dental implants. The implants will need the support of a stable base (adequate jaw bone mass) for successful dental implant treatment – and a bone graft can significantly improve the jaw structure in cases when the bone has deteriorated due to prolonged tooth loss, gum disease, and other factors.
The type of bone grafting procedure will be determined by the dentist according to the number and type of dental implants to be used, as well as the location where the implants will be placed. The options for the bone grafting materials to be used for the bone graft procedure vary, and will depend on where the material is sourced.
Types of Bone Grafting Materials
- Autografts – Autografts are bone grafting materials which are harvested from the patient’s own body. This type of material has the highest success rate because there is very little chance of the grafted material being rejected by the body. The bone grafting procedure with autografts will have two parts – the first one to harvest the material, and the second one for the actual grafting procedure for the dental implants treatment.
- Allografts – Allografts are bone grafting materials that come from other human bone donors. Prior to the actual bone grafting procedure with allografts, tests will be needed to determine if the patient’s body will successfully receive the material without bone grafting rejection concerns.
- Xenografts – Xenografts are bone grafting materials that are sourced from animals, such as cows; the grafting material will only include the non-organic, sterilized components of the animal’s bone.
- Alloplasts – Alloplasts are synthetic bone grafting materials (usually calcium phosphate, or hydroxyl apatitie); these materials stimulate the human body to form natural bone at the location where the dental implant will be placed.