Bone grafting is the replacement or augmentation of the bone around the teeth, where the teeth have been missing or more recently removed.
Why is a bone graft needed?
Bone grafting is performed to reverse or restore the bone loss and destruction caused by periodontal disease, trauma, or ill fitting removable dentures. It is also used to augment bone to permit implant placement. One primary example is augmenting bone in the maxillary (upper jaw) sinus area prior to implant placement. Augmenting the bone not only develops the proper fit and comfort of the removable or fixed prostheses (denture or crown), but also enhances the esthetics of the missing tooth site for the patient’s smile. When one loses a tooth, as in an extraction, the surrounding bone collapses and it is often necessary to preserve this bone with a bone graft for future implant placement or for esthetics.
What are the types of bone graft?
Autogenous – bone taken from one area of the patient and transplanted to another area requiring such grafting
Allograft – either synthetic bone or bone from a bone bank (cadaver bone)
Xenograft – bovine /cow bone
Which bone graft is used and when and why?
Autogenous bone is the “gold standard” and oftentimes has the most predictable results. This is usually considered the best type of graft because bone contains live bone cells that enhance bone growth, whereas other types of grafts are devoid of any active cellular material.
Both Allografts and Xenografts do not require a second surgical site in the mouth or hip as does the autogenous bone, where ample amounts can be easily obtained.