What Is Bone Grafting?
The process of tooth loss is just that — a process. When teeth are missing the jaw may atrophy and get reabsorbed into the mouth. This makes it difficult to fit the person for dental implants because there are poor quality and too little bone to place the implants. In most cases, having poor quality or missing bone removes people from the running for implants. Though, through the process of bone grafting, bone can now be replaced.
Not only that, but it is possible to promote bone growth. That’s right, new bone growth can now occur at the site of the graft. It means that people who would not have been candidates for implants are now able to get implants. Because they can replace the bone, it is possible to restore the physical appearance and functionality of the jaw. There are different types of bone graft.
Autogenous bone grafts, or autografts as they are also known, are made from the individual’s own existing bone. It is taken from elsewhere in the body. The bone could be taken from the chin, jaw, lower leg, skull, or hip. The main advantage of autogenous bone grafts is that the graft material comes from the individual’s own body.
It is also live bone, containing living cellular elements to actually enhance bone growth. Because it is a part of the individual’s body, it eliminates the risk of the body rejecting the graft material.
The one part of implants that many people are not aware of prior to learning about the process is that it often requires multiple sites of entry within the jaw or multiple procedures to harvest bone. In some instances, all of those surgeries is too much on the individual’s system. Fortunately, there are other options.
The Allogenic bone graft, or allograft as it is also known, is bone harvested from a cadaver. It is therefore dead bone, which is processed to remove the water by way of a vacuum procedure. Allogeneic bone is dead and will not regenerate. It is a framework like a building scaffold. The bone in the recipients mouth’s bony walls can instead grow to fill the void or problematic area.
Xenogenic Bone Grafts
Xenogenic bone comes from a non-living source, the bone of other species, such as a cow. To prepare the bone, it is processed at high temperatures. This process is in anticipation of and to prevent or limit immune rejection and also contamination. Xenogenic grafts provide a framework the recipient. The recipient’s own bone will grow in to fill the voids.
The advantage of allogenic and xenogenic bone grafting is that they do not require a second procedure, which is required with autografts. Though, bone regeneration takes longer than with autografts. The outcome is more difficult to predict as well.
Bone Graft Substitutes
There are many synthetic materials to replace the use of real bone. They are both safe and proven alternatives. They include Demineralized Bone Matrix and the Demineralized Freeze-Dried Bone Allograft. The processed allograft bone contains collagen, proteins, and growth factors from allografts. The material comes in powder, putty, gel, or chips. It can even be injected from a syringe.
These are a variety of compounds whose combinations can include collagen or ceramic composite. This is similar in composition to natural bone. Demineralized Bone Matrix can be combined with cells from bone marrow. This supports new bone growth.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
BMPs are naturally produced proteins within the body. They both promote and regulate bone healing and likewise its formation. Synthetic materials do not require a second procedure.
Evaluate the different options with a dental professional to understand the best options for a healthy and strong mouth. Different solutions have different properties that may serve you better.