A dental bone graft procedure is performed to rebuild and reconstruct the bone structure loss or deterioration caused by periodontal disease, trauma, ill fitting dentures and surgical extractions. Patients that have loss their natural teeth may be good candidates for implant placement, but some other may not have sufficient bone volume and may require a bone graft. They are several bone grafting techniques are that will rebuild the bone to a more ideal and functional contour.
There are different bone grafting materials:
- Autograft – the bone is taken (harvested) from the patients body (usually from the hip or the jaws).
- Allograft – the bone used is from human bone donors in the same way that organs are taken from donors in the event of their death. Bone which is harvested in this way will be put through various tests and sterilization techniques to ensure that it is safe to be used as a graft. After the donor bone is placed in the jaw bone it will eventually be converted into natural bone and the jaw bone will be rebuilt.
- Xenograft – the bone used is from animals, usually cows. This bone is processed to make it sterile and totally biocompatible. Animal bone behaves like filler and eventually the patients body will replace this with natural bone.
There are different bone grafting options:
- Site preservation – the bone is placed on the socket (space left after dental extraction) to prevent collapse of bone and over growth of soft tissues into the space.
- Sinus lift – The bone graft material is placed in the space between the sinus membrane and sinus bony floor. This procedure helps to increase the vertical height of bone in preparation for dental implants placement.
- Ridge-augmentation by onlay bone graft – In severe cases where the jaw has been reabsorbed a bone graft from the hip or the jaw is utilized to increase the ridge height and/or width.