About Bone Grafting
What is Bone Grafting?
Over a period of time if you lose teeth prematurely, the jawbone associated with missing teeth undergoes a process known as disuse atrophy when bone, which should support teeth, dentures, or dental implants is reabsorbed. Hence, the patient is left with poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants, or fixed or removable appliances.
With bone grafting, we now have the opportunity to replace bone where it is missing! This procedure gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, provide a good base to support a denture or provide more anatomically correct shapes for bridgework; all of which give us a chance to restore functionality and esthetic appearance.
It should also be noted that all of the donor tissue products used by Dr. Noraian follow the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) Protocol which assure the highest standard of tissue collection and safety.
Bone Grafting Overview
For a brief narrated overview of the bone grafting process, please click the image on the right. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about bone grafting.
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Types of Bone Grafts
Autogenous Bone Grafts:
Autogenous bone grafts, also known as autografts, are made from your own bone, taken from somewhere else in the body. Dr. Noraian typically harvests this bone from the chin or the jaw. Autogenous bone grafts are advantageous in that the graft material is live bone, meaning it contains living cellular elements that enhance bone growth.
However, one downside to the autograft is that it requires a second procedure to harvest bone from elsewhere in the body. Depending on your medical health, a second procedure may not be in your best interest.
Allogenic bone, or allograft, is dead bone harvested from a cadaver, then processed using a freeze-dry method to extract the water via a vacuum. Unlike autogenous bone, allogenic bone cannot produce new bone on it’s own. Rather, it serves as a framework, scaffolding, or space maintainer over which bone from the surrounding bony walls can grow to fill the defect or void.
Xenogenic bone is derived from non-living bone of another species, usually a cow. The bone is processed at very high temperatures to avoid the potential for immune rejection and contamination. Like allogenic grafts, xenogenic grafts serve as a framework for bone from the surrounding area to grow and fill the void.
Both allogenic and xenogenic bone grafting are advantageous in that they do not require a second procedure to harvest your own bone, as with autografts. However, because these options lack autograft’s bone-forming properties, bone regeneration may take longer than with autografts, with a less predictable outcome.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins:
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are a bone graft substitute and are proteins naturally produced in the body that promote and regulate bone formation and healing. The best way to think of BMPs is that they are bone graft substitutes. Like donor bone, BMPs do not require secondary procedures for harvesting. Typically, BMPs are the most costly option due to the painstaking method of collecting these molecules from recombinant DNA.
Each bone grafting option has its own risks and benefits. Dr. Noraian will help you determine which type of bone graft material is right for you.