Your dentist has recommended a dental bone graft in your treatment plan and you have some questions. First and foremost, what is a dental bone graft and why do I need one?
Most likely your dentist is recommending a dental bone graft, or otherwise known as bone augmentation in addition to restoration of missing teeth or perhaps due to bone loss from periodontal disease and or receding gums. For whatever treatment, a bone graph has been recommended to recreate the bone base that is missing and to provide support for either an implant or for gingival repositioning in the case of gum restoration.
There are many types of safe and effective bone materials used in dentistry. The three most common types are:
- Autograph: This is bone that is harvested from the specimen that is receiving the bone graph. The patient would donate their own bone from a specific area, such as their hip bone.
- Allograph: This type of bone specimen is obtained from a human donor other than the recipient.
- Xenograph: This type of bone is harvested, sterilized and fully processed as a calcium matrix base from another species, namely bovine ( cow) type is most closely related to human bone type. It is the most commonly used bone graph material and is perfectly safe.
Other methods of dental bone graft materials can be synthetic, such as the base minerals of calcium and other bone-forming ingredients. These are not commonly used and are generally very expensive.
Placing a dental bone graph is a safe and routine procedure and is usually performed at the time of implant placement or gum surgery. The prepared bone material is placed at the site and sutures are placed. The body then over time integrates the material around the implant or under the gum tissue, providing the support that was missing. This additional procedure is very important for the successful placement of the implant.