What are the Different Types of Bone Grafts for Dental Implants?
Bone grafting is a procedure which is necessary when there is not enough jaw bone for the dental implants to adhere.
There are four different types of bone graft:
1. An Allograft uses bone harvested from a human donor, with the harvesting taking place after death.
The harvested bone is rigorously tested and is sterilized to ensure it is safe for use. The bone is radiate to eliminate all organic contaminants. With this harvested bone, there is a risk of the patient’s body rejecting the graft.
Harvested bone has been in use for many years, but many patients are fussy about receiving a bone graft from a cadaver.
2. An Autograft uses bone harvested from the patient. The bone comes from either the hip or the mouth, and the process requires two procedures, to first harvest the bone and then to perform the graft. Patients can feel a little sore for a while afterward, but this type of graft does have one significant advantage in that the rejection risk is virtually zero.
3. A Xenograft is a bone harvested from animals. The sterilized and treated bone is generally from a pig and acts as a filler, gradually replaced with the patient’s bone.
4. An Alloplastic graft uses synthetic materials which consist of calcium phosphate. The body slowly absorbs it as natural bone growth occurs.
Some types of synthetic grafts act as a platform on which natural bone can grow. The body does not reabsorb the graft.
Alloplastic grafts carry the risk of rejection. Patients often prefer them as only one surgical procedure is necessary, and is not donor’s bone.
The procedure to place the graft is straightforward, but you may need to take a course of antibiotics afterward to lessen the risk of infection. Healing usually takes at least four months.