Bone grafting can be very useful in restoring natural bone growth and preventing deterioration of gums and jawbones due to various dental reasons. Bone grafting can have many purposes, but ultimately a bone grafting procedure restores and repairs bones, allowing strengthening of the area and rejuvenation that can prevent further issues in the future.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that that takes bones from a healthy area that is not lacking bone, transfers that bone to an area that has deterioration or reabsorption, and also promotes new bone growth and stimulation.
Bone grafting restores the functionality of the area and allows you to have an aesthetic appearance where you may otherwise experience sagging, misalignment, or deterioration. When it comes to oral care, bone grafting can strengthen the jawbone and the gum line, allowing proper strength for an area that is ready for dental implants or dentures.
Types of Bone Grafts
There are varying types of bone grafts as well as various areas that a bone graft may be used. Where the bone is taken from could vary based on the size of bone needed and what it is needed for, as well as the quality and quantity of bone available to use.
For oral bone grafts, it is not uncommon to access bone beneath the gums and tissues, but it may be necessary to take bone from areas such as the knee, skull, hip, or other areas as well.
Autogenous Bone Graft
Autogenous bone grafts are made from your own bone, taken from somewhere else in your body. The bone contains elements that enhance bone growth and is less likely to be rejected by your body since it comes directly from you.
The autogenous bone graft is often taken from your chin, jaw, hip, or skull. Unfortunately, using an autogenous bone graft requires 2 procedures – a procedure to harvest the bone and a procedure to implement the graft.
Allogenic Bone Graft
Also known as an allograft, allogenic bone is a graft that is harvested from a cadaver. The allogenic bone is not able to generate new bone on its own. It is primarily used as a placeholder, filling a space while surrounding bone grows and regenerates around it.
Xenogenic Bone Graft
The xenogenic bone graft comes from the bone of another species. The most common source of a xenogenic bone graft is a cow. The bones are processed at extreme temperatures to attempt to avoid rejection or contamination from the bone.
Xenogenic bone grafts are also unable to form and grow new bone, they provide a framework to support the area while new bone forms and grows around them.
Substitutes to Bone Grafting
There are alternative options to using real bone for bone grafting needs. There are various synthetic materials that have been tested and shown to be advantageous alternatives to bone grafting.
DBM / DFDBA
DBM is demineralized bone matrix and DFDBA is demineralized freeze-dried bone allograft. These are a compilation of allograft bone, collagen, proteins, and various growth factors that are taken from allograft bones.
These compounds can be found in powder, putty, chips, or gel and are often injected into the site via a syringe or placed and formed to the area as needed.
Graft composites are made up of various bone graft materials and growth factors. The overall purpose of graft composites is to provide added benefits to the graft site. The compounds often include a collagen composite that resembles natural bone, DBM coerced with bone marrow cells to aid in new bone growth, or a composite containing collagen, ceramic, and autograft properties.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
Also known as BMPs, these proteins are produced by your body to naturally promote bone formation and healing.
Utilizing these various substitutes to bone grafting allows you to undergo one procedure and reduce various pain and risks associated with bone grafting.