While your dentist may have a preference to a certain material, your opinion as a consenting patient should also be a consideration. In many cases, the source of a dental bone graft material may be considered undesirable or even offensive to a patient due to ethical, cultural, or religious concerns. Bone graft material may come from one of four sources:
Autograft: Your Own Bone
Patients wanting to use their own bone material incur some degree of increased risk simply because there are two surgical sites involved. A surgeon harvests your bone material from your hip bone, shin bone, portions of your jaw, or some other area. By using your own bone material, you reduce the risk of your body rejecting the bone graft. However, a second surgery is necessary, increasing the chance for infection/morbidity, pain, or visible scarring (depending on the donor site).
Allograft: Human Cadaver Bone
This material is procured from a donor bank. The risk of infectious disease transmission is the same as if you received blood from a blood bank. Because cadaver bone grafts are considered “transplant tissues”, they are not evaluated for safety and effectiveness by the FDA. As mentioned earlier, no long-term studies have been published on the success rates of implants placed into a socket where a cadaver bone graft was used. In clinical studies, allograft particles have not been found to resorb in the body. When the allograft mineralizes, it produces what is called sclerotic bone, or abnormally hardened bone. The sclerotic bone does not integrate to the surface of implant. The bone graft site does not remodel and never becomes normal bone.
In a study that surveyed 100 people who were asked about accepting or refusing certain types of graft material, allografts elicited the highest rate of refusal with 41% rejecting it under any circumstance or accepting it only as a last resort when no other option is presented. A common reason for refusal was religious objection.
Xenograft: Animal Bone
Xenograft are bone grafts taken from a species other than human, such as cows or pigs, and are more easily sourced than Allografts. While this material is sterilized, there is always the risk of transmitting disease or cross-contamination with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) or porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs). There is no way to adequately screen xenografts for those viruses to determine their presence.
Common reasons for refusal of xenografts include ethical implications or religious concerns. Xenografts do not stimulate your body’s cells to form bone and portions of the graft material may remain in your body, never to resorb.
Alloplast: Synthetic Bone Material
These grafts are made of minerals that naturally exist in human bone. Patients typically prefer this type of bone graft because synthetics do not represent any ethical problem, elicit no religious objections, or imply the use of animals. The safety of not posing any risk in terms of disease transmission or involving a second complicated surgery is also highly valued.
SteinerBio dental bone grafts are synthetic grafts that have been cleared by the FDA and do not contain human or animal products. There is no risk of transmitted diseases with our material. Our synthetic grafts are fully resorbed and completely replaced by your own healthy, normal bone.